Brief analysis of import and export problems of polypropylene in China

Introduction: In recent five years, China’s polypropylene import and export quantity trend, although the annual import volume of China’s polypropylene has a downward trend, but it is difficult to achieve complete self-sufficiency in the short term, import dependence is still there. In terms of export, based on the export window opened in 21 years, the export quantity has increased widely, and the export production and marketing countries have developed significantly.

I. Current situation of import and export of polypropylene in China

Import: From 2018 to 2020, the import volume of polypropylene in China maintained a stable growth. Although the coal chemical production capacity was released in the early stage and the self-sufficiency rate of the domestic medium and low-end goods was greatly increased, due to technical barriers, China’s import demand for high-end polypropylene was still there. In 2021, the cold wave in the United States led to the closure of polyolefin units in the United States, and the shortage of overseas polypropylene supply drove up the market price. Imported resources did not have price advantages. In addition, Shanghai Petrochemical, Zhenhai Petrochemical, Yanshan Petrochemical and other domestic companies made breakthroughs in transparent materials, foaming materials and pipe materials through continuous research, and part of imported high-end polypropylene was replaced. Import volume fell, but overall, technical barriers remain, high-end polypropylene imports.

Export: From 2018 to 2020, China’s annual export volume of polypropylene is around 400,000 tons, with a low base. China started late in the polypropylene industry, and its products are mainly general materials, so it does not have export advantages in terms of technical indicators. However, since 2021, the “black Swan” event in the United States has brought huge export opportunities for domestic producers and traders, with the export volume rising to 1.39 million tons. However, due to the presence of domestic coal-processing enterprises, the cost is more diversified, and the impact of crude oil price decreases. In the first half of 2022, when the crude oil price rises, Chinese polypropylene has more price advantages. Although the export volume is less than that of 2021, it is still considerable. On the whole, China’s polypropylene export is mainly based on price advantage, and mainly general purpose materials.

2.Main import categories and sources of polypropylene in China.

China’s polypropylene still has some products can not meet the market demand, especially in the high-end products, raw materials significantly rely on imports, such as high rigidity injection molding, medium and high fusion copolymerization (such as automobile manufacturing), high fusion fiber (medical protection) and other industries growth, and the raw material index is higher, import dependence continues to be high.

In 2022, for example, the top three countries in terms of import sources are: first Korea, second Singapore, 14.58%, third United Arab Emirates, 12.81%, and fourth Taiwan, 11.97%.

3.China polypropylene development in the predicament

The development of China’s polypropylene industry is still trapped in large but not strong, especially the lack of globally competitive products, the dependence on the import of high-end polypropylene materials is still high, and the short-term import volume continues to maintain a certain scale. Therefore, China’s polypropylene needs to increase the development and production of high-end products, and to mark the globally competitive products, occupy the import share at the same time, continue to expand the export of polypropylene can directly and effectively solve the oversupply pressure.

Post time: Jan-29-2023