Grupa Azoty reduces production in March and April after difficult first quarter in 2023 - Issue 391 || PKN Orlen-petrochemical production Jan-Apr 2023 - Issue 391 || Central European styrene trade Jan-Apr 2023 - Issue 391 || Polish polyethylene production & trade Jan-Apr 2023 - Issue 391 || Polish polypropylene production & trade Jan-Apr 2023 - Issue 391 || Polish synthetic rubber trade, Jan-Apr 2023 - Issue 391 || Central European MDI trade Jan-Apr 2023 - Issue 391 || Central European methanol trade Jan-Apr 2023 - Issue 391 || Russian chemical industry-new terminals required to serve Chinese market - Issue 391 || Russian butadiene production Jan-Apr 2023 - Issue 391 || Russian plastics and polyethylene production Jan-Apr 2023 - Issue 391 || Russian polyethylene trade Jan-Apr 2023 - Issue 391 || PTA deliveries from China to Kaliningrad - Issue 391 || Russian methanol production Jan-Apr 2023 - Issue 391 || Russian methanol exports, Jan-Apr 2023 - Issue 391 || Methanol plant at Volgograd signs agreement with Chinese company - Issue 391 || Russian polyurethane raw materials 2023 - Issue 391 || Uzbek methanol island-Air Products - Issue 391 || Russian Methanol Production, exports and domestic sales 2023 - Issue 392 || Polish petrochemical production Jan-May 2023 - Issue 392 || Olefin 111 project outline - Issue 392 || Polimex Mostostal and Naftoremont-Naftobudowa-Olefin 111 project - Issue 392 || Hungarian propylene exports Jan-Apr 2023 - Issue 392 || Central European styrene trade Jan-May 2023 - Issue 392 || Czech petrochemical trade, Jan-May 2023 - Issue 392 || Polish rubber trade Jan-May 2023 - Issue 392 || Hungarian TDI-MDI exports Jan-Feb 2023 - Issue 392 || Russian propylene exports & sales Jan-May 2023 - Issue 392 || KPI polypropylene outage & exports - Issue 392 || Russian methanol producer operational balances 2023 - Issue 396 || Russian Methanol Exports October 2023 - Issue 396 || Polish Polyol Exports 2022-2023 - Issue 396 || Polish Polyol Imports 2022-2023 - Issue 396 || Central European isocyanate trade Jan-Sep 2023 - Issue 396 || Czech polyol imports Jan-Sep 2023 - Issue 396 || Polish polyol trade Jan-Sep 2023 - Issue 396 || Isocyanate/polyol imports from China into Russia - Issue 396 ||
 


400

 

Polish oil imports Jan-2024

Polish Crude Imports Jan-2024

Country

Mil tons

€ per ton

Saudi Arabia

1120.1

565.7

Nigeria

251.9

590.6

Norway

779.1

545.1

UK

94.2

594.5

Others

0.0

0.0

Total

2,245

632.7

From the total of 2.245 million tons of crude imported into Poland in January, supplies from Saudi Arabia amounted to 45.7% which was followed by Norway with 34.2%.  By volume Saudi Arabia supplied 1.120 million tons at €565.7 per ton and Norway supplied 0.779 million tons at €545.1 per ton.   Further supplies from Norway have been ensured after the include Orlen Group agreement with BP providing for deliveries of up to 6 million tons.  Overall natural gas and crude oil production in Poland has been steadily declining in recent years, with 2023 confirming this trend.  Last year the production of natural gas (in liquid or gaseous form, from extraction) dropped 3.2% to almost exactly 5 billion cubic meters.

Czech crude imports Jan-2024

Czech Crude Imports Jan-2024

Country

Vol (mil tons)

€ per ton

Azerbaijan

0.208

580.9

Kazakhstan

0.122

579.2

Russia

0.293

540.4

Total

0.623

566.8

Russia supplied 293,000 tons of crude to the Czech Republic in January at €540.4 per ton.  This compares against 430,574 tons in January last year.  Deliveries from Russia peaked in the middle of 2023, monthly deliveries have since declined.  However Russian crude will still have an important role in Czech crude supply until completion of the modernisation and expansion of the TAL pipeline to 4.0 million tpa.  This is intended to be completed by the end of 2024. 

Unipetrol is set to undertake maintenance activities at its Litvinov oil refinery from 4 April to 15 May.   While a broader general maintenance turnaround at the company's petrochemical site has been deferred to 2025, specific units at the site will undergo maintenance between March and May. 

MOL’s feedstock imports

Slovnaft will undertake a two-month shutdown from May, partly to help the Bratislava refinery to adjust its technology to use greater quantities of Russian oil.  This is part of the MOL Group’s wider diversification of oil supply. 

Hungary’s crude imports amounted to 5.998 million tons in 2023 of which supplies from Russia totalled 4.729 million tons from Russia which comprised 78.9%.   The advantages of cheaper Russian oil from which Hungary was benefiting in the first half of 2023 largely disappeared in the second half of the year as the EU price cap became less effective.   By December MOL paid €565.7 per ton against €325.1 per ton in January.

MOL has reiterated that it will seek to continue supplying Russian oil to its refineries through the Druzhba pipeline through Ukraine, since it does not yet see the possibility of replacing this route.  The problem facing the Druzhba comes from unintended consequences from the war.  The pipeline was shut temporarily in March following explosion caused near the Ukrainian city of Sumy.   

Last year 993,000 tons of crude was delivered to Germany through the Druzhba pipeline, with an increase projected to 1.2 million tons in 2024 but this is still not enough.  German companies want to receive more oil from Kazakhstan through the Druzhba and whilst it does not help Russian crude sales transit fees make the trade advantageous for Russia.  Kazakhstan has already received a request from the German side to increase supplies to 2.0 million tpa.  Russian oil received through the Druzhba pipeline is delivered only in the southern direction to Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic.

PKN Orlen Production (unit-kilo tons)

Product

Jan-24

Jan-23

Ethylene

31.0

31.1

Propylene

27.7

37.8

Butadiene

4.6

5.7

Toluene

0.0

0.4

Phenol

3.6

4.7

Polish petrochemical production Jan-2024

Ethylene production in Poland amounted to 31,000 tons in January, just under the 31,100 tons from January 2023, whilst propylene production dropped more significantly from 37,800 tons to 27,700 tons.  Due to prevailing weak demand the Metathesis plant at Plock, which can produce up to 100,000 tpa of propylene, remains idle. 

Polish Monomer Import Costs

(€ per ton)

Product

Jan-24

Jan-23

Propylene

834.8

997.4

Butadiene

715.9

925.4

Styrene

1123.1

1572.7

Lower ethylene and propylene production were reflected in other areas of petrochemical production.  Butadiene production at Plock dropped to 4,600 tons from 5,700 tons, whilst phenol dropped from 4,700 tons to 3,600 tons.  Import costs for monomers were much lower in January against January last year, with propylene dropping from €997.4 per ton to €834.8 per ton and butadiene cost prices dropping from €925.4 per ton to €715.9 per ton.

Ethylene production for the four Central European countries forming the Visegrad bloc finished the fourth quarter in 2023 slightly up on the second and third quarters.  At the same time plants across the region still ran at relatively low rates of utilisation.  

For propylene the falls in production have been fairly continuous since the end of 2021.  Propylene production in the plants located in Poland, the Czech and Slovak republics and Hungary dropped below 200,000 tons in the fourth quarter. 

