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2020 China Surfactant Industry Raw Material/Product Statistical Analysis

Echemi 2021-05-27

1.4 Ethylene oxide

At present, the domestic downstream consumption of ethylene oxide is mainly concentrated in polycarboxylic acid water reducing agent macromonomers and non-ionic surfactants, accounting for 45% and 20% respectively, including ethanolamine, polyethylene glycol, and glycol ether The digestion of other products including choline chloride and polyether accounted for a total of 35%. Domestic ethylene oxide production is generally co-produced with ethylene glycol for market-oriented adjustment, effectively reducing industry operation risks caused by raw materials or downstream industry market conditions.

As of 2020, there are more than 30 ethylene oxide producers in China, with a total production capacity of nearly 5.5 million tons, a year-on-year increase of 14.4% compared to 2019. From a regional perspective, the production capacity in East China is 57%, South China is 16%, and Northeast China is 15%. , The other regions totaled 12%. The top ten EO companies include Sanjiang Chemical, Maoming Petrochemical, Shanghai Petrochemical, Yangzhou Aoke, Liaoyang Petrochemical, Yangzi Petrochemical, Jiangsu Silbang, Wuhan Petrochemical, Sichuan Petrochemical and Taixing Jinyan.

In 2020, the total domestic EO output was 4.1 million tons, an increase of 11% year-on-year. The top ten companies had a total output of 2.256 million tons, accounting for 55.02%. From the perspective of the proportion of downstream industry applications, the proportion of water-reducing agent macromonomers in 2020 61%, 2.5 million tons of digestion, 21% of non-ionic surfactants, 860,000 tons of digestion, and 740,000 tons of digestion of other products including choline chloride, ethanolamine and polyethylene glycol.

Judging from the trend of ethylene oxide from 2016 to 2020, domestic product prices in 2020 are operating at a historically low price. In the first half of the year, affected by the new crown epidemic, the company’s external quotations were basically stable, and the quotations in the first quarter remained at 7,600 yuan/t. At the beginning of the second quarter, due to the uncertain demand in the downstream industry, the price quickly fell below 6000. With the gradual recovery of the economy in the second half of the year, the demand for EO market also increased, and the price returned to normal. The price at the end of the year was close to 8000 yuan/t. With the rapid recovery of the domestic economy, domestic EO digestion will increase year-on-year in 2021, and market quotations will also enter a new level.

With the improvement of the domestic ethylene oxide layout, the competition between private enterprises and state-owned enterprises tends to be flat. From the perspective of the nature of the industry, the current market share of private enterprises has gradually become prominent. State-owned enterprises represented by Sinopec and PetroChina have EOs. No major projects have been put into production for several years. During the "Thirteenth Five-Year Plan" period, the ethylene glycol projects represented by coal to olefins promoted significant release of EO production capacity. Especially in the central and western regions, the EO industry under coal to olefins has become increasingly mature.


1.5 Natural oils

The application of natural oils in China is mainly divided into edible oils and industrial oils. Coconut oil and palm kernel oil are the main raw materials for industrial oils and fats. All domestic oils rely on imports, which has affected the development and market of the downstream oleochemicals and surfactant industries to a certain extent. The output of major industrial fats and oils represented by palm oil, palm kernel oil and coconut oil in the world is relatively concentrated, concentrated in Malaysia and Indonesia.

According to China Customs data, in 2020, domestic imports of palm kernel oil were 742,400 tons, a year-on-year decrease compared to 2019. The impact of the global new crown epidemic, including the management of kernel oil output and import and export trade, has been greatly affected, especially for ships. Arriving in time, the market is in short supply, showing that the domestic palm kernel oil price has risen continuously from the beginning of the year, from 6,000 yuan/t at the beginning of 2020 to 10,000 yuan/t at the end of the year, an annual increase of 66.67%.

Because the carbon chain distribution of coconut oil is more practical as a raw material for industrial fats and oils, the current domestic import volume is less than palm kernel oil. In 2020, the import volume is basically the same as in 2019, at about 160,000 tons.


1.6 Glycerin

As an important by-product of oil processing, glycerin can be used as a synthetic raw material or directly used in industry, medicine and daily life due to its special physical properties and chemical structure. It is mainly used in medicine, food, cosmetics, surfactants, and tobacco. , Explosives, glass paper, textile printing and dyeing industry, paper industry, rubber industry, etc. According to statistics from the Table Committee, in 2020, the domestic refined glycerin output was 228,400 tons, and the sales volume was 211,700 tons, an increase of 34.9% and 23.15% respectively compared with 2019.

According to incomplete statistics from the China Daily Chemical Industry Information Center, domestic glycerin production in 2020 will be 724,000 tons, which is basically the same as in 2019. In contrast, domestic glycerin imports in 2020 will increase by 19.71% to 419,000 tons. Apparent consumption reached 1.143 million tons


● Products and markets

The surfactant products counted by the Table Committee in 2020 are divided into four categories: anionic, non-ionic, cationic, amphoteric and other types. Anionic surfactants are mainly sulfonated and sulfated products, covering carboxylates, phosphate esters and sulfate esters, etc.; nonionic surfactants are mainly alkoxylated products, including polyethers and fatty alcohol ethers , Fatty amine ethers, alkanolamides and alkyl glycosides, etc.; cationic surfactants are mainly ester quaternary ammonium salts and alkyl quaternary ammonium salt products; amphoteric and other types of surfactants include betaine, amine oxide and imidazole Morpho etc. On the whole, there are 22 types of statistical work breakdown products.

