The strongest plastic limiting order continues to ferment, where does polyolefin
According to CCTV Finance and Economics, starting from January 1, 2021, the national "plastic restriction order" has been officially upgraded. In Shanghai's supermarkets, more and more consumers have found that the plastic bags that normally only cost two or three cents to buy at the time of shopping have disappeared.
In fact, reporters have recently observed in fast food restaurants and coffee roasting shops such as KFC, Michelle Ice City, Starbucks, etc. that the disposable plastic straws and spoons that were often provided before have been replaced with paper straws or polylactic acid. Degradable straws, spoons, and some are replaced by cup lids that can be consumed directly.
It is understood that at least 67 countries and regions around the world have adopted restrictive measures on disposable plastic products. Under the background that "plastic restriction and banning" has become a global consensus, degradable plastics are the best solution. In fact, since 2008, my country has been exploring the treatment of plastic pollution, and the “plastic limit order” has expanded the scope to all disposable non-degradable plastic products in the whole society. With the continuous development of the ban on plastics, the demand for degradable plastics is expected to increase significantly in the next five years.
Since the National Development and Reform Commission issued the "Opinions on Further Strengthening the Control of Plastic Pollution" on January 19, 2020, many provinces and cities have successively promulgated detailed plastic restriction and banning measures, marking the further escalation of my country's determination to control white pollution.
"From the perspective of the'plastic restriction order', it involves plastic packaging in supermarkets and shopping malls, disposable non-degradable plastic straws in the catering industry, and disposable foaming plastic tableware, disposable plastic products in hotels, ultra-thin agricultural film, and express delivery industries. The range of woven bags and tapes is quite extensive.” Yide Futures analyst Ren Ning said that the demand for biodegradable plastics is expected to rise sharply in 2021, which will undoubtedly have a certain impact on the traditional plastic products industry.
The reporter learned that as of 2019, the annual consumption of plastic bags in my country has exceeded 4 million tons, which is about 3 billion plastic bags used every day; the annual consumption of express and takeaway plastic packaging is more than 1.8 million tons and more than 500,000 respectively. Ton.
At present, nearly 60% of biodegradable plastics are used in the packaging field, and its replacement of traditional plastics is mainly concentrated here. "In recent years, industries with rapid growth in demand for packaging, such as express delivery and Internet catering, are the key areas for the implementation of the plastic restriction order. Therefore, a considerable part of the traditional plastic demand in these areas will be degraded by biodegradable plastics in the future. Replace." said Zhou Yan, an analyst at Everbright Futures.
In this regard, Huaan Futures polyolefin analyst An Ran said that after the implementation of the "plastic restriction order", plastic packaging and foam packaging in the takeaway industry will be restricted, and the takeaway industry will be promoted to replace it with paper takeaway boxes. According to estimates, it will drive the demand for paper lunch boxes to increase by 12.6%; at the same time, the use of express plastic packaging is gradually reduced, and the demand for corrugated cardboard packaging will increase. "It is estimated that by 2025, the replacement of plastic products by paper packaging will account for 6%-10% of the total plastic products."
At present, my country has an annual output of about 80 million tons of plastics, but the production capacity of degradable plastics is only 450,000 tons, and the capacity utilization rate is only 30%. The proportion of degradable plastics is relatively low. According to relevant data, the market for degradable plastics after the full implementation of the "plastic restriction order" is broad, and the current production capacity is far from enough. The production plan for 2021-2023 is quite intensive.
"The proportion of traditional plastic products will obviously be compressed by the degradable plastic market, especially the relatively low-end products." Ren Ning said.
Anran also believes that almost all provinces are actively responding to the "plastic restriction order" plan. It is estimated that the plastic products that can be replaced in the future account for about 7.5% of the total plastic products. In his view, plastics are mainly used in the use of agricultural film, causing a wide range of white pollution, which is the focus of the plastic restriction order. The use of polypropylene is relatively wide. The demand for traditional woven bags is gradually decreasing, and the demand for home appliances and medical applications is gradually decreasing. The improvement will bring little direct environmental damage to the society, so the impact is relatively small. Anran said that the continued development of the "plastic restriction order" has a more obvious impact on polyethylene and polypropylene. In comparison, the impact on polyethylene will be greater than that on polypropylene. "In the long run, it is inevitable that the demand for polyolefins will fall, and the price focus will also shift down."
However, it can be seen that the implementation of the "plastic restriction order" will not happen overnight, and part of the work will not be realized until 2025. At the same time, subject to issues such as limited production capacity and high prices, it is still difficult for biodegradable plastics to completely replace traditional plastics.
During the interview, the reporter learned that the impact of the "plastic restriction order" on the price of traditional plastics on the demand side is relatively limited in the short term. Judging from the current development of the "plastic restriction order", the impact of the reduction in demand for traditional plastics may not be obvious until a few years later. Therefore, it is not a good choice to trade the price of polyolefins in the short term with the logic of continuous escalation of the "plastic limit order".
"In the future, we still need to pay more attention to the development of the'plastic restriction order' to see if there will be more stringent policies, and then we will reassess the demand impact." Zhou said.
For the polyolefin market, the 2020 epidemic has generated many new demands, including anti-epidemic supplies, online consumption, and export demand, which will cause the price of polyolefins to shift upward.
"It should be noted that polyolefins are still in the peak production period, and the negative effects of the'plastic restriction order' on the demand side cannot be ignored, especially for low-end materials, such as powder used in plastic woven bags. The probability of this part of demand being replaced Very high, the growth rate of traditional demand will decline." Ren Ning said.
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