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
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.
GLOBAL PE capacity in 2023-2030 may have to be 23m tonnes/year lower than the ICIS base case to bring markets back into balance
Global HDPE capacity in 2024-2030 would need to be a total of 13m tonnes/year lower than our base case to return to the 2000-2019 operating rate of 88%.
SEE ABOVE estimated LLDPE H1 2023 sales in China versus average H1 1999-2022 sales. Total estimated losses amounted to $594m among some of the big global producers.
GLOBAL PP capacity may have to be a total of 18m tonnes/year lower in 2024-2030 to return operating rates to the historically strong levels
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.
CHINA’S 2024-2034 HDPE net imports could total as much as 105m tonnes or as little a 19m tonnes
THE PHRASE “pushing on a piece of string” might best describe the logic behind calls for another round of big economic stimulus in China. Any extra money pumped into the economy could be largely saved rather than spent because of weak consumer confidence resulting from an ageing population and the end of the property bubble.
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.