China Continues Dominance Of Global Petrochemical Market

March 6, 2017
WPC 2017 China Forum welcomes Chinese industry delegation to provide focused discussion around Chinese production.

Despite a slowing economy, high debt levels and overcapacity for some chemicals, China will continue its dominance of the global petrochemical marketplace, both in terms of consumption and production, but growth will moderate during the next few years, according to analysis from IHS Markit. IHS Markit forecasts Chinese demand growth for key chemicals will be slower at around 5% to 7% for at least the next four years, significantly below the historical growth rate, as the country’s economy is driven less by manufacturing and capital investment.                         

“China has not been spared by the global economic slowdown, but the country will still drive growth in the worldwide chemical industry in the years ahead,” says Paul Pang, vice president of greater China chemical at IHS Markit. “China remains the largest growth market for chemicals, although we expect Chinese growth to moderate.”

Pang said China has been the key driver for global growth in both chemical demand and investment since 2000. That year, China was insignificant in either chemical consumption or production, but following its rapid expansion in consumer product manufacturing, China’s chemical demand also grew rapidly from 2005 to 2012. By 2015, China accounted for one-third of global demand for base chemicals, and today, is by far, the largest consuming and producing country in the world, according to IHS Markit.

The market outlook for China petrochemicals will be key topics of discussion at the upcoming IHS Markit 32nd Annual World Petrochemical Conference (WPC), March 20 – 24, 2017, at the new Marriott Marquis Houston. The conference will include the first WPC China Forum on Thursday, March 23, which Dave Witte, senior vice president and general manager of Oil Markets, Midstream, Downstream and Chemicals at IHS Markit, will open, and Pang will moderate. The forum will welcome a Chinese delegation of more than 50 executives and delegates from across the Chinese petrochemical sector. Speakers for the China Forum include Shousheng Li, Chairman, China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Foundation, who will provide an overview of the China energy and chemical industry and discuss policy, challenges and opportunities in the sector. Weigi Hua, Ph.D., vice president of Wanhua Chemical, will provide a view of a Chinese company’s overseas investment strategy.

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