In 2018, China’s chemical imports increased and decreased differently. The imports of polypropylene and ethylene glycol increased, while the imports of styrene showed a downward trend.
Reporters learned that the national ban on imports of waste plastics in 2017 – 2018, the domestic demand for new materials increased, but also to a certain extent, to promote the growth of polypropylene imports. “In recent years, domestic imports have gradually become polarized, mainly with low-end products with price advantages and high-end special materials with competitive advantages. “Zhongyu Information Analyst Yang Juan said. “In the first and second quarter of 2018, China’s import of ethylene glycol increased markedly, mainly because downstream polyester is still in a period of high prosperity, the starting rate of polyester has increased significantly compared with previous years, in addition to the high price of ethylene glycol, the arbitrage window has opened, the import of ethylene glycol in the first quarter increased by about 19.4% compared with 2017. Under the optimistic background of anticipated demand for polyester, the growth of domestic supply of ethylene glycol is slow. As a result, the import of ethylene glycol has increased sharply, and consequently the inventory of East China Terminal has increased continuously. “Zhongyu Information Analyst Yu Xiaohong said.
Yu Xiaohong said that under the background of Sino-US trade frictions, the US dollar continued to strengthen, Chinese ethylene glycol importers were more cautious in their operation, lacking interest in purchasing the US dollar-denominated supply. In addition, with the end of the domestic maintenance season, domestic ethylene glycol production began to rise in the third quarter of 2018, and ethylene glycol imports shrank slightly in the second half of the year.
According to customs statistics, the import volume of styrene in China showed a downward trend from 2014 to 2018. “Driven by the centralized construction of domestic plant capacity in recent years, the production capacity of styrene plant has been improved qualitatively, from 1.8 million tons in 2005 to 9.35 million tons. The increase of domestic production capacity has also occupied the import quantity of styrene from the other hand. According to statistics, the current domestic share has increased from 32.7% in 2015 to 77% in 2018, and the dependence on imports has dropped to 23.7%. “Wang Chunling, an information analyst at Zhongyu, said that in the first 11 months of 2018, the main sources of styrene imports from China were Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. “Since China formally imposed anti-dumping duties on styrene from South Korea and the United States on June 23, 2018, the import volume of styrene from South Korea has been affected.
Affected by high tariffs, the import cost of domestic styrene has increased, which makes it difficult for Korea to restore its previous export volume to China. “Wang Chunling said.