China PO demand will continue to expand but slower than capacity

China, Markets, Polyolefins, Projects

By John Richardson

China’s capacity to produce polyethylene and polypropylene will expand at a double-digit pace next year, while demand growth is expected to ease, says Longston Li, analyst at Shanghai-based CBI.

CBI expects China’s polyethylene (PE) capacity would jump by 1.99m tonnes in 2010 to 11.1m tonnes, while its polypropylene (PP) capacity would increase by 2.74m tonnes to 12.7m tonnes.

“This will include not only new capacities due to start next year, but the impact of plants that were commissioned in the second half of 2009. Many of the players in the China market believe there will be great supply pressure in 2010,” says Li.

China’s PP output could rise by as much as 2.6m tonnes next year when plants commissioned in the second half of this year were taken into account.

While demand for PE and PP will continue to increase the extraordinary growth witnessed this year (see this entry) may not happen again.

Li expects PE demand to rise 7.1% next year to 16.27m tonnes in 2010, while PP demand would grow 12% to 14.55m tonnes next year, moderating from the projected 31.5% surge in demand for PE and 24% jump for PP in 2009.

The following excel file has a list of Chinese PE and PP projects due to start next year.
China 2010 projects.xls


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