BLOG: China could become a PP net exporter next year

John Richardson


SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Click here to see the latest blog post on Asian Chemical Connections by John Richardson.

Wow! China may become a net exporter of 600,000 tonnes of polypropylene (PP) in 2022 from net imports of 6.1m tonnes in 2020.

Positive Chinese PP demand growth in 2021-2022 seems likely, unlike in polyethylene (PE) where this year is shaping up to be a year of negative growth. But PP growth is moderating on the Common Prosperity policy pivot.

A far bigger deal is the possibility that China will become a net exporter in 2022, a year earlier than we had expected.

This would be result of the slightly moderating demand growth, more availability of local feedstock to run plants hard and a further 11% increase capacity in 2022 following a 13% rise this year.

When you consider that in 2020, ICIS estimates that China accounted for 43% of global net imports amongst the countries and regions that imported more than they exported, this is a massive deal.

The major exporters to China – South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, the UAE and Singapore etc. – could be in a very challenging position.

Editor’s note: This blog post is an opinion piece. The views expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent those of ICIS.


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