By Malini Hariharan
Pic source: www.brandft.co.uk
The blog is in undertaking the difficult task of collecting demand numbers for polyolefins across major Asian markets. Preliminary estimates show that demand growth has been quite healthy in the two major markets - China and India.
Chinese polyethylene (PE) demand (measured as local production plus imports minus exports) rose 13% to 17.4m tonnes while polypropylene (PP) demand increased by 6% to 13.9m tonnes cementing the country's position as the largest polyolefin consumer and importer in the world.
Data from the Chinese customs showed that the country imported 1.384m tonnes of low-density PE (LDPE), 2.478m tonnes of linear-low density PE (LLDPE), 3.495m tonnes of high-density PE (HDPE) and 4.8m tonnes of PP in 2010.
Imports of LDPE and LLDPE increased by 3% and 13% respectively while inflows of HDPE dropped by 9% and PP by 6% as local producers expanded their market share following commissioning of new plants.
In India PP continued to shine with demand (measured as local sales plus imports minus exports) rising 18% to around 2m tonnes during April-December 2010, according to local industry estimates.
Demand for the fiscal year 2010-11 was expected to touch 2.6m tonnes, up from 2.2m tonnes in 2009-10.
"Raffia and biaxally oriented PP (BOPP) film were the key drivers. PP consumption in each of these two sectors has gone up by over 20% in 2010. New BOPP lines were commissioned; additionally polyester film prices doubled during the year helping BOPP film makers," explained a source from an Indian produce
The auto and appliances segment also supported demand for PP copolymer, he added.
The rapid expansion of the Indian PP market and the introduction of anti-dumping measures on product from Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Oman resulted in a decline in exports and imports.
PP exports for April-December 2010 were down 2% to 475,000 tonnes while imports dropped by about 18% to 250,000 tonnes.
The year saw also saw an expansion in Indian PE consumption HDPE demand up by about 7% at 1.1m tonnes while LLDPE rose 9% to 760,000 tonnes, estimated a source from a local PE producer.
But LDPE was the only exception as high prices and tight supply resulted in demand declining by about 5% to around 250,000 tonnes during April-December 2010.
"For the full year [2010-11] we expect HDPE and LLDPE to show 15% growth while LDPE will remain flat," the source added.