China's polyolefin demand is shifting towards higher-value applications such as automotive polypropylene and metallocine polyethylene, Saudi Basic Industries Corp.'s Executive Vice President of Polymers Abdulrahman Al-Fageeh is reported to have said as per Platts. While acknowledging overall petrochemical demand growth in China had slowed over the past year, Al-Fageeh said he expected polymer demand growth to continue at a higher-than-GDP trajectory in 2016. "We are fortunate in that the Chinese government has a policy to freeze the GDP more than 6.5%," he said, adding, ”PP demand for automotive applications in China has increased over the last year. We have shifted some of our portfolio in our local production here in Sinopec Sabic Tianjin Petrochemical [SSTPC] to cope with that demand.”
China's automobile sales grew 12.3% year on year in the first quarter, National Bureau of Statistics data showed. Automobile components use PP impact copolymers extensively.
Metallocene PE, used increasingly in flexible packaging, industrial films and consumer products, is another area of focus for Sabic. "Metallocene is probably one of the best [in demand] growth in the PE portfolio, that's why we are supporting our customers by investing in our Nexlene technology in [South] Korea and introducing it to our customers in China," he said
SABIC SK Nexlene Company or SSNC is a 50:50 joint venture between SABIC and SK Global Chemical that can produce 230,000 mt/year of ethylene/alpha-olefin copolymers products including metallocene based linear low-density polyethylene, or m-LLDPE.