In 2020, the Table Committee statistics the production and sales data of enterprises above designated size. The cumulative output is 3.696 million tons, and the sales volume is 3.624 million tons, which is an increase of 8.45% and 7.63% year-on-year from 340.8 and 336.7 in 2019, respectively. The new crown epidemic looks at surfactant production and the market as a whole On the positive side, although the import of raw materials, production and the market have been greatly affected by the short-term epidemic, under the sanitation incident, the downstream industry demand of the industry has shown double-digit growth, and the consumption of personal and household cleaning products has increased, and the industry has been actively promoted The market demand for surfactants, especially in the second half of 2020, the production and sales of major domestic surfactant companies achieved 18.5% year-on-year growth respectively. This trend continued until the end of the year, and the prices of major products were also driven by the market. Shows a continuous upward trend in six months.


2.1 Anionic surfactant products

At present, domestic anionic surfactant products are mainly sulfonated products, including fatty alcohol ether sulfates, alkyl sulfates, olefin sulfonates, and alkylbenzene sulfonates. The output of sulfonated products accounted for more than 95%. The domestic production of sulfonation equipment and the increasingly mature sulfonation process provide important support for the development of the industry with low cost and high quality.

In 2020, the table committee of the National Institute of Economics and Development Statistics of the production and sales of anionic surfactant products of enterprises above designated size were 1.517 million tons and 1.456 million tons, an increase of 20.68% and 18.25% respectively over the same period last year.

For subdivided products, the production and sales volume of the AES series were 646,000 tons and 633,000 tons in the current year, representing a year-on-year increase of 22.58% and 19.66% respectively over 2019; the production and sales volume of the LAS series were 688,000 tons and 645,000 tons, respectively, compared with the same period last year. An increase of 17.00% and 15.55%. In terms of market demand, the anions are still dominated by LAS and AES. Due to the import of natural oil and fat raw materials under the epidemic, the market of alkyl benzene sulfonic acid will be relatively active in 2020, and the production and sales will exceed AES. Another factor is that there are foreign reports that LAS has affected the new crown. There is a certain inhibitory effect, making LAB and LAS appear upside down in the market in 2020, and LAB has a considerable amount of imports.

In 2020, the total domestic production and sales of AS, AOS and other anionic surfactants will be 183,000 tons and 177,000 tons, respectively, and the products are incomplete statistics. According to the estimates of industry manufacturers, the market capacity of other anionic products other than LAS and AES should be close to 300,000 tons in 2020. Other series of products such as phosphate esters are currently based on a scale of 5,000 tons. There are more than ten manufacturers. The output is from 80,000 t to 100,000 t.

At present, the production and sales of anionic surfactants show extremely large-scale, intensive and monopolistic market characteristics. The market competition of major enterprises is extremely fierce. Table 6 shows the production and sales statistics of the top five anion manufacturers in China in 2020.

In 2020, the output of the top five anion companies in China will total 1.16 million tons, accounting for 76.5% of the total output that year, and the cumulative sales volume will be 1.14 million tons, accounting for 78.3% of the annual sales. Among them, the cumulative output of AES of enterprises above designated size is 537,800 tons, and the cumulative output of LAS is 526,300 tons. The output of the two products is basically the same.

The new crown epidemic broke out in the first quarter of 2020, and the entire manufacturing industry was almost stagnant, which affected the purchase of surfactants and market demand to a certain extent. The price of fatty alcohols as upstream raw materials remained below 10,000 yuan/t. AES, as the main anionic surfactant, was more affected. Obviously, the lowest AES in the second quarter was close to 5600 yuan/t. Starting in October 2020, with the control of the epidemic and the growth of global market demand, the Chinese market has seen a rapid rise. At the end of the year, the price of AES is approaching 8,000 yuan/t, which is 100 active substances, and the price reaches 11,000 yuan/t. The largest annual increase reached 33.04%. In 2021, affected by the price of upstream oleochemicals, AES continued to rise, and the price in the first quarter of 2021 was approaching 8,200 yuan/t.

In contrast, the price trend of LAS in 2020 showed a first decline and then a rise. The lowest price in the second quarter was 8,200 yuan/t. Due to the impact of some alkylbenzene production accidents and the increase in demand for raw materials under the epidemic, domestic alkylbenzene and its alkane Alkylbenzene sulfonic acid appears upside down for the first time. In 2020, alkylbenzene will be partially imported.

In 2020, the domestic cleaning product market will increase in capacity, and the demand for anionic surfactant LAS will increase. The prices in the third and fourth quarters have continued to rise. As of the end of 2020, the price has risen to 12,150 yuan/t, with the largest annual increase of 48.2%. In AES 33.04% increase ratio.

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