THE BIG PE exporters to China saw their sales to country decline by a further $1bn year-on-year in January-July 2023 versus January-June 2023.
Asian Chemical Connections
CHINA’S PP net imports could total 5m tonnes in 2040, or the country may instead be in a net export position of 9m tonnes.
NINE OUT OF CHINA’S top 10 high density polyethylene (HDPE) import partners saw their sales to China fall by an estimated total of $1.8bn in January-July 2023 versus the same period last year. Meanwhile, the remaining member of the top 10, the US, saw its sales increase by $233m.
CHINA’S PE demand is heading for 1% growth this year based on the H1 2023. data. Northeast Asian margins would have to recover by 3,423% to get back to normal.
As China’s overall high density PE (HDPE) imports fell to 2m tonnes in January-May 2023 from 2.5m tonnes during the same period last year, the US’s share of China’s import market jumped to 13% from 3%. Year-on-year imports from the US rose by 335% to 268,892 tonnes.
CHINA’S imports from the US surge by 220% in January-May 2023 as local production falls by 11% and as imports decline from Singapore, South Korea and Thailand.
China’s LLDPE imports in February this year reached their highest level for that month on record – 499,168 tonnes.
This seems likely to have been overstocking on anticipation of the post zero-COVID bounce back that hasn’t happened, as imports in March April fell month-on-month by 6% and 7% respectively. January-April 2023 exports also reached 64,678 tonnes – 96% higher than last year.
We don’t have much time. We must act quickly to prevent potentially catastrophic social, political and economic damage from climate change.
AS overall demand growth declines,. PP consumption connected to real estate and infrastructure spending are especially at risk.
THE EARLY DATA suggest that China’s polypropylene (PP) demand could grow by 3% in 2023. This would be in line with the base case forecast I provided in February.