Slew of PTA plant start-ups could boost PX volumes again
Global PX Supply-Demand by End 2021 (mil mt/yr)
Most regions, except NE Asia, are estimated to be in surplus of paraxylene (PX) by end 2021, according to Eastport Research & Strategy’s calculations. NE Asia’s deficit could widen to 15mil mt/yr by end of next year, and may subsequently shrink to 8.5mil mt/yr by end 2021, assuming that there are no additional new projects over the next two years and start-ups are not delayed. About 24.3mil mt/yr of downstream purified terepthalic acid (PTA) output (translating to 16.2mil mt/yr of PX consumption) is scheduled to come online in China by end 2020. As a result, Chinese demand for PX imports may be supported, buoying volumes and freights in the intra-NE Asia lane. The Middle East and Indian subcontinent will see their surplus shrinking over the next two years as new PTA plants start up. China, which is in deficit of PX, is likely to turn to regions in surplus, such as South Korea, Middle East, SE Asia and India for imports to make up for the shortfall. Please refer to Asian Chemical Shipping Annual Review and Outlook for 2020 – A New Era for more supply-demand analysis of other bulk chemicals.