Author: Liu Bingyi Source: Sinochem New Website June 29, 2022
On June 28, the Green Petrochemical Forum of the 2022 Petrochemical Industry Development Conference was held online. The meeting believed that with the rapid launch of low-end and medium-end chemical product production capacity and rising energy prices, the chemical product market is facing challenges such as supply shocks, shrinking demand, and weakening expectations. Product structure turned to high-end.
At present, domestic chemical products are still dominated by low-end and middle-end products, and the market demand has shrunk due to the disturbance of complex factors that exceed expectations. With the resumption of work and production in Europe, America, Southeast Asia and other regions, China’s export orders for chemical manufactured products have been crowded out. From January to May this year, the PMI new export order index of domestic manufacturing has been below 50. On the other hand, the operating rate of industries such as automobiles, construction, and home appliances dropped by 25% year-on-year, and the cumulative sales value of commercial housing, clothing, and automobile industries also fell by 34.5%, 10.1%, and 7.2% year-on-year, respectively. While demand is shrinking, supply is growing. Up to now, the total production capacity of chemical products has increased by 18% year-on-year, while the apparent consumption has only increased by 5% year-on-year, and it is expected that the production capacity growth of 24 major chemical products will reach a new high this year.
Due to poor price transmission in the chemical product industry chain, both upstream and downstream profits declined. On June 16 compared to the beginning of January, Brent crude oil prices rose 51.7%, while naphtha prices rose 8%, ethylene and polyethylene rose 6% and 4% respectively; paraxylene (PX) and purified parabenzene Diformic acid (PTA) prices rose by 44.2% and 39.1% respectively, and the price of embryonic cloth rose by 5.6%. The price trends of ethylene and crude oil have diverged significantly. Products such as synthetic resins and synthetic fibers have suffered serious losses. The downstream industries such as plastics, rubber, and weaving have experienced a significant seasonal decrease in the load, and the profitability of end products has dropped significantly. Under this circumstance, the main upstream petrochemical products operated at low load, and the load recovery of most downstream end product industries was not in place, and the industry operating rate fell to the lowest level in the past three years. However, due to the slow downstream consumption, the inventory of most chemical products has remained high, and the inventory of some products has reached a record high in recent years.
How do we deal with this situation? Wang Zizong, deputy chief engineer of China Petrochemical Corporation, said that the high-end development of the ethylene industry is the general trend, and the future will enter a new stage of digital factory construction + intelligent factory operation. In the next step, industry enterprises should increase the research and development of industrial software, speed up the process of localization substitution, and realize the independent control of key core technologies; starting from the internal value chain of enterprises, integrate refining and chemical processes and various advanced technologies, and carry out upstream and downstream industrial resources. Configuration optimization to realize the intelligent optimization of the entire value chain of the refining and chemical process; for deep enabling applications such as artificial intelligence, big data, etc., to create an intelligent refining and chemical production system, to help the upgrading of refining and chemical production, and to realize the intelligent linkage and production of refining and chemical production business Process intelligent optimization.
“High-end product structure is the development trend of the chemical market in the future.” Li Suoshan, deputy general manager of Sinopec Chemical Sales Co., Ltd., said that to promote the high-end development of the petroleum and chemical industry, we must deepen the cooperation and cooperation of the industrial chain, and focus on solving the “stuck neck” high-end development. Material manufacturing issues, move towards the high-end industrial chain; strengthen the global market operation, use the China-Europe Railway Express, the Belt and Road and other policies to expand foreign trade exports, track the transfer of the industrial chain, and develop global industrial layout; strengthen the construction of a unified national market, strengthen Industry synergy, accelerate the national layout of advantageous industries, accelerate the establishment of a logistics guarantee system and the transformation of the digital economy; promote the green and low-carbon development of the industry, accelerate the construction of chemical product recycling and recycling and disposal systems, and accelerate the cooperative production of carbon emission reduction devices and other products.
“Promoting high-end polyolefin is imminent.” Chen Congcong, researcher of Hongze Research Hangzhou Branch, took polyolefin as an example to introduce the development status and transformation path of high-end chemical products, and said that the development of domestic high-end polyolefin mainly presents three characteristics. First, olefin products are mainly low-end general-purpose materials, and there are problems such as overcapacity and serious product homogeneity; second, the demand for high-end polyolefins exceeds 100 billion tons, but the self-sufficiency rate is only 45%, which requires a lot of dependence Import; third, high-end polyolefins have high technical barriers, and the current production capacity is mainly concentrated overseas. She proposed that to realize the high-end transformation of the polyolefin industry chain, it is necessary to speed up technology research and development, realize the transformation from imitation and tracking to independent innovation, and use industrial Internet, big data, artificial intelligence and other intelligent manufacturing methods to strengthen its own technology and production factor integration capabilities. At the same time, upstream enterprises should give full play to their leading role in the transformation of the entire industrial chain.
In addition, Zhao Jun, a member of the soft science expert database of the National Energy Administration, pointed out that rising crude oil and natural gas prices continue to squeeze the profits of the corresponding olefin and other industrial chains, which brings new opportunities for the high-quality transformation and development of coal chemical industry. In the future, in the coal chemical industry chain, syngas will be the most important intermediate product, and it can be extended to multiple industrial chains such as methanol, ethylene glycol, and synthetic ammonia.