For the fourth consecutive month, most of China's petrochemical imports fell in the month of July. The dip has been triggered by a continued slowdown in the country's economy, weak downstream and new capacity additions from Sinopec, including its Tianjin and Zhenhai crackers, as per ICIS. A further fall in demand for petrochemical products is expected if China implements strict measures to curb speculation in the property market.
Sinopec started commercial production at its 3 mln tpa petrochemical complex at Tianjin in early May, while Zhenhai Refining & Chemical Co (ZRCC), started up its 1 mln tpa cracker and downstream units in April.
China’s ethylene imports dropped 31% yoy in July to 64,502 tons, and its butadiene imports plunged 67% to 9,279 tons, according to data released by China Customs. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) saw a 29% y-o-y decline in imports to 121,188 tons in July. Imports of some products, including ethylene, monoethylene glycol and aromatics like benzene and toluene, saw a month-on-month rise as demand increased with the onset of the traditional peak manufacturing season.