Over the past decade, China has emerged as the principal manufacturing and export location for low value plastic products in the world due to low manufacturing costs and significant government support as per Global Markets Direct. Rapid increase in downstream processing capacity additions, primarily geared towards export markets, will be the main driver of polypropylene demand in the future. With over 30% of the demand dependent on imports, China will continue to remain the largest importer of polypropylene in the world in spite of the many polypropylene capacity additions expected to come on-stream in the next few years.
The Chinese polypropylene market size was US$14,439 mln in 2008 and is forecast to grow by more than 10%, accounting for 41% of the global polypropylene demand in 2020. Production of polypropylene in most countries will be unable to compete with the Middle East production as feedstock costs of the Middle East producers are 1/5th of the cost of feedstock available to Asian and European producers. The Middle Eastern countries, in their need to diversify from dependence on oil revenues, support the growth of petrochemical industries to add value to their exports and also to generate employment for local citizens.
The Middle East region will see more than 3 million tons of polypropylene capacity additions in the next few years. Accounting for more than 50% of the global planned polypropylene capacity additions, the Middle East region will emerge as the largest exporter of polypropylene in the world