As new domestic capacities come onstream, most of China's petrochemical imports continue to fall

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.
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