China’s PP fibre output up on demand for surgical masks, protective gears

Author: Queena Qu

2020/04/10

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--A large number of Chinese producers have switched to making polypropylene (PP) fibre amid a spike in global demand for surgical masks and personal protective gears.

The rise in production, supported by even greater demand, had led to steep gains in prices of the product.

On 8 April, PP fibre prices in south China were largely at yuan (CNY) 8,600/tonne, up by around 23.7% from 3 April, traders said.

Sinopec’s south China branch hiked PP fibre offers on 9 April to CNY8,500/tonne for Maoming Petrochemical’s N-Z30S, up by CNY1,450/tonne from the previous day.

Rising demand is the main driver for the latest round of price increase, prompting many producers to switch to fibre production.

Non-woven fabrics, used to manufacture medical products such as masks and protective suits, account for around 70% of PP fibre demand.

Chinese domestic demand is largely stable as the government has not relaxed strict containment measures, although the lockdown of Wuhan where the novel coronavirus first appeared late last year was lifted on 8 April.

The coronavirus outside China is propping up demand for exports of masks to overseas markets.

Plants recently producing PP fibre
Producer PP fibre grade Producer PP fibre grade
Baofeng Phase I S2040 Yan’an Yanchang Petroleum S2040
Baofeng Phase II S2040 Hengli Petrochemical Phase II No 2 Y40
Zhejiang Petrochemical No 1 S2040 Shijiazhuang Petrochemical Y37
Zhejiang Petrochemical No 2 S2040 Dalian Petrochemical H39S-3
H39S-2
Shaanxi Yanchang ChinaCoal No 2 S2040 Fushun Petrochemical Z30S
ChinaCoal Shaanxi Yulin S2040 Sinopec Jinan Refinery Y40X
Ningbo Fuji Petrochemical S2040 Zhongyuan Ethylene No 1 Y40
Xuzhou Haitian Petrochemical S2040 Hunan Changsheng Petrochemical Y40
Ground Resources No 1 Y35 Dushanzi Petrochemical S2040
Ground Resources No 2 Y40 WEPEC (Dalian)  Z30S
Fund Energy (Ningbo) H40S Sinopec Qingdao Refining & Chemical Y38QH
Yangzi Petrochemical S700 Jingmen Petrochemical Y26
Shanghai Petrochemical H2800 Lanzhou Petrochemical BL
Pucheng Clean Energy HP552R Langang Petrochemical S900

Source: ICIS

China’s monthly PP fibre output reached 231,000 tonnes, 214,000 tonnes and 236,000 tonnes for the first three months of 2020, up by 66.2%, 51.8%, and 96.7% year on year, respectively, ICIS data showed.

Focus article by Queena Qu

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(Image: Henan, China; Xinhua/Shutterstock)