Global demand for p-xylene is forecast to increase by an average of 6% in the 2003-08 time period, driven mainly by terephthalic acid (PTA) and PET expansions in China, other Asian countries, and the Middle East. p-Xylene consumption from 2003-08 to produce DMT and TPA will grow at 0.4% and 6.7%, respectively as TPA becomes the preferred raw material to produce polyester.
The p-xylene market suffered from severe overcapacity during the 1999-2002 time period. Permanent and partial pxylene plant closures in the United States, Mexico, Korea, Europe, and Singapore helped improve global operating rates in 2001-02. By late 2003, idled p-xylene units in the United States, Singapore, and Mexico returned to operation. New pxylene capacity scheduled to begin operations by 2007 in the Middle East will force smaller plants, mainly located in Turkey and Japan, to close permanently.
The p-xylene forecast includes new speculative capacity in Benelux, China, Indonesia, Iran, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and the United States.