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Insight | Time: Nov 26 2019 3:03PM
An explanation of higher-than-expected polyester production growth rate
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With the approaching of year end, the polyester production in 2019 gradually becomes clear.

The polyester production growth rate was at 11% in 2018 and is preliminarily estimated to be around 9% in 2019 (only preliminary assessment, and the actual situation is based on the final statistics). The growth rate declines, but the decrement is not big, especially in the context of apparently growing new capacity in 2019. Yearly polyester polymerization rate may even increase, higher than earlier anticipation and higher than the run rate of many other fibers.

There are many analysis on the reasons for the elasticity of polyester demand, and the actual influencing factors are various, including export and replacement etc. Among these, market tempo may be a crucial factor. Polyester output grew under high rate in the first half of 2018, but market players’ mindset was seriously impacted with volatile performance, and the polyester polymerization rate obviously dipped, especially in Sep-Oct, 2018.

According to the situation in the past years, the operating rate of polyester industry was supposed to rise in Sep-Oct, even slanting high in the second half of year. In the past 5 years, the average polyester polymerization rate in Sep-Oct was higher than that in Aug, except for 2018.

Polyester production apparently declined under “extremity” in 2018, and the startup of some units was delayed. Market stabilized and restored later but year end came. Thus, the release of production reflected in 2019.

Preliminary hypothesis is made as following: If the polyester polymerization rate in Sep-Oct, 2018 was flat with Aug, the corresponding production would increase by more than 700kt based on the capacity cardinal number at that time. If there is no impact of extremity, the 700kt would reflect in 2018, not in 2019. Under such circumstance, the polyester production growth rate would be 13% in 2018, and will be around adjusted to 6% in 2019.

History cannot be assumed, and the above analysis is only a theoretical assessment, which may explain market tempo change and the influence of statistics caliber to production growth rate from different angle.

From this perspective, the elasticity of polyester sector seems to be easier to be understood. Demand is plain this year, but market players enjoyed sound foundation previously, still having some consumption capability. It will take time to see overall reduction. Most PSF and PFY plants preliminarily intend to shut down for the Spring Festival in Jan, and it may be hard to see sharply reduction of polyester polymerization rate in Dec.

[RISK DISCLAIMER] All opinions, news, analysis, prices or other information contained on this report is provided by analyst of Zhejiang Huarui Information Consulting Co., Ltd (CCFGroup) as general market commentary and does not constitute investment advice. CCFGroup will not accept liability for any loss or damage, including without limitation to, any loss of profit, which may arise directly or indirectly from use of or reliance on such information.
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