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'China's dependence on PX imports is cause of worry'
May '14
The dependence of the Chinese polyester textile industry on paraxylene (PX) imports is increasing, which is a cause of worry, according to the China Chemical Fibre Industry Association.
According to the association, purified terephthalic acid (PTA) constitutes about 80 percent of raw material in polyester, which comes from PX.
While other industries in China are facing overcapacity problems, there is shortage of PX production and China is heavily dependent on its imports.
According to the data, in 2013, China’s total PX consumption was 16.46 million tons, of which, 7.59 million tons was domestic production and the remaining 8.87 million tons was imported, i.e. about 53.9 percent of the total requirement.
This dependence on imports is likely to increase at a faster rate and will soon cross 65 percent, because the chemical fibre industry in China is growing, while new PX projects are so few.
China is the world’s third largest user of PX in the textile industry. At present, man-made fibres can replace all traditional natural fibres, as they have some properties like high strength, flame retardant, anti-fatigue, etc. They also have high use in technical textiles, which makes them irreplaceable.
A 600,000 tons PX plant has been built in Hainan using China’s indigenous technology. But, the process of other new PX projects is slow because of severe opposition from people for fear of environmental and health hazards.
Meanwhile, South Korea has seen an opportunity and three new PX plants are being constructed, which will take the country’s total PX production capacity to 10.5 million tons by 2017, surpassing China.
China’s growing dependence on PX imports would mean that both prices and supply of raw material would be controlled by other countries.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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