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Insight | Time: Dec 8 2021 2:22PM  Editor:CCFGroup
China's PSF imports from Southeast Asia and Africa in Jan-Oct, 2021
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According to the China Customs, in Oct 2021, China's uncombed polyester staple fiber exports were 68,600 tons, up 9.59% month on month and down 7.64% year on year, and imports were 8,900 tons, down 1.03% month on month and 34.05% year on year. Compared with the same period in 2019, exports declined by 16.3% and imports reduced by 51.16%.


In late Oct, domestic sales turned thinner, while export orders were still seen, so some traders purchased for exports. Transactions were not large overall and prices were under negotiation. A few plants still delivered the orders that were concluded in Mar. In Guangdong, exports of re-PSF declined somewhat this year.


HS code 55032000 is synthetic staple fibers, of polyesters, not carded, including virgin PSF and recycled PSF.  And the imports from Southeast Asia and African are mainly the recycled PSF.  The following are the changes in recent years.



In the import origins of PSF, Myanmar appeared in 2017, and the overall imports were not much. In 2019, one HC re-PSF production line in Hangzhou was moved to Myanmar, and has not started production till now. In 2020, the imports reduced largely, and in the first ten months of 2021, imports were 378 tons.


Vietnam started to exert force in 2018. Following the solid waste ban, domestic plants moved to foreign countries gradually. Vietnam has gathered solid re-PSF and a few HC virgin PSF plants. Imports in 2018 soared to 13,113 tons and reached 19,196 tons in 2019. In 2020, imports climbed up to 19,955 tons. Imports have exceeded over 10,000 tons in the first quarter of 2021, and reached 20,508 tons in the first half year, which has surpassed the overall imports of 2020. In Jan-Oct, 2021, imports totaled 26,699 tons. In terms of the monthly data of Vietnam, the imports have been high since October 2020. Previously, the monthly imports were 1,000-2,000 tons, but since October, 2020, the imports maintained above 2,000 tons, even 4,600-4,800yuan/mt in January and March, 2021.  It was mainly attributed to the demand recovery, larger price spread between virgin PSF and recycled PSF and the speculative demand around the Lunar New Year.  Last year, a few new plants engaged solid re-PSF put into operation, with a capacity of 50 tons per day, and the products are mainly delivered to China, so the monthly imports from Vietnam are higher than last year. In Sep, imports were 729 tons, and in Oct, imports were only 459 tons, the lowest in recent two years. Since the outbreak of epidemic in May, Vietnam took the most strict lock-down measures. In the southern part of Vietnam, electricity consumption has shrunk significantly since Jul. In the third quarter, electricity consumption was 268 million kWh, a decrease of about 23.4% from the second quarter, a decrease of 82 million kWh, and a decrease of about 13.6% from the same period last year.  With the relaxing on power rationing and the control of epidenic, imports from Vietnam may recover gradually.


The imports from Thailand has tripled in 2019 compared to 2016, to 45,000 tons. The local re-PSF capacity is about 250kta in 2020, and the competition focuses on HC re-PSF. In January 2021, Jiulongthai Phase II unit started up, with a HC re-PSF capacity of 100 tons per day. The products mainly export to Europe and the United States. In 2020, imports were 42,127 tons, and in the first ten months of 2021, imports totaled 24,029 tons.


In January-February, 2021, imports from Cambodia were seen a small volume of 697 tons, while the imports were zero in Mar, May, Aug, Sep and Oct. In the first ten months of 2021, imports totaled 1,261 tons.


Imports from Southeast Asia were 23,749 tons in 2016, 29,228 tons in 2017, 43,374 tons in 2018, 98,390 tons in 2019, 78,779 tons in 2020, and 62,480 tons in Jan-Oct, 2021.


The African market has gradually risen in recent years, especially in 2018-2019, some domestic production lines have also been transferred to Africa. Therefore, the exports to China has increased rapidly from 2019. Imports in 2020 have grown by 28%, mainly from South Africa and Nigeria, but in 2021 imports from South Africa shrank sharply affected by the riots, which caused disruptions of plant operation. Imports from Nigeria in Mar this year were good, reaching 2,728 tons. Imports from Africa were zero in Oct. The table below shows imports from Africa.

China's PSF imports from Africa (incl. virgin PSF and re-PSF)
Unit: tons 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 Jan-Oct, 2021
South Afria 0 230 24 5586 6122 638
Nigeria 0 0 0 5667 9069 6397
Tanzania 0 0 0 643 0 0
Egypt 0 0 102 39 0 0
Ethiopia 0 0 0 0 98 0
Total 0 230 126 11935 15289 7035


Currently, both virgin PSF and re-PSF prices are weak, and market sentiment is bearish somewhat. Inventory of re-PSF is accumulating overall, and some plants may start the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday earlier. In 2022, there are still new capacities, and the market competition is supposed to be fiercer. 

[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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