Olefiny III project

Orlen’s new management is expected to make some changes in group strategy but  most of the key projects are expected to continue which in particular relates to the Olefiny III complex.  In order to familiarise the region's residents with the Olefiny III project at Plock, Orlen has prepared a series of meetings entitled "Olefins III Without Secrets" to the region's residents.  The first meeting took place on 19 February where residents had the opportunity to hear from experts an account of the current implementation of the investment, its preparation, course and continuation.

In addition to ethylene and propylene other products will include ethylene oxide, glycols, and styrene.  Hyundai Engineering, in collaboration with Técnicas Reunidas, secured the project contract from Orlen in June 2021.  Orlen is currently finalising the terms and conditions of financing with several financial institutions, including Korean and the Spanish Export Credit Agency (i.e. from the countries of origin of the contractors of the main project complex).   

The remaining amount will be financed from Orlen's funds, including the value of capital expenditures incurred so far towards Orlen's own contribution.  The new installations built as part of the project, on the basis of a lease agreement, will be fully handed over by SPV to Orlen.  Orlen established Orlen Olefiny in 2021 as a special purpose vehicle (SPV)) as the entity undertaking the project.  Orlen holds all the shares in the SPV and therefore has full control over the company.  It is planned that the SPV will obtain external debt financing in the form of bank loans covering a significant part of the project's capital expenditures.

Polish Imports of Propylene (unit-kilo tons)

Country

Jan-24

Jan-23

Germany

6.652

4.990

Others

0.722

3.204

Total

7.374

8.194

Av € per ton

834.8

997.4

Polish propylene & butadiene imports, Jan-2024

Polish Butadiene Imports (unit-kilo tons)

Country

Jan-24

Jan-23

Austria

3.378

3.821

Germany

1.533

0.913

Hungary

2.108

2.026

Others

0.909

0.000

Total

7.019

6.759

Av € per ton

715.9

925.4

Poland imported 7,374 tons of propylene in January against 8,194 tons in January 2023.  Imports from Germany increased from 4,990 tons to 6,652 tons. 

Average monomer trade prices dropped from €997.4 per ton in January 2023 to €834.8 per ton in January 2024.  Prices for propylene started falling in the latter part of the 2022 following feedstock trends, but then stabilised towards the end of 2023 and start of 2024.    

Butadiene import prices for Poland dropped from €925.4 per ton in January 2023 to €715.9 in January this year, with volumes rising from 6,759 tons to 7,019 tons.  Imports into Poland from Austria amounted to 3,378 tons against 3,821 tons in January last year.

Hungarian Propylene Exports (unit-kilo tons)

Country

Jan-Dec 23

Jan-Dec 22

Slovakia

81.309

77.975

Total

83.442

89.378

Av € per ton

1039.0

1269.4

Hungarian propylene exports Jan-Dec 2023

Hungarian Butadiene Exports (unit-kilo tons)

Country

Jan-Dec 23

Jan-Dec 22

Czech Republic

15.749

8.205

Germany

3.014

6.049

Poland

23.078

35.355

Total

41.841

49.609

Av € per ton

817.4

1018.9

Exports of propylene from Hungary amounted to 83,442 in 2023 tons versus 89,378 tons in 2022.  Although MOL currently produces more propylene than it consumes it is currently building a new propylene plant with a capacity of 100,000 tpa which is targeted for conversion into propylene oxide. 

Export prices from Hungary dropped from €1269.4 per ton to €1039.0 per ton in 2023, following the trajectory in European pricing.   Exports to Slovakia from MOL to Slovnaft increased from 77,975 tons to 81,309 tons in 2023.  Slovnaft uses propylene for the production of polypropylene as its cracker is unable to meet full demand.

 

Hungarian butadiene exports amounted to 41,841 tons in 2023 against 49,609 tons in 2022.  Shipments to Poland totalled 23,078 tons in January to December 2023 against 35,355 tons in 2022.  Exports to Germany dropped from 6,049 tons to 3,014 tons and to the Czech Republic rose from 8,205 tons to 15,749 tons.  Average prices for Hungarian butadiene exports fell to €817.4 per ton versus €1018.9 in 2022.

 

Czech olefin trade Jan-2024

Czech Olefin Exports (unit-kilo tons)

Product

Jan-24

Jan-23

Ethylene

1.191

1.257

Propylene

0.001

14.323

Czech Olefin Imports (unit-kilo tons)

Product

Jan-24

Jan-23

Ethylene

0.160

0.871

Propylene

3.842

4.674

Butadiene

4.148

6.804

Styrene

0.246

0.662

Exports of ethylene from the Czech Republic amounted to 1,191 tons in January 2024 against 1,257 tons in January last year, whilst propylene volumes dropped from 14,323 tons to a few hundred tons.   Czech imports of ethylene dropped from 871 tons to 160 tons in January 2024 whilst propylene imports amounted to 3,842 tons versus 4,674 tons.  All of the propylene was sourced from Germany at an average price of €844.9 per ton. 

Hungarian styrene imports Jan-Dec 2023

Hungarian styrene imports (unit-kilo tons)

Country

Jan-Dec 23

Jan-Dec 22

Italy

63.033

84.990

Netherlands

5.659

4.414

Others

1.294

6.391

Total

69.986

95.794

Av € per ton

1498.5

1672.9

Imports of styrene into Hungary totalled 69,986 tons in January to December 2023, down from 95,794 tons in 2022.  Prices for styrene imports into Hungary dropped from €1672.9 per ton to €1498.5 per ton in 2023.

Central European polyethylene production

Polyethylene production throughout Central Europe dropped to just over 200,000 tons in the fourth quarter last year largely in response to weak demand.  This was the lowest volume of production since the pandemic. 

Production of polyethylene in Poland increased from 25,200 tons in January 2023 to 29,500 tons in January this year whilst polypropylene fell from 24,900 tons to 21,600 tons.   

Polish Polyolefin Production

(unit-kilo tons)

Product

Jan-24

Jan-23

Polyethylene

29.5

25.2

Polypropylene

21.6

24.9

Polish polyethylene trade Jan-2024

Polish PE Supply/Demand Balance

(unit-kilo tons)

 

Jan-24

Jan-23

Production

21.6

24.9

Exports

24.0

23.6

Imports

114.32

90.64

Market Balance

111.9

92.0

Polish trade in polyethylene in January this year reflected an increase in market activity compared to January 2023.   Last year’s production was underpinned by weak market performance, but the forecasts for 2024 and slightly more optimistic.   Based on production and trade Polish consumption of polyethylene increased from 92,000 tons in January last year to 111,900 tons in January 2024.  

Poland carries a large deficit in total polyethylene supply, which is part of the reason behind Orlen’s investment project Olefiny 111 at Plock now under construction. At the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, in February 2022, Orlen was following the plan to contract contractors for the OSBL infrastructure.  The war has had side effects on the project, indirectly affecting the  availability of materials and resources. 

Polish imports of polyethylene Jan-2024

Polish PE imports (unit-kilo tons)

Country

Jan-24

Jan-23

LDPE

28.593

24.350

LLDPE

18.278

16.380

HDPE

36.224

31.167

EVA

1.749

0.992

EAO

24.023

13.069

Others

5.452

4.682

Total

114.320

90.640

Av € per ton

1267.1

1503.6

Polish imports of polyethylene totalled 114,320 tons in January 2024 which was up from 90,640 tons in January 2023.  Average prices fell from €1503.6 per ton to €1267.7 per ton.  HDPE is the largest category of imported polyethylene into Poland, amounting to 36,224 tons in January which was higher than the 31,167 tons achieved in January last year.  All categories of polyethylene imports increased in the first month this year, which meant despite lower prices that overall costs rose from €136.3 million to €144.9 million.

