China March imports of aromatics, butadiene surge year on year

23 April 2013 09:38  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s benzene imports surged nearly sevenfold in March to 83,555 tonnes compared with the same period last year, amid scarce domestic supply following start-ups of new downstream caprolactam (capro) and adipic acid (AA) facilities, industry sources said on Tuesday.

Its imports of another aromatics product – toluene – more than tripled to 91,931 tonnes, official statistics showed.

China, which is a major importer of petrochemicals in Asia, also took in much higher volumes of butadiene last month totalling 28,388 tonnes, more than double the levels in the same period in 2012, according to the data.

Eighteen out of the 37 chemicals that ICIS track showed increased import volumes in March on a year-on-year basis, while lower volumes were recorded in the remaining 19. (Please see table below)

Among those that had notable decreases in import volumes include purified terephthalic acid (PTA), phenol, methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) and capro, the data from China Customs showed.

China’s imports of PTA in March decreased 60% year on year to 194,848 tonnes, while those of phenol shrank 57% to 35,383 tonnes, the data showed.

The country also took in 51% less MEK in March to 860 tonnes, while its imports of capro declined 46% to 45,543 tonnes, according to official statistics.

China’s petrochemical imports and exports in March 2013

2013-Mar

IMPORTS

EXPORTS

Product

Import (tonnes)

YoY growth (%)

MoM growth (%)

Export (tonnes)

YoY growth (%)

MoM growth (%)

Naphtha

220,636

-22%

4%

29,831

-

-42%

Ethylene

99,290

-3%

-25%

0

-95%

-62%

Propylene

232,714

44%

-3%

0

-100%

-

Butadiene

28,388

132%

-9%

751

-83%

-

HDPE

401,124

31%

73%

11,127

-29%

66%

LDPE

138,940

15%

40%

6,103

-41%

121%

LLDPE

209,006

5%

87%

5,281

-67%

97%

PP

274,163

-14%

30%

16,429

-10%

104%

PVC

99,772

-14%

48%

122,687

159%

56%

EPS

3,907

-42%

36%

29,332

-2%

82%

Benzene

83,555

597%

41%

3,091

-57%

-

Toluene

91,931

206%

159%

1,846

404%

2406%

PX

829,253

49%

11%

25,895

71%

87%

SM

279,848

-14%

9%

4,652

-61%

53%

PTA

194,848

-60%

-9%

3,013

14966%

585%

MEG

736,520

-10%

18%

466

66%

323%

ACN

60,357

28%

14%

0

-

-

Caprolactam

45,543

-46%

27%

8

-100%

18%

Phenol

35,383

-57%

17%

331

125%

-24%

Methanol

532,193

8%

53%

16,080

2787%

12267%

Acetone

45,620

-38%

20%

44

-69%

155%

BPA

38,582

-23%

-7%

1

-80%

-99%

IPA

8,153

28%

18%

72

-6%

31%

MEK

860

-51%

66821%

3,984

-70%

-54%

Base oil

218,833

3%

49%

1,324

-93%

11%

MMA

23,789

10%

123%

4,753

12%

38%

PMMA

14,532

-35%

22%

1,798

20%

19%

GAA

4,012

66%

301%

15,878

100%

14%

butyl-A

3,924

-32%

96%

3,234

4%

24%

2EHA

3,614

384%

203%

594

134%

88%

2-EH

24,640

-28%

-27%

372

-67%

90%

NBA

40,224

1%

11%

94

13%

138%

PA

9,556

40%

74%

20

-98%

300%

DOP

14,537

-2%

137%

961

1%

42%

Polysilicon

6,433

-16%

-19%

655

530%

74%

alkylbenzene

1,728

-39%

57%

12,641

77%

77%

anionic surfactants

5,293

9%

100%

17,473

52%

77%

Source: China Customs

Additional reporting by Helen Han


By: Viola Pan
+65 6780 4359



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