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Insight | Time: Jan 19 2020 3:19PM
Comparison before LNY: tolerable polyester market but weak downstream market
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Polyester sector
By January 17, the total capacity planned to shut or cut production by polyester plants totaled around 9.14 million tons/year in Jan, sharing around 15.67%, and around 1.98 million tons/year in Feb (taking up 3.4%). Thus, the aggregated capacity involved was near 15.53 million tons/year in Dec-Feb, sharing 26.6% of the total. The turnaround is intensive in Jan, and the lowest polyester polymerization rate near the Spring Festival holiday is expected to appear in late-Jan.

The operation adjustment during this Spring Festival was slanting high in history, but the polyester polymerization rate did not change much compared with 2019 amid high effective capacity and sparse turnaround. The run rate of polyester market during the month around the Lunar New Year holiday was slightly higher than last year.

In addition, as for the forecast for the polyester production and the feedstock stocks in Q1 2020, the polyester production is not supposed to be low, which may grow by above 10% compared with 2019. Based on the current feedstock units, the stocks accumulation of PTA in Q1 2020 is supposed to be bigger than 2019, and that of MEG is expected to be smaller than 2019, but the specific change will be consistent with the feedstock units change in later period.

The stocks of POY, FDY and DTY 10 days before the 2020 Spring Festival were medium-to-high, which were 7 days, 9.1 days and 15.7 days respectively now.

Polyester market fundamental was slanting medium compared with the corresponding period of last year.

Polyester downstream market
As for the holiday schedule of downstream market, some plants put the holiday ahead of schedule, but the overall run rate of downstream market changed little compared with last year. 30% of downstream plants put holiday schedule for the Spring Festival near 15 days before the Spring Festival.

In view of the capital recouping of downstream market, the recouping was slightly slower and weaker than the last year. Some downstream plants reflected that only 40-50% of payment was collected by now, which was mainly because end-users saw unsmooth sales and mounting stocks.

The feedstock prepared in downstream fabric mills was mainly near 15 days when the absolute price had risk after price rose before holiday, post-holiday orders lacked clear direction and upstream feedstock market lacked apparently upward momentum after holiday. Coupled with tight capital, the pre-holiday replenishment was not huge this year. Besides, different regions witnessed various performances. The feedstock inventory in Cixi was relatively huge, while that in Changxing was smaller. 

Pre-holiday restocking and post-holiday restarting plan of downstream plants
Region Pre-holiday restocking Production recovery after holiday
Taicang Around 15 days Feb 3-8
Changshu Around 15-30 days After Feb 8 (Lantern Festival), based on orders
Changxing Around 5-7 days Relatively later, from Feb 8 to Feb 22
Xiaoshan and Shaoxing Around 10-15 days After Feb 8
Haining Mainly 15-30 days, fewer around 10-15 days Relatively earlier, near Feb 4
Cixi Near 1 month After Feb 8
Wujiang Fewer at 7-15 days and higher at 15-30 days From Feb 3

From the angle of production recovery after holiday, the schedule is basically similar to last year according to the reflection of factories, mainly after the Lantern Festival (Feb 8). Some plants will resume production after Feb 22 (the end of the first month after the Spring Festival) with high stocks of finished goods, slow recouping of capital and unclear post-holiday orders.

Currently, polyester downstream market is relatively weaker compared with polyester market when stocks of finished goods are high and orders are worse than last year, and the feedstock tendency after holiday and order change of downstream market will affect the real restarting time of downstream plants and their feedstock procurement after holiday.
[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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