The largest jump in ethylene polymer imports applied to ethylene alpha olefins where shipments increased from 13,069 tons in January last year to 24,023 tons.  European sources of ethylene alpha olefins included Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands but the largest supplier in January was from the US which provided 7,833 tons.

Regarding LLDPE, imports increased from 16,380 tons to 18,278 tons.   Most of the LLDPE imports were sourced from West Europe, including France, the Netherlands and Germany.

Polish exports of polyethylene Jan-2024

Polish PE Exports (unit-kilo tons)

Product Group

Jan-24

Jan-23

LDPE

5.475

3.445

LLDPE

1.598

1.605

HDPE

15.450

16.957

EVA

0.394

0.687

EAO

0.828

0.569

Other

0.262

0.302

Total

24.007

23.565

€ per ton

1215.1

1213.1

Polish polyethylene exports amounted to 24,007 tons in January 2024 against 23,565 tons in January last year.   Average prices for polyethylene exports from Poland in January rose to €1215.1 per ton from €1213.1 per ton.  Exports of LDPE increased from 3,445 tons to 5,475 tons whilst HDPE exports dropped from 16,957 tons to 15,450 tons. 

 

Czech polyethylene trade Jan-2024

 

Czech polyethylene exports (unit-kilo tons)

Product

Jan-24

Jan-23

LDPE

2.768

1.978

LLDPE

0.336

0.329

HDPE

31.346

25.987

EVA

0.285

0.402

Other

0.899

0.725

Total

35.634

29.422

Av € per ton

1293.4

1432.7

Czech polyethylene exports amounted to 35,634 tons in January 2024 against 29,422 tons in January last year whilst imports increased from 22,703 tons to 25,527 tons.  HDPE exports increased from 25,987 tons to 31,346 tons whilst imports of LDPE increased from 7,713 tons to 9,289 tons.  

Czech polyethylene imports (unit-kilo tons)

Product

Jan-24

Jan-23

LDPE

9.289

7.713

LLDPE

2.350

1.369

HDPE

9.492

9.623

EVA

0.901

0.696

Other

3.495

3.301

Total

25.527

22.703

Av € per ton

1445.0

1814.9

Germany is the largest destination for Czech HDPE exports supplied from Litvinov.  Other important markets for Czech polyethylene exports include Poland, Italy and Belgium.  Polyethylene export prices dropped from €1432.7 per ton to €1293.4 per ton, whilst import prices dropped from €1814.9 t €1445.0. 

Unipetrol-polyolefin production 2023

Unipetrol’s polyethylene and polypropylene dropped in 2023 against 2022, although the Litvinov polyolefin plant performed better than the other plants in Central Europe.   The third quarter last year was the strongest for polyethylene production over the 2022-2023 timeframe, amounting to 104,000 tons.  The second quarter recorded only 70,000 tons.  Polypropylene production was also affected in the second quarter by plant maintenance and amounted to 31,000 tons against 76,000 tons in the corresponding quarter in 2022.

Rompetrol Rafinare-polyolefin production 2023

Rompetrol Rafinare Polymer Production

(unit-kilo tons)

Product

Jan-Dec 23

Jan-Dec 22

Polypropylene

117.0

126.0

Polyethylene

19.0

68.0

Production

105.0

129.0

Sold

117.0

138.0

Rompetrol Rafinare produced 26,000 tons of polymers in the fourth quarter last year against 35,000 tons in the same period in 2022.   In total polymer production for Rompetrol Rafinare amounted to 105,000 tons against 129,000 tons in 2022.  The company sold 117,000 tons of polymers versus 138,000 tons in 2022.  The most important distribution channels for polymers comprise the Romanian domestic market with 50%, and for export markets Bulgaria 19%, Italy 6% and Serbia 5%.  

The distribution of petrochemical products sold by Rompetrol Rafinare was undertaken by means of auto and railway in the case of sales on the domestic market.  For sales on the foreign market, the distribution of these products was made both by means of automotive and maritime transport through the ports of Agigea and Constanta.

HIP Petrohemija-polyolefin production Jan-Dec 2023

Serbian Polymer Exports (unit-kilo tons)

Product

Jan-Dec 23

Jan-Dec 22

Polyethylene

94.893

119.566

Polypropylene

14.532

16.108

Styrene Butadiene Rubber

17.732

19.400

HIP Petrohemija at Pancevo reduced polyethylene exports in 2023 to 94,893 tons against 119,566 tons in 2022, with revenues dropping from $182.6 million to $112.5 million.  Currently Petrohemija does not produce polypropylene but supplies propylene to Hipol at Od┼żaci where a 35,000 tpa plant is in operation.  Petrohemija has already started construction of its own polypropylene plant at Pancevo.     NIS will invest more than €150 million in the construction of a new polypropylene plant.  NIS increased its ownership stake in Petrohemija from 20.86% to 90%, with the obligation of recapitalization in the amount of €150 million and the construction of a polypropylene plant.

Hungarian polyethylene trade Jan-Dec 2023

Hungarian Polyethylene Imports

(unit-kilo tons)

Product

Jan-Dec 23

Jan-Dec 22

LLDPE

34.363

23.547

LDPE

45.198

55.691

HDPE

85.065

99.715

EAO

9.335

11.140

EVA

4.285

5.962

Other

21.918

22.733

Total

200.163

218.789

Av € per ton

1588.3

1709.3

Hungary remains a net exporter of LDPE and HDPE and still a net importer of LLDPE and ethylene copolymers.  Imports of all grades of polyethylene into Hungary amounted to 200,163 tons in 2023 against 218,789 tons in 2022.  Import costs for polyethylene fell to €317.924 million against €373.967 million. 

Hungarian Polyethylene Exports

(unit-kilo tons)

Product

Jan-Dec 23

Jan-Dec 22

LLDPE

6.259

5.220

LDPE

80.758

85.083

HDPE

216.556

226.303

Other

31.420

20.071

Total

334.992

337.120

Av € per ton

1246.5

1584.6

Hungarian import prices for polyethylene decreased on average from €1709.3 in January to December 2022 to €1588.3 in 2023.  Gradual price declines took place throughout the year.

Hungarian polyethylene exports amounted to 334,992 tons in 2023 versus 337,120 tons in 2022.  Revenues fell from €525.561 million to €421.915 million in 2023, resulting in average prices dropping from €1559.0 per ton in 2022 to €1259.5 per ton. 

Polish polypropylene production & prospects

Polish polypropylene production dropped from 24,900 tons in January 2023 to 21,600 tons in January 2024.   Currently polypropylene production in Poland takes place at Plock but depending on Azoty’s finances production could start soon at the new Polimery Police plant.  This plant was expected to start in August or September 2023, but problems with the equipment during the start-up phase has been the cause of the delay.  Hyundai had set the start-up date for 13 February 2024, but this has been revised to some stage in the first quarter.

Polimery Police-prospects for success

At the start of March Grupa Azoty Polyolefins reached agreement with financial institutions for financing the completion of the Polimery Project.  The agreement involved the requirement that Grupa Azoty and Grupa Azoty Zaklady Chemiczne Police will pay the remaining amount of the loan, up to €105 million by 27 March. 

