Butadiene is an important organic chemical raw material, mainly used in the production of butadiene rubber, styrene-butadiene rubber, nitrile rubber, styrene-butadiene rubber latex, styrene thermoplastic elastomer (SBC) and ABS resin, etc., in addition to It produces adiponitrile, hexamethylene diamine, nylon 66 and 1,4-butanediol, which can be used as adhesives, gasoline additives, etc., and has a wide range of uses.
Analysis and Forecast of World Butadiene Supply
The world's supply of butadiene has tightened, and the industry's operating rate has dropped slightly. The world's butadiene production and consumption are mainly concentrated in Northeast Asia, Western Europe and North America, and the proportion of production capacity in Northeast Asia continues to increase. In 2020, the three regions of Northeast Asia, Western Europe and North America will account for 78.7% of the world's total capacity; output will account for 77.9% of the world's total output; consumption will account for 81.6% of the world's total consumption. As China's production capacity increases, the proportion of Northeast Asia's capacity has increased from 42% in 2010 to 46.3% in 2020, North America has dropped from 20% to 15.8%, and Western Europe has dropped from 19% to 16.6%.
In 2020, the production capacity of the world's top ten butadiene manufacturers accounted for 45.4% of the total production capacity. Among them, Sinopec's production capacity ranks first in the world, accounting for 11.7% of the total production capacity; PetroChina ranks second, accounting for 6.9%; BASF ranks third, accounting for 5.0%. Among the top ten companies in the world, Asian companies accounted for 5 seats, including 3 Chinese and Taiwanese companies, 1 Japanese company and 1 Korean company. American companies accounted for 3 seats and European companies accounted for 2 seats.
In 2019, the global total international trade of butadiene reached US$2.41 billion, and the total trade volume was 2.40 million tons, a year-on-year decrease of 30.3% and 8.1% respectively. In terms of price, the average export price of butadiene in the world in 2018 was US$1002.4/ton, a year-on-year decrease of 24.1%.
The change of ethylene production process has become the main factor affecting the supply of butadiene in the future. The ethylene industry, which uses naphtha as a raw material for cracking, is facing the impact of shale gas chemical industry and modern coal chemical industry. Light raw materials such as ethane are used as raw materials for ethylene cracking, and the cost is 30% to 40% of naphtha cracked ethylene. With the continuous launch of ethane-to-ethylene projects in the world, especially in North America, the rapid increase in ethylene production capacity will cause the operating rate of naphtha cracking ethylene plants to continue to decrease. Since butadiene is mainly a by-product of the ethylene cracking unit, and its output is affected by the ethylene unit, the supply of butadiene will continue to tighten in the future.
Status Quo and Forecast of China's Butadiene Supply and Demand
With the construction and expansion of domestic oil refining facilities, butadiene production capacity continues to increase. In 2020, China's butadiene production capacity will increase by 20.3% year-on-year; production will increase by 10.7% year-on-year; and the operating rate will be 67.8%. In 2020, there will be 37 major butadiene producers in China, and Sinopec's production capacity will account for 46.6% of the total production capacity; China's oil production capacity will account for 24.0% of the total production capacity; and the production capacity of other enterprises will account for 49.8% of the total production capacity. The domestic butadiene production capacity is highly concentrated. At present, the oxidative dehydrogenation plants that have been built in China are restricted by market and other factors. Most of the plants are in a state of suspension or very low production load. Some planned new capacity still uses extraction technology. The oxidative dehydrogenation process still has problems to be solved, such as the need to further reduce production costs.
In 2020, China's butadiene imports increased significantly by 56.8% year-on-year. In terms of trade mode, butadiene imports are dominated by general trade and processing trade with imported materials. In 2020, China's butadiene imports accounted for 91.2% of total imports, indicating that China's butadiene imports mainly meet domestic demand. Secondly, imported materials processing trade accounted for 7.7% of total imports. In addition, bonded warehouses inbound and outbound goods and other goods accounted for 0.8% of total imports.
The downstream consumption of butadiene is dominated by synthetic rubber, and consumption in other areas is developing rapidly. China’s butadiene consumption mainly includes butadiene rubber (BR), styrene butadiene rubber (SBR), thermoplastic elastomers (SBCs), acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene copolymer (ABS), nitrile rubber and its Latex (NBR) and other products. Butadiene rubber is still the largest consumer product. In 2020, butadiene rubber consumption will account for 37.0% of the total domestic butadiene consumption. This is followed by styrene butadiene rubber, which accounts for 23.1% of total domestic consumption. In addition, thermoplastic elastomers, acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene copolymers, nitrile rubber and its latexes accounted for 21.0%, 14.9% and 4.0% of butadiene consumption respectively.
In the future, domestic new butadiene plants will be mainly concentrated in private refining and chemical integration enterprises, and some small-scale and weakly competitive plants will stop production. In the future, most butadiene plants newly built by private enterprises will be constructed synchronously with upstream plants, and coal chemical C4 will become a new butadiene production raw material for cracking C4. In recent years, the production capacity of domestic synthetic rubber plants has rapidly expanded. In order to get rid of the passive situation of lack of butadiene raw materials, some enterprises are developing in the direction of the entire industrial chain of butadiene-synthetic rubber-tires. The original state-owned enterprises have an absolute advantage in the butadiene field. Due to the continuous entry of other enterprises, the corporate structure of the industry is undergoing significant changes. It is foreseeable that the competition on the butadiene supply side will become increasingly fierce in the future.
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