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Insight | Time:Jul 5 2018 1:51PM
Supply-demand structure of China benzene market in H1 2018
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China benzene market witnessed supply and demand growth in 2017 as supply and demand respectively increased by 10.3% and 10.7% y-o-y to 14.318 million tons and 13.523 million tons.

Year H1 2017 (kt) H1 2018 (kt) Change (kt)
Oil-based benzene capacity 11,974 13,184 1,210
Oil-based benzene output 4,049 4,627 578
Coal-based benzene capacity 8,200 7,820 -380
Coal-based benzene output 1,747 1,617 -130
Import  1,284 1,230 -54
Export 14 14 0
Apparent consumption 7,066 7,460 394
Import dependency 18.20% 16.50%  

According to the table above, coal-based benzene capacity reduced by 380kt in the first half of 2018, which was attributed to removal of idled capacities. Production decrease of 130kt was caused by shedding operating rate of North China during Mar and Jun with the influence of environmental protection and transportation. The import volume decreased by around 54kt, which was estimated at 190-200kt in Jun.

China benzene supply totaled 7.46 million tons in the first half of 2018, the y-o-y growth of 394kt was mainly contributed by rising oil-based benzene output, especially that of Shandong-based refineries.

In H1 2018, the monthly supply of China oil-based benzene averaged around 770kt and coal-based benzene output averaged at 269kt. Import volume averaged around 205kt.

During the same period, benzene downstream operating rates climbed up in fluctuation. Given considerable profits and driving force of fresh demand, benzene market was propped up with brisk sales. In the second quarter of 2018, benzene consumption was estimated around 7.07 million tons, up 566kt y-o-y. Viewed from the graph above, monthly demand of 2018 was generally higher than the comparable 2017 level, especially higher figure of more than 1.2 million tons for Feb and Mar.

Benzene consumption from derivatives amounted to 7.07 million tons in H1 2018, including 2.648 million tons from styrene, 883kt from phenol/acetone, 1.415 million tons from CPL and 1.041 million tons from aniline, taking up about 85% of total application in downstream fields.
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