The agreement is an important step on the way to the start of commercial operation of the plant.  Completion of the project is associated with the achievement and maintenance by Hyundai of the guaranteed parameters in the license agreements for the PDH propylene production unit and the PP polypropylene production unit.

The domestic market offers great scope for sales as Poland possesses a huge imbalance in polypropylene supply.   This is despite the decline in consumption in the past two years, dropping from 1.103 million tons in 2021 to 954,800 tons in 2022 to 944,500 tons in 2023. 

Polypropylene production was higher in 2022 over 2021, rising to 321,800 tons over 301,700 tons, but then dropped to 265,100 tons in 2023.  Both exports and imports dropped in 2023 to 892,600 tons and 213,100 tons respectively.

Polish PP Trade Jan-2024

Polish PP Imports (unit-kilo tons)

Category

Jan-24

Jan-23

PP homo

56.820

45.087

Propylene copolymers

26.082

22.516

Other

1.477

1.058

Total

84.558

68.809

Av € per ton

1332.1

1573.9

Polish polypropylene imports, including homo grade and copolymers, increased in January against January 2023, rising from 68,809 tons to 84,558 tons.   Average prices per ton decreased from €1573.9 to €1332.1 per ton. 

Polish PP Exports (unit-kilo tons)

Category

Jan-24

Jan-23

PP homo

15.366

13.441

Propylene copolymers

5.424

7.326

Other

0.376

0.319

Total

21.210

21.148

Av € per ton

1366.6

1531.9

Homo grade polypropylene imports increased from 45,087 tons to 56,820 tons, whilst copolymer imports dropped from 22,516 tons to 26,082 tons.   Aside European suppliers for homo grade PP, South Korea provided 5,963 tons to Poland in January.  The largest supplier of copolymers was Germany, providing 6,770 tons in January followed by the Netherlands with 4,912 tons.

Regarding export activity from Poland, shipments amounted to 21,210 tons in January, against 21,148 tons in January 2023.  Despite the similarity of volumes prices dropped from €1531.9 per ton last year to €1366.6 this year. 

 

Czech polypropylene production and trade Jan-2024

 

Czech polypropylene exports

(unit-kilo tons)

Product

Jan-24

Jan-23

PP Homo

18.289

21.875

Propylene Copolymers

4.212

4.174

Other

0.498

0.353

Total

23.000

26.402

Av € per ton

1392.0

1530.7

Exports of all forms of polypropylene from the Czech Republic amounted to 23,000 tons in January against 26,402 tons in January 2023, with average prices dropping from €1530.7 per ton to €1392.0 per ton. 

Czech polypropylene imports

(unit-kilo tons)

Product

Jan-24

Jan-23

PP Homo

25.526

23.162

Propylene Copolymers

17.242

15.975

Other

1.163

1.354

Total

43.931

40.491

Av € per ton

1485.9

1693.7

Homo-grade PP provides the main category of Czech polypropylene exports, amounting to 18,289 tons versus 21,875 tons in January 2023.   Imports of homo grade PP increased from 23,162 tons last year to 25,526 tons, whilst copolymer imports increased from 15,975 tons to 17,242 tons in January 2024. 

For imports of all forms of polypropylene, Czech inward shipments increased from 40,491 tons in January 2023 to 43,931 tons in January this year, with average prices dropping from €1693.7 per ton to €1485.9 per ton. 

 

 

Hungarian polypropylene trade Jan-Dec 2023

 

 

Hungarian Polypropylene Imports

(unit-kilo tons)

Product

Jan-Dec 23

Jan-Dec 22

PP homo

118.779

124.790

Propylene copolymers

50.818

56.461

Others

29.529

28.860

Total

199.126

210.111

Av € per ton

1605.0

1792.9

MOL shipped 122,750 tons of homo grade polypropylene (valued at €163.023 million) in January to December 2023 versus 121,977 tons in 2022 (€199.513 million in value).  Copolymer exports dropped from 93,630 tons (€166.023 million in value) to 86,965 tons (€122.294 million).    Hungarian export revenues dropped for all grades of polypropylene from €384.606 million to €303.820 million, with average prices dropping from €1662.4 per ton to €1350.8. 

Hungarian Polypropylene Exports

(unit-kilo tons)

Product

Jan-Dec 23

Jan-Dec 22

PP homo

122.750

121.977

Propylene copolymers

86.965

93.630

Others

15.197

15.749

Total

224.913

231.356

Av € per ton

1350.8

1662.4

Imports of polypropylene into Hungary totalled 199,126 tons in 2023 against 210,111 tons in 2022 with average prices falling from €1792.9 per ton to €1605.0 per ton. 

Homo PP imports dropped from 124,790 tons to 118,779 tons in 2023, whilst copolymer imports dropped from 56,461 tons to 50,818 tons.  The Czech Republic was the largest source of homo PP imports, followed by South Korea and Germany.  

 

Czech synthetic rubber trade Jan-2024

Czech Rubber Trade (unit-kilo tons)

 

Jan-24

Jan-23

 Exports synthetic rubber

1674.8

2103.9

Imports synthetic rubber

2067.3

2473.9

Imports natural rubber

1656.4

1739.6

European rubber trade prices could see some rises in the second quarter due to some supply side pressure.  Price rises for synthetic rubber could be influenced from natural rubber where major exporting nations such as Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia have increased prices in March to consumers such as the US and Germany.

Czech Butadiene Rubber Exports

(unit-kilo tons)

Country

Jan-24

Jan-23

France

0.514

0.554

Germany

0.711

0.000

Hungary

0.739

0.356

India

1.077

0.665

Italy

0.661

0.000

Poland

1.170

1.324

Romania

0.838

0.000

Serbia

0.378

0.139

Slovakia

1.034

0.893

South Korea

0.522

1.029

Spain

0.949

0.000

Turkey

0.897

0.404

Others

1.670

2.477

Total

11.160

7.841

Revenues €

17.031

16.342

Price

1526.0

2084.057

Czech rubber trade prices started 2024 at fairly stable levels although much lower than at the start of 2023.  Export prices of synthetic rubber prices dropped from €2103.9 per ton to €1674.8 per ton whilst import prices dropped from €2473.9 per ton to €2067.3 per ton.   

Czech exports of synthetic rubber amounted to 149,520 tons in January to December 2023 versus 182,509 tons in 2022.  Imports declined from 155,873 tons to 98,084 tons in January to December 2023.  Natural rubber imports into the Czech Republic dropped slightly from 91,849 tons to 88,822 tons.   

Czech imports of butadiene amounted to 11,020 tons in January whilst exports amounted to 12,950 tons.  Imports increased from 10,574 tons in January 2023 and exports dropped slightly from 12,660 tons. 

The largest share of synthetic rubber exports from the Czech Republic comprises butadiene rubber where exports amounted to 11,160 tons in January against 7,841 tons in January 2023.  Exports of ESBR have almost been phased out after the closure of the Kralupy plant in March last year. 

Czech exports of butadiene rubber to are sold mostly to European customers but also India and South Korea.  Besides exports the Czech Republic also imported 1,814 tons of butadiene rubber in January versus 27,530 tons in the same period in 2022.  Average export prices fell from €2084.1 per ton to €1526.0 per ton.    

