According to recent news, although imports of acrylonitrile have declined in 2019, the degree of dependence on imports has remained above 10%. However, with the release of the capacity of the new device, the prices of acrylonitrile internal and external discs have been inverted, and the import volume of acrylonitrile dropped sharply in March 2020, and even fell short of the export volume. Zhuo Chuang will explore the reasons behind this change today.
In March 2020, the import volume of acrylonitrile was 7,550 tons, a year-on-year decrease of 74.9%, and the export volume was 9,490 tons. The export volume exceeded the import volume for the first time in the month. As we all know, in the past, acrylonitrile has been an import-oriented product. In 2019, the annual import volume of acrylonitrile was 309,000 tons, and the export volume was only 43,000 tons. Especially in 2017-2019, domestic acrylonitrile goods are tightly priced, and some large downstream factories rely on imported sources as a supplement to balance raw material procurement costs.
However, since the production of the 260,000-ton acrylonitrile plant in Jiangsu Silbon Phase II in 2019, the domestic supply of acrylonitrile has gradually been abundant. At the same time, there is continuous news of overhaul of acrylonitrile plants abroad. The prices of acrylonitrile at home and abroad are obviously upside down. The downstream purchases of imported spot are scarce, and the market is dominated by contract transactions. The domestic export volume of acrylonitrile has gradually increased, changing the situation in previous years when the export volume was scarce.
In 2020, the domestic acrylonitrile plant load continued to be high, the overall supply was ample, and domestic acrylonitrile prices continued to decline. In addition, due to the impact of public health incidents and poor terminal demand, the load of downstream factory equipment has never been restored to the same level as in previous years. Especially in the acrylic fiber industry, factory shutdowns and overhauls continue, the industry's equipment load has even dropped to below 30%, and optimistic expectations for factories in the market are limited. Under these circumstances, the sharp decline in the import of acrylonitrile is also reasonable.
The significant decrease in the import volume of acrylonitrile in March has its particularities in terms of environment and conditions, but we cannot treat it as an independent event. The emergence of this situation is a good preview of the future development trend of the acrylonitrile industry. In May, Zhejiang Petrochemical planned to put into production a 260,000-ton / year acrylonitrile plant. At that time, the effective domestic acrylonitrile production capacity will reach 2.509 million tons, but this year's downstream ABS and acrylic fiber industry has not yet seen a clear production plan, and the pattern of oversupply of acrylonitrile gradually appears . The cakes in the domestic acrylonitrile market are limited, and the price of acrylonitrile has fallen below the cost line. The difficulty for the new factory to seek development in the country has intensified. Foreign acrylonitrile factories have been in production for a long time and the production stability is relatively general. Seeking export market share has also become one of the important ways for domestic acrylonitrile factories to survive in the future. Of course, international oil prices have fallen sharply this year, and the cost of acrylonitrile abroad has also continued to decrease, which has also brought greater challenges to the export of acrylonitrile factories.
The changes in import and export volume intuitively reflect the change in the domestic supply and demand pattern of acrylonitrile. In March, the import volume of acrylonitrile was lower than the export volume. However, with the acceleration of the production of new domestic devices, domestic supply and demand competition is becoming increasingly fierce. I believe that in the near future, the export of acrylonitrile will be greater than the import or it will become the norm.
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