Adipic acid, also known as Adiopic Acid (AA), is a white monoclinic crystal at room temperature. It is the most valuable dibasic acid among aliphatic dibasic acids. Adipic acid is widely used, mainly in nylon and polyurethane. In the nylon field, the condensation reaction of adipic acid and hexamethylene diamine produces nylon 66 salt, and nylon 66 salt further produces nylon 66 resin. In the field of polyurethane, adipic acid and polyol undergo esterification reaction to generate polyether polyol, which in turn generates various polyurethane products, such as shoe sole stock solution, PU slurry, thermoplastic elastomer (TPU) and so on.
Analysis and Forecast of World Adipic Acid Supply
The overall supply of adipic acid in the world exceeds demand, and Northeast Asia is the main consumption growth point. The world's production and consumption of adipic acid are mainly concentrated in Northeast Asia, Western Europe and North America. In 2020, the production capacity of the above three regions will account for 98.0% of the world's total production capacity; the output will account for 90.3% of the world's total production; and the consumption will account for 83.3% of the world's total consumption. As China's production capacity increases, Northeast Asia's production capacity has increased from 29.4% of the world's total in 2010 to 58.4% in 2019, North America has dropped from 29.9% to 20.9%, and Western Europe has dropped from 31.2% to 18.8%.
In 2020, the production capacity of the world's top ten adipic acid manufacturers will account for 80.5% of the total production capacity. Among them, Huafeng's production capacity ranks first in the world, accounting for 17.7% of the total production capacity; BASF ranks second, accounting for 11.5%; South Korea SK ranks third, accounting for 10.3%.
In 2019, the total international trade of adipic acid reached 597,000 tons, with a total trade volume of 790 million US dollars, a year-on-year decrease of 9.9% and 22.1% respectively. In terms of price, the average export price of adipic acid in the world in 2019 was US$1322.8/ton, a year-on-year decrease of 13.5%. Italy, Canada and Taiwan of China are the main importing countries or regions of adipic acid in the world. China, the United States and South Korea are the world's major exporters of adipic acid.
Status Quo and Forecast of Supply and Demand of Adipic Acid in China
In 2020, China's adipic acid production capacity will increase slightly. In 2020, China's adipic acid production capacity will increase by 2.6% year-on-year; output will increase by 5.2% year-on-year; and the operating rate will be 59.4%. With the continuous development of PA66 and polyurethane industries, the demand for adipic acid has steadily increased. In 2020, China's apparent consumption of adipic acid will increase by 117,000 tons year-on-year; the self-sufficiency rate is 122.3%. The apparent consumption of adipic acid in China has steadily increased in recent years.
The overall supply of adipic acid in China is oversupply, and the import volume of adipic acid is very small. In 2020, China's adipic acid exports fell 11.3% year-on-year. According to trade methods, the export of adipic acid is dominated by general trade and processing trade with imported materials. In 2020, China's general export of adipic acid accounted for 99.5% of the total export volume; followed by imported processing trade. Chinese adipic acid is mainly exported to Singapore, Taiwan, Turkey and other places.
The consumption structure of adipic acid at home and abroad is slightly different. The downstream consumption of adipic acid in China is mainly distributed in fields such as slurry, shoe sole stock solution, and PA66. As the world's PA66 production capacity is mainly concentrated in leading foreign companies such as INVISTA, Ascend, BASF, DuPont, etc., the domestic downstream consumption of adipic acid accounts for only 16.2% of nylon 66, and the rest is PU slurry (12.5%) and shoe sole liquid ( 12.2%) and polyester polyol (11.0%).
With overcapacity of adipic acid in China, new capacity will be limited in the future, and the pattern of loose supply and demand will continue. Affected by factors such as the macroeconomic downturn and Sino-US trade frictions, the overall operating rate of the traditional downstream industries of adipic acid, such as nylon 66 salt, slurry, and sole solution, will remain low, and the market will be blurred in the off-peak season. In the long run, there is still a risk of oversupply in China's adipic acid market.
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