SE Asian polyolefins market

18-Apr-13
Exports from Southeast Asian countries to China have increased threefold in the last decade, and trade agreements present within Asia will promote further growth in plastics business. A large portion of polyolefins produced in Southeast Asia is exported to the Chinese market, which is the largest importer and consumer of polyolefins in the world. China's demand for polyolefins is expected to grow from 31.45 MMtpa in 2011 to 41.13 MMtpa by 2016 at a CAGR of 5.5%, as per a research by ReportsnReports.com The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) places neighboring countries in an ideal position to trade among one another, as the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA) allows trade between member countries with zero import duty. Singapore and Thailand are members of ASEAN, and China has entered into a China-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) with a corresponding zero import duty regime, allowing these countries to conduct more economical trade. Thailand is the biggest exporter of polyolefins to China, and also boasts the largest consumption and production of polyethylene and polypropylene in the Southeast Asian polyolefin industry. Large natural gas reserves in the Gulf of Thailand provide abundant feedstock, and the location of polyolefin plants in Rayong in the eastern seaboard provides close proximity to sea routes for transportation. Closely following Thailand's industry prowess, Singapore is gradually making its presence felt as a petrochemicals exporter. Singapore does not have a huge demand for polyolefins, but has become a major polyolefins exporter to other Asian countries, attracting exporting companies due to the nation's ideal location and robust infrastructure for petrochemical exports. The country also acts as a global trans-shipment hub for Middle Eastern imports into Asia, making use of AFTA's zero import duties. Other Asian countries import their polymers too, giving Thailand and Singapore extra business. Indonesia is the second largest consumer of polyolefin resins in Southeast Asia, but depends on imports due to insufficient growth of domestic production capacity. Vietnam also lacks the production infrastructure to satisfy domestic demand for polyolefins, which has been growing continuously by more than 15% per annum over the last decade. Polyethylene demand in Southeast Asia is expected to increase from 4.89 MMtpa in 2011 to 6.17 MMtpa by 2016, while production is expected to increase from 6.28 MMtpa to 9.29 MMtpa during the same period. Demand for polypropylene in the region is expected to increase from 3.63 MMtpa in 2011 to 4.67 MMtpa in 2016, and production is expected to improve substantially.
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