Hungarian synthetic rubber imports Jan-Dec 2023

Hungarian synthetic rubber Imports

(unit-kilo tons)

Product

Jan-Dec 23

Jan-Dec 22

Butadiene Rubber

43.470

48.207

HBR

7.874

15.268

SBR

50.948

48.447

Other

21.860

20.475

Total

124.151

132.397

Revenues € mil

275.309

377.669

Av € per ton

2217.5

2852.6

Hungarian imports of synthetic rubber amounted to 124,151 tons in 2023 versus 132,397 tons in January to December 2022, whilst import costs dropped from €377.669 million to €275.309 million.  Average prices dropped from €2852.6 per ton to €2217.5 in 2023.  Butadiene rubber imports into Hungary declined from 48,207 tons to 43,470 tons, with costs dropping from €108.353 million to €77.916 million.  Imports from Russia into Hungary dropped from 13,142 tons to 2,318 tons in January to December 2023 whilst imports from Indonesia rose to 14,479 tons from 8,288 tons.    

Aside imports of synthetic rubber Hungarian exports amounted to 66,059 tons in 2023 for revenues of €185.194 million, which showed an increase over 2022 from 60,353 tons for revenues of €161.756 million.  The largest share of Hungarian exports in 2023 comprised SBR (HS code: 40021930) for 46,428 tons which increased from 31,241 tons in 2022.  Revenues increased from €93.110 million to €138.588 million.  Synthetic rubber produced at Tiszaujvaros is part of a joint venture with Japan Synthetic Rubber holding 51% and MOL 49%. 

 

Polish rubber prices and trade, Jan-2024

 

Rubber import prices into Poland for both synthetic and natural have seen gradual declines from last year as a combination of economic factors have taken effect.  Poland imported 20,856 tons of synthetic rubber in January against 20,910 tons in January 2023. 

Polish Synthetic Rubber Imports

(unit-kilo tons)

Product

Jan-24

Jan-24

ESBR

1.467

1.454

Block SBR

2.656

2.422

S-SBR

1.844

2.384

Butadiene Rubber

5.630

3.297

Butyl Rubber

0.485

0.193

HBR

0.232

2.474

NBR

0.637

0.114

Isoprene Rubber

2.351

0.494

EPDM

3.146

3.559

Others

2.408

4.520

Total

20.856

20.910

Av € per ton

1,746.4

2,063.9

Imports of butadiene rubber amounted to 5,630 tons in January of which Russia supplied 2,298 tons.  Russia also supplied 2,253 tons of isoprene rubber to Poland in January from the total of 2,351 tons. 

Imports of halogenated butyl rubber from Russia have now been phased out which meant that Polish imports dropped from 2,474 tons in January 2023 to only 232 tons this year.   In other categories of Polish imports of synthetic rubber inward shipments of EPDM dropped from 3,559 tons in January last year to 3,146 tons this January.  Block SBR imports increased from 2,422 tons to 2,656 tons, with Russia supplying 1,117 tons from Voronezhsintezkaucuk.  Deliveries of synthetic rubber from Russia will be allowed up to June 2024, after which EU sanctions will take full effect.   

Polish Exports of Synthetic Rubber

(unit-kilo tons)

Product

Jan-24

Jan-23

SBR

17.341

12.301

Butadiene Rubber

4.702

3.888

HBR

0.409

0.180

Others

4.243

2.721

Total

26.694

19.089

Av € per ton

1506.0

2259.5

Synthetic rubber exports from Poland amounted to 26,694 tons in January which was up from 19,089 tons in the same month last year.  Exports of butadiene rubber from Poland amounted to 4,702 tons against 3,888 tons, whilst exports of SBRs increased from 12,301 tons to 17,341 tons.  Major destinations for Polish butadiene exports were led by Belgium and the Czech Republic.  In other product areas Poland increased exports in January of butyl rubber and isoprene rubber.   Overall average prices for synthetic rubber exports dropped from €2259.5 per ton in January 2023 to €1506.0 in January this year. 

Synthos production January 2024

Synthos reduced the production of synthetic rubber in January to 20,500 tons from 20,900 tons in the same month in 2023.  Polystyrene production at Oswiecim decreased from 6,300 tons to 5,100 tons and the production of expandable polystyrene dropped from 8,400 tons to 7,800 tons.

Synthos Production (unit-kilo tons)

 Product

Jan-24

Jan-23

 Polystyrene

5.1

6.3

 EPS

7.8

8.4

 Synthetic Rubber

20.5

20.9

Synthos Synthetic Rubber, with production facilities in Germany, the Czech Republic and Poland, has received ISCC low emission certification for its entire portfolio of synthetic rubber products. These include solution styrene-butadiene rubber (S-SBR), emulsion styrene-butadiene rubber (E-SBR), high and low cis polybutadiene rubber (Nd-BR, Ni-BR and Li-BR) and recycled rubber powder.  With sanctions on Russian rubber trade taking full effect in June this year Synthos is likely to fill part of the market gaps for some grades, particularly butadiene rubber. 

As a non-integrated producer feedstock supply remains one of the chief challenges for Synthos.  In an attempt to address the supply of butadiene monomer Synthos signed a preliminary agreement with OMV at the end of 2023 to commit to a long-term cooperation on sustainable butadiene until 2030.  This initially involves using palm fatty acid distillate as raw materials.  Sustainable butadiene will be produced in the steam cracker at the Burghausen refinery in Germany. A first batch of sustainable butadiene was successfully delivered to Synthos in 2023.

Synthos will use the butadiene to produce Solution Styrene-Butadiene Rubber (S-SBR), which is used in high performance tire tread compounds for low rolling resistance, which means reducing the energy loss of a tire rolling on the road. This in turn increases the vehicle’s energy efficiency and reduces environmental impact.  All Synthos production facilities, including Synthetic Rubber plants in Poland, Czech Republic and Germany, received full ISCC PLUS certification in 2022.

Polish aromatic exports Jan-2024

Polish Exports of Benzene (unit-kilo tons)

Country

Jan-24

Jan-23

Czech Republic

1.086

5.307

Germany

10.234

9.999

Others

0.000

1.042

Total

11.320

16.348

Av €/ton

785.868

774.164

Polish exports of benzene totalled 11,320 tons in January this year against 16,348 tons in January last year.  Germany purchased 10,234 tons from Poland in January which was up on 9,999 tons from last year whilst shipments to the Czech Republic dropped 5,307 tons to 1,086 tons.  Average prices amounted to €785.9 per ton in January.  Benzene is produced in Poland at Kedzierzyn-Kozle and Plock. 

Polish PTA Exports (unit-kilo tons)

Country

Jan-24

Jan-23

France

0.761

0.000

Germany

19.736

17.812

Lithuania

0.516

0.000

Switzerland

0.000

1.278

Others

1.416

1.157

Total

22.430

20.247

Av Price €

771.4

987.3

PTA exports from Poland increased to 22,430 tons in January this year against 20,247 tons in January 2023, although still down on traditional volumes.  Exports to Germany rose to 19,736 tons from 17,812 tons.  Export prices dropped from €987.3 per ton to €771.4 per ton. 

PTA consumption in Poland is based largely on two PET plants in Poland which are owned by Indorama and Elana PET.  Indorama operates a PET plant at Wloclawek with a capacity of 216,000 tpa.  There is a smaller PET plant at Torun, managed by Elana PET which is part of the holding Boryszew.  Regarding trade in PET imports into Poland amounted to 228,604 tons in 2023 for costs of €253.724 million whilst exports from Poland amounted to 130,561 tons for €161.774 million.

