Important Petrochemical: Ceresana Analyzes Entire Chinese Propylene Value Chain

In 2013, China single-handedly processed more than 18 million tonnes of propylene. Thus, propylene, besides ethylene, is the most important petrochemical feedstock in the Chinese chemical industry. Downstream industries manufacture a range of products based on propylene. Direct applications include, besides the plastic polypropylene, chemicals such as propylene oxide, acrylonitrile, cumene, butyraldehyde and acrylic acid. This study shows in great detail where the propylene manufactured will be processed in the future.

Non-Crude Oil Based Production to be Increased

Given limited crude oil resources, Chinese manufacturers of propylene are dependent on imports. A large share of propylene output occurs as either by-product of ethylene in steam crackers or catalytic cracking in refineries. Both processes predominantly use crude oil. Output of non-crude oil based propylene products is to be increased considerably in the future. In order to achieve this goal, utilization of CTO technology (coal to olefins) and production of propylene by dehydration of propane are to be expanded. Several production sites based on these technologies are scheduled to become operational in upcoming years.

Polypropylene Prime Application

Polypropylene (PP) will remain the by far largest sales market for propylene. According to analyses of Ceresana, Chinese demand for this plastic will increase by more than 5% until 2021. Polypropylene is one of the most versatile packaging materials. Other applications include fibers, textiles, vehicle parts, electrical devices and household goods.

Highest Growth Rate for Cumene

Ceresana expects Chinese propylene demand in the production of cumene to rise at double-digit growth rates in the next eight years. In China, cumene is almost exclusively used to produce phenol and acetone. Important applications for phenol are phenolic resins and bisphenol A. Phenolic resins are used for, e.g., rigid foam boards in building insulation or for printed circuit boards in the electrical industry. Bisphenol A is an important monomer for the production of high-quality polymers such as polycarbonate and epoxy resin. More than 90% of Chinese demand for bisphenol A originates in the manufacturing of these products.

ABS and Acrylic Fibers Prime Market for Acrylonitrile

The development of the Chinese acrylonitrile market is highly dependent on the applications acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) and acrylic fibers. Given its manifold applications in the growth sectors automotive, electrical and electronic as well as construction, demand for ABS is increasing dynamically. The market for acrylic fibers on the other hand does not grow notably, partly due to the lagging export business in the sector chemical fibers. In the future, demand for acrylic fibers will rise corresponding to the overall recovery of the global economy.

The Study in Brief:

Chapter 1 offers a complete overview over the Chinese propylene market: Market data regarding revenues development, demand and production, existing and future capacities as well as trades are explained in detail.
Chapter 2 analyzes the market for derivatives of propylene. Data on demand, revenues, prices, production, trade and a list of manufacturers including current capacities is provided for the most important applications.
Section 2.1 is examining the market for polypropylene. Propylene oxide and the downstream markets propylene glycol, polyether polyol and polyurethane (PUR) will be covered under heading 2.2. Section 2.3 is dealing with the acrylonitrile value chain, from acrylonitrile to acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS)/styrene-acrylonitrile (SAN) and acrylic fibers. Further segments depict and analyze markets for the propylene derivatives acrylic acid and for the alcohols butanol and 2-ethylhexanol. In addition, the market for the application cumene including the downstream products phenol and acetone is covered.
Chapter 3 offers a useful directory of producers within the Chinese propylene value chain. The profiles are clearly arranged according to contact detailed, sales, profit, product range, production sites, and summary profile.
Each profile also includes specific information about the value creation chain as well as current and future production capacities for propylene and its derivatives. These are split by site and product.
Extensive profiles of 87 producers are provided, including Sinopec, China National Petroleum, Shenhua Group, Zhangjiagang Yangzi River, CNOOC and Shell, Haiwei Group, Chi Mei, SunVic Chemical, Shandong Haili, Zhejiang Shaoxing Sanyuan and Shanghai Secco.

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