Demand growth in northeast Asia:
|Company||Product capacity (tonnes/year)||Location||Start-up|
|Sinopec Yangzi Petrochemical||100,000 (EVA)||Jiangsu, China||End-2019/Jan 2020|
|Wacker||80,000 (VAE powder)||Ulsan, South Korea||May 2020|
|Japan VAM & Poval||8,000 debottlenecking (PVOH)||Sakai, Japan||Oct 2020|
|Sinopec Zhongke Refining & Petrochemical||100,000 (EVA)||Guangdong, China||Q3 2020|
|Sinochem Quanzhou||100,000 (EVA)||Fujian, China||Q4 2020|
In South Korea, demand growth next year will almost double to 80,000 tons, and about 40,000 tons will need to be imported from the spot market.
Japan’s situation is mixed, as economic slowdown may lead to no significant upside in domestic demand.
The downturn in the domestic market in 2019 has led to a 10% drop in the operating rate of downstream PVOH plants and a 5-10% decrease in the utilization rate of VAM plants, both of which have fallen from 100%.
Most PVOH and VAM plants in Japan are almost always running at full capacity unless typhoons hit the country.
In the broader market, the growth momentum in 2020 depends on further progress in resolving the Sino-US trade war and its ultimate impact on regional economic relief from the pressure of recession.
But as Lotte BP puts into operation a new 200,000-ton / year VAM plant in Ulsan, South Korea in October 2020, this trend may reverse before the fourth quarter, which will cause the country to have a net long position on the material.
The plant has about 50,000 tons of VAM that can be exported to European or American markets in the fourth quarter.
Compared with 2019, supply in 2020 is also expected to be relatively sufficient.
So far, compared with planned and unplanned plant outages in the first half of 2019, the VAM plant turnover confirmed in 2020 has been reduced, which at that time tightened supply and supported the market.
2020 Asian VAM closure schedule
|Company||VAM capacity (tonnes/year)||Location||Shutdown schedule|
|Sinopec Sichuan Vinylon||200,000 + 300,000||Chongqing, China||May shut in mid Dec 2019 or Jan 2020 for 15 to 20 days.|
|Sinopec Beijing Eastern||90,000||Beijing, China||Three to six months from March for catalyst change.|
|Showa Denko||175,000||Oita, Japan||One month from March.|
|Japan VAM & Poval||150,000||Sakai, Japan||One month from mid June.|
|Dairen Chemical Corp.||350,000||Mailiao, Taiwan||Around one month from H2.|