Other important regional plants include the Neo Group in Lithuania which resumed operations on its third PET production line at its Klaipeda facility at the end of February.  At full capacity the company can produce 480,000 tpa of PET.  The Klaipeda plant also has a capacity of 9,000 tpa of polyols.

Polish-Czech aromatic imports Jan-2024

Polish Aromatic Imports (unit-kilo tons)

Product

Jan-24

Jan-23

Adipic Acid

2.550

1.181

Bisphenol A

0.934

0.000

Caprolactam

0.647

0.531

Ethylbenzene

11.496

10.442

Paraxylene

0.000

34.150

enol

7.107

7.078

Phthalic Anhydride

2.483

1.645

PTA

0.741

0.586

Styrene

4.223

7.165

TDI

6.971

5.008

Toluene

1.593

1.954

Phenol imports into Poland amounted to 7,107 tons in January 2024 which was up from 6,519 tons in January 2023.  Germany is the dominant supplier of phenol to Poland, shipping 5,567 tons in January.  Other sources include Spain.

Czech Aromatic Exports (unit-kilo tons)

Product

Jan-24

Jan-23

Benzene

2.045

0.000

Toluene

1.289

0.728

Ethylbenzene

11.492

10.439

Styrene

1.528

4.995

Czech Aromatic Imports (unit-kilo tons)

Product

Jan-24

Jan-23

Benzene

3.134

7.357

Toluene

0.559

0.631

Styrene

0.246

0.662

Bisphenol A

2.268

1.674

Phthalic anhydride imports into Poland increased from 1,645 tons in January last year to 2,483 tons, most of which came from South Korea and the Czech Republic.  Phthalic anhydride is used in Poland for the production of unsaturated polyester resins,

In other product areas, styrene imports amounted to 4,223 tons in January versus 7,165 tons whilst ethylbenzene imports increased from 10,442 tons to 11,496 tons.  All of the ethylbenzene imports come from the Kralupy plant in the Czech Republic.  In confirmation of Polish numbers Czech exports of ethylbenzene amounted to 11,492 tons in January against 10,439 tons in the same month in 2023.  All the ethylbenzene was shipped to Oswiecim, all within the structures of the Synthos Group.  Styrene exports from the Czech Republic dropped from 4,995 tons in January last year to 1,528 tons whilst at the same time imports dropped from 662 tons to 246 tons. 

Benzene exports from the Czech Republic amounted to 2,045 tons in January, all of which went to Hungary for €1.546 million.  Hungary does not normally import benzene.  Imports of benzene into the Czech Republic dropped from 7,359 tons in January 2023 to 3,134 tons in January 2023.   Benzene imports were sourced from Hungary, Poland and Serbia

Bisphenol A imports into the Czech Republic totalled 2,268 tons in January against 1,674 tons in January 2023.  Average prices dropped from €1776.9 per ton to €1410.1 per ton.  Belgium was the largest source of imports in January this year, amounting to 814 tons followed by South Korea with 704 tons.

Central European epoxy resin trade Jan-2024

Czech Exports of Epoxy Resins (unit-kilo tons)

Country

Jan-24

Jan-23

Austria

0.162

0.276

Germany

1.990

2.051

Spain

0.345

0.228

Italy

0.433

0.564

Poland

0.169

0.196

Others

0.723

1.418

Total

3.822

4.735

Av Price per ton

2390.5

3671.2

Czech exports of epoxy resins amounted to 3,822 tons in January against 4,735 tons in January 2023.  Average prices dropped sharply in the corresponding first months of each yea, dropping from €3671.2 per ton to €2390.5 per ton. 

Polish Epoxy Resin Trade

Jan-2024

 

Ktons

€ million

Exports

0.942

3.132

Imports

1.771

6.393

Most of Spolchemie’s epoxy resin production is exported, with a share of the Czech market amounting to only 5%.  Besides Bisphenol A, Spolchemie also uses epichlorohydrin in the production of epoxy resins, which it produces itself from renewable resource (glycerine).   The company more epichlorohydrin than it needs for epoxy resin production and thus exports up to 5,000 tpa.  

Polish imports of epoxy resins amounted to 1,771 tons in January against exports of 942 tons.  Costs amounted to €6.393 million against export revenues of €3.132 million.  Epoxy resins production in Poland is undertaken by Lerg at Pustkow, to the east of Krakow. 

Hungarian aromatic imports Jan-Dec 2023

Hungarian Benzene Exports (unit-kilo tons)

Country

Jan-Dec 23

Jan-Dec 22

Belgium

7.416

8.210

Czech Republic

1.005

16.709

Germany

25.473

50.987

France

12.237

14.453

Italy

1.262

8.834

Netherlands

16.677

2.000

Poland

0.000

1.018

Russia

0.000

0.000

Total

64.070

102.209

Av € per ton

830.2

1008.4

Hungarian benzene exported 64,070 tons of benzene in 2023 against 102,209 tons in 2022.  In other areas of aromatic trade Hungary imported 76,991 tons of styrene in 2023, whilst exporting 25,226 tons of orthoxylene.

Germany was the largest customer got Hungarian benzene in 2023, taking 25,473 tons against 50,987 tons in 2022.  At the same time shipments to the Netherlands increased from 2,000 tons to 16,677 tons.  Average prices for Hungarian exports dropped to €830.1 per ton from €1008.4 per ton in 2022.  Besides exports Hungary imported 8,051 tons in 2023.

Hungarian Toluene Imports (unit-kilo tons)

 

2023

2022

2021

Ktons

43.235

35.068

46.222

$ mil

49.180

38.171

30.064

Av € per ton

1137.5

1088.5

650.4

Toluene imports into Hungary amounted to 43,235 tons in 2023 for €49.180 million in value.  This compares against 35,068 tons in 2022 for a total value of €38.171 million. 

Average cost prices for toluene averaged €1137.5 per ton in 2023 against €1088.5 in 2022.  Germany was the largest supplier of toluene to Hungary in the period January to December 2023, amounting to 21,223 tons which was up from 16,427 tons in 2022.  Slovakia reduced shipments from Slovnaft’s refinery to 8,152 tons to 8,688 tons, whilst Poland reduced shipments from 5,913 tons to 1,398 tons.  The Netherlands was a new supplier to Hungary in 2023, proving 5,822 tons. 

Hungarian TDI-MDI exports Jan-Dec 2023

Hungarian TDI Exports

(unit-kilo tons)

Country

Jan-Dec 23

Jan-Dec 22

Austria

2.916

2.679

Belgium

29.732

20.026

Germany

9.922

13.101

Italy

27.254

33.286

Poland

28.346

31.662

Portugal

11.701

11.966

Romania

14.479

14.306

Spain

10.050

9.417

Turkey

33.265

32.917

Others

74.222

60.225

Total

241.887

229.585

Av € per ton

2429.8

2906.7

Hungarian TDI exports increased to 241,887 tons against 229,585 tons in January to December 2022.  The second half of 2023 showed stability in TDI shipments, in comparison to the lower-than-normal export volumes in the third and fourth quarters in 2022.  Average prices dropped from €2906.7 per ton to €2429.8 in 2023.  Prices dropped from a peak of €3255.4 per ton in January to €2009.3 per ton in December 2023 which measured against €3389.1 per ton in December 2022. 

Hungarian MDI Exports

(unit-kilo tons)

Country

Jan-Dec 23

Jan-Dec 22

Czech Republic

6.988

6.100

Germany

20.493

21.115

Italy

10.050

5.094

France

9.237

8.953

UK

6.272

6.662

Poland

32.536

30.438

Romania

14.646

19.260

Turkey

13.620

11.132

US

0.000

23.562

Others

57.754

53.179

Total

171.595

185.496

Av price

1947.4

2338.2

Regarding destinations, exports of TDI to Belgium rose from 20,026 tons in 2022 to 29,732 tons in 2023 whilst volumes to Italy fell from 33,286 tons to 27,254 tons.  In other parts of West Europe Hungarian TDI exports to Portugal dropped from 11,966 tons to 11,701 tons, and to Spain rose from 9,417 tons to 10,050 tons.  In Central Europe shipments to Poland fell from 31,662 tons to 28,346 tons and Romania increased from 14,306 tons to 14,479 tons.

MDI exports from Hungary dropped in 2023 to 171,595 tons from 185,496 tons in 2022.  The first half of 2022 saw high volume shipments (116,700 tons) but only 68,400 tons were shipped in the second half of 2022.  Throughout 2023 export volumes were slightly more balanced with 91,700 tons shipped in the first half and 79,200 tons in the second. 

Poland was the largest destination for Hungarian MDI exports, shipping 32,536 tons in 2023 versus 30,438 tons in 2022.  Romania is the second largest market in Central and South East Europe, taking 14,646 tons in 2023 which was down from 19,260 tons.  

 

The most significant drop in Hungarian sales was the US where no shipments were made in 2023 against 23,562 tons in January to December 2022.  MDI export prices underwent a different price cycle to TDI, dropping from €2338.2 per ton to €1947.4 per ton in 2023.

 

Central European isocyanate trade

Czech MDI imports (unit-kilo tons)

Country

Jan-24

Jan-23

Belgium

0.586

0.741

Hungary

0.270

0.784

Netherlands

0.738

0.315

Others

0.464

0.648

Total

2.057

2.487

Av Price € per ton

2050.0

2766.3

MDI imports into the Czech Republic totalled 2,057 tons in January 2024 against 2,487 tons in the same month in 2023.  Average prices dropped from €2766.3 per ton to €2050.0 per ton.    

Polish MDI Imports (unit-kilo tons)

Country

Jan-24

Jan-23

Germany

4.542

3.083

Netherlands

1.338

0.961

Hungary

3.708

3.318

Belgium

2.251

1.907

Others

0.998

0.605

Total

12.837

9.875

Av Price € per ton

1793.3

2358.1

MDI import prices for Poland dropped from €2358.1 per ton in January last year to €1793.3 per ton in January 2024, but volume imports increased from 9,875 tons to 12,837 tons.   Germany provided the largest share of imports, rising from 3,083 tons to 4,542 tons whilst Hungarian shipments rose from 3,318 tons to 3,708 tons. 

TDI imports into Poland amounted to 6,971 tons in January which was up from 5,008 tons in last January, with average prices dropping from €3369.4 per ton to €2051.1.  Germany increased shipments from 1,414 tons in January 2023 to 2,132 tons whilst imports from Hungary increased from 2,049 tons to 2,894 tons.

Polish TDI Imports (unit-kilo tons)

Country

Jan-24

Jan-23

Belgium

0.250

0.277

Germany

2.132

1.414

Hungary

2.894

2.049

Netherlands

0.250

0.283

Saudi Arabia

0.078

0.344

South Korea

0.845

0.093

Others

0.378

0.548

Total

6.971

5.008

Av € per ton

2051.1

3369.4

European polyol market

Polyol prices witnessed some degree of stabilisation in the latter part of 2023, although consumption remains under pressure.  The downward trend of consumption started in the second half of 2022 and was particularly noticeable in the first half of 2023.  Demand for polyethers returned to growth in September 2023 after the holiday period, a trend that continued in Q4 leading to a return to growth in sales prices.   

The most affected industries consuming polyols were construction, comfort (mattresses, chairs, furniture) and home appliances.  Low consumption of polyethers generated a continuous decrease in prices in 2023. The pressure on prices was accentuated by massive imports from China and Korea.

European prices for rigid polyols dropped from €2550 per ton in January 2023 to €2100 in December whilst flexible polyols fell from €1825 per ton to €1400 per ton.  In the fourth quarter, polyether prices increased on average by €100/ton compared to September. Quantities sold by producers and traders increased by 10% compared to the third quarter.  Total sales for the company amounted to 80,138 tons in 2023, which was 5% lower than in 2022.

Prospects for the European polyurethane sector in 2024 appear slightly better for 2024, but there are numerous external events such as problems in the Suez Canal, military tensions in the Middle East and of course the situation in Ukraine.

Regarding polyol competition from Asia, the delays caused in transportation issues could add another 14-20 days to delivery.  This could apply particularly to flexible polyols, where alternative transport routes (depending on loading ports in China and South Korea), could leading to an increase in transport cost by €100/ton. Theoretically, this will reduce the flow of imports or delay monthly imports of 5-10,000 tons of polyol that frequently arrive from Asia, and European production will have to adapt.

Thus imports are expected to fall this year and combined with plant outages in Europe undertaken in the first quarter could tighten the supply side and allow prices to rise.  This reduction in the availability of polyethers in the market could lead to a more balanced situation, and manufacturers will certainly try to regain some of profitability after almost a year of minimal or negative profitability.

Czech polyol imports Jan-2024

Czech Polyol Imports (unit-kilo tons)

Country

Jan-24

Jan-23

Belgium

0.987

1.223

Germany

0.663

0.760

France

0.929

0.573

Netherlands

0.401

0.460

Romania

0.213

0.024

Slovakia

0.394

0.342

Others

0.344

0.387

Total

3.931

3.768

Av € per ton

2282.1

2419.9

Czech polyol imports amounted to 3,931 tons in January this year against 3,768 tons in January 2023.  The leading supplier to the Czech market was Belgium which shipped 987 tons in against 1,223 tons, followed by France which shipped 929 tons.  Average prices dropped from €2419.9 per ton to €2282.1 per ton.

Hungary imported 33,467 tons of polyols in the first ten months in 2023 against 27,624 tons in the same period in 2022.  The largest source of imports came from Belgium in the first ten months, amounting to 12,694 tons against 2,218 tons in the same period in 2022.  Deliveries from China amounted to 8,671 tons versus 10,028 tons. 

 

Polish polyol trade Jan-2024

 

Polish Polyol Imports (unit-kilo tons)

Country

Jan-24

Jan 23

Belgium

1.186

1.331

China

0.698

0.947

France

0.034

0.000

Germany

2.357

2.264

Netherlands

2.876

1.592

Romania

1.524

0.703

Saudi Arabia

0.432

0.000

South Korea

0.832

1.385

Others

0.989

1.714

Total

10.929

9.936

Av Price € per ton

1865.3

2225.4

Polish polyol imports amounted to 10,929 tons in January against 9,936 tons in January last year.  The major sources of imports came from Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.  Polyol import prices dropped from €2225.4 per ton to €1865.3 per ton.  The largest source of imports came from the Netherlands, rising from 1,592 tons to 2,876 tons this January followed by Germany which supplied 2,357 tons. 

Exports of polyols from Poland dropped from 5,292 tons in January 2023 against 4,340 tons in January this year with average prices dropping from €2278.1 per ton to €2022.3 per ton.  Nearly all exports were sold on European markets.

Polish Polyol Exports (unit-kilo tons)

Country

Jan-24

Jan-23

Austria

0.018

0.163

Belgium

0.342

0.243

Czech Republic

0.351

0.311

Denmark

0.330

0.362

Estonia

0.172

0.098

Germany

0.583

0.386

Hungary

0.094

0.849

Italy

0.567

0.643

Lithuania

0.245

0.275

Spain

0.218

0.272

Turkey

0.261

0.415

Others

1.159

1.277

Total

4.340

5.292

Price

2022.3

2278.1

 With the construction of a fifth production line for polyether polyols two years ago, PCC Rokita increased its capacity to 110,000 tpa (measured in terms of standard polyols). The fifth production line is mainly used to manufacture intermediate products for the further polyols production.

The PCC Rokita Group is the largest polyol producer for the production of polyurethanes used in the automotive, furniture and construction industries. The production of polyurethanes in Poland is carried out by Ciech Pianki at Bydgoszcz.  

The European polyol market is estimated to comprise around 600,000 tpa.   The main product group is polyester polyols and the dominant market is the segment of panel manufacturers layered.  Demand of this market segment is estimated at between 200-220,000 tpa.

Hungarian Polyol Imports (unit-kilo tons)

Country

Jan-Dec 23

Jan-Dec 22

Austria

0.790

0.321

Belgium

12.887

2.611

China

9.774

11.091

Germany

3.111

3.449

Italy

0.367

0.426

Netherlands

4.996

6.246

Poland

1.684

3.111

Romania

1.673

2.564

Others

2.446

0.988

Total

37.728

30.806

Hungarian imports of polyols increased in 2023 to 37,728 tons against 30,806 tons in 2022w with imports from Belgium increasing from 2,611 tons to 12,887 tons.  Volumes from China dropped from 11,091 tons to 9,774 tons. 

Polish oxide-glycol trade

Ethylene oxide imports into Poland amounted to 6,881 tons in January which was down from 10,971 tons in January last year.  Poland stopped importing ethylene oxide from Russia in May 2022 and Germany currently represents the main source of inward shipments.  Ethylene oxide is used in Poland mostly by PCC Rokita and PCC Exol.  Ethylene glycol imports dropped to 6,881 tons in January which was down from 10,971 tons last year.  Belgium supplied the largest volume of glycols to the Polish market.  

Polish EO/PO Imports (unit-kilo tons)

Product

Jan-24

Jan-23

DEG

2.247

1.961

Ethylene Glycol

6.881

10.971

Ethylene Oxide

1.102

2.364

Propylene Glycol

1.865

1.617

Regarding diethylene glycol (DEG), imports amounted to 2,247 tons in January against 1,961 tons last year.  In the past year Saudi Arabia has become the largest supplier of glycols to the Polish market. 

Increased consumption is one factor behind the increased imports from Saudi Arabia, the disappearance of Russian DEG has also meant that Polish consumers have had to buy from other sources.  Imports from Russia amounted to 7,807 tons in the whole of 2021 but dropped to 1,192 tons in 2022 and zero in 2023.

Hungarian maleic anhydride exports Jan-Dec 2023

Hungarian maleic anhydride exports

(unit-kilo tons)

Country

Jan-Dec 23

Jan-Dec 22

Austria

2.941

4.359

Germany

1.924

1.200

Italy

2.877

2.676

Poland

2.859

4.849

Slovenia

1.869

2.035

Others

7.355

5.744

Total

19.825

20.863

Av € per ton

1155.1

2032.8

Hungary exported 19,825 tons of maleic anhydride in 2023 against 20,863 tons in 2022, with average prices dropping from €2032.8 per ton to €1155.1 per ton.  Export shipments to Austria amounted to 2,941 tons against 4,359 tons in 2022, whilst exports to Poland dropped from 4,849 tons to 2,859 tons.  Other markets included Italy, Germany and Slovenia. 

Hungarian acrylonitrile imports Jan-Dec 2023

Hungarian imports of acrylonitrile

(unit-kilo tons)

Country

Jan-Dec 23

Jan-Dec 22

Germany

2.472

5.708

France

0.891

10.275

Netherlands

10.736

36.858

Russia

0.000

1.488

Others

3.374

3.373

Total

17.472

57.702

Av € per ton

2065.5

2335.2

Hungary imported 17,472 tons of acrylonitrile in 2023 against 57,702 tons in 2022.  The Netherlands was the main source of imports in both years, shipping 10,736 tons in January to December 2023 versus 36,858 tons in 2022.  Acrylonitrile prices dropped on average from €2335.2 per ton to €2065.4 per ton in 2023. 

Hungarian aniline imports Jan-Dec 2023

Hungarian aniline imports (unit-kilo tons)

Country

Jan-Dec 23

Jan-Dec 22

Belgium

24.545

17.129

China

11.067

0.120

Czech Republic

65.110

148.579

Others

2.031

7.345

Total

102.754

173.173

Av € per ton

1401.2

1733.8

Aniline imports into Hungary amounted to 102,754 tons in 2023 against 173,173 tons in 2022.  BorsodChem opened its new plants for nitrobenzene and aniline at the start of July 2022 which has reduced the need for imports.  The nitrobenzene plant consists of a capacity of 240,000 tpa and aniline at 200,000 tpa.  Shipments from BorsodChem-MCHZ in the Czech Republic to Hungary amounted to 65,110 tons against 148,579 tons in 2022.   Belgium supplied 24,545 tons in 2023 against 17,129 tons in 2022.  Cost prices of aniline imports into Hungary dropped from €1733.8 per ton to €1401.2 in 2023.

Polish organic chemical trade Jan-2024

Polish Organic Chemical Trade

Exports

Jan-24

Jan-23

Value (€ million)

118.5

148.3

Vol (kilo tons)

96.0

108.9

Imports

Jan-24

Jan-23

Value (€ million)

309.9

377.1

Vol (kilo tons)

201.4

206.4

Volumes and values of Polish organic chemical trade, in both exports and imports, were lower in January against January 2023 but at the same time showed signs of stabilisation.  Exports of organic chemical products dropped from 108,900 tons to 96,000 tons whilst revenues dropped from €148.3 million to €118.5 million.  Some of the main organic products exported by Poland include normal butyl acetate. 

Polish Organic Chemical Imports (unit-kilo tons)

Product

Jan-24

Jan-23

Acetic Acid

1.267

3.387

Acetone

0.224

0.616

Butadiene

7.019

6.759

DINP/DOP

1.784

0.000

Ethyl Acetate

1.405

0.918

Lysine

6.439

3.035

Maleic Anhydride

2.483

1.645

Methanol

44.461

52,201

Propylene

7.375

8.194

VAM

1.300

1.038

Imports of organic chemicals dropped slightly from €377.1 million to €309.9 million.  Methanol imports into Poland totalled 44,461 tons in January against 52,170 tons in January 2023. Acetic acid imports dropped from 3,285 tons to 1,269 tons, with average prices dropping from €1043.8 per ton to €632.7 per ton.

Ethyl acetate imports into Poland amounted to 1,405 tons in January 2024, with shipments arriving from Mexico, South Africa and Germany.  Average prices for ethyl acetate imports dropped from €1319.3 per ton in January 2023 to €1123.9 per ton this year.  VAM prices also reflected the lower feedstock costs, dropping from €1460.8 per ton in January last year to €1246.8.  Imports of VAM increased from 1038 tons to 1300 tons this year with Saudi Arabia providing over half of the supply.

Central European methanol trade Jan-2024

Czech Methanol Imports (unit-kilo tons)

Country

Jan-24

Jan-23

Estonia

1.212

