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Ethylene glycol output fails to meet rising local demand

Jun '07
For nearly 10 years, the domestic market demand for ethylene glycol has maintained a rapid growth trend, backed by strong consumption by polyester industry. In 1995, the apparent use of glycol was only 656,900 tons. It reached to 1.9571 million tons in 2000, with an average annual growth rate as high as 24.40 percent.

Since entering the 21st century, China's apparent consumption of glycol has continued to increase greatly. In 2002 it broke through 3 million tons, reaching to 3.0199 million tons, surpassing the US to become the world's largest glycol consumer. In 2006, glycol consumption amounted to 5.6204 million tons, the average annual growth rate being at 18.53 percent in 2001-2006.

As of May 2007, China had 12 glycol producers, with total production capacity reaching 2.078 million tons per year.

China's glycol output only marked 456,100 tons in 1995, it amounted to 907,500 tons in 2000, with an average annual growth rate of 14.8 percent. It further enlarged to 1.56 million tons in 2006, a boost of about 41.69 percent, with the average annual growth rate at about 14.08 percent in 2001-2006.

Although glycol production capacity and output has improved dramatically, it still cannot meet the growing polyester demand of domestic market. China's import quantity is large and it rises each year.

China's glycol imports in 1995 only marked 205,400 tons, but in 2006 import volume exceeded 10 million tons, reaching 1.0497 million tons. Theimports further increased to 4.0613 million tons in 2006, import dependence being as high as 72.26 percent.

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