16 August 2012 12:46 [Source: ICIS news]
XI’AN, China (ICIS)--Industry players on Thursday painted a gloomy outlook for Chinese aniline in the second half of 2012 amid weak downstream demand from the methyl di-p-phenylene isocyanate (MDI) production sector, a sluggish global macroeconomic outlook and strengthening benzene prices.
“Aniline prices would remain stable-to-weak and are not showing signs of catching up with the firming benzene prices due to weak demand from the downstream sectors,” said Song Zhi Ping, CEO of Jilin Cornell Group, at the 10th China International BTX forum 2012 conference, which runs from 15-17 August.
“It is hard to think positively for the aniline industry now,” she added, citing reasons of an oversupply of aniline in the domestic Chinese market brought about by a spate of new plant start ups and also, poor downstream demand from MDI and other sectors which are running at average rates of 70%.
There are around seven new aniline plants already started or due to start production between 2011 to 2013, resulting in a total growth of 1,425,000 tonnes/year in nameplate capacity.
However, industry sources at the conference said that the gloomy outlook for the aniline industry is not expected to affect upstream benzene prices significantly, as the bulk of benzene output goes into other downstreams, such as styrene monomer (SM) and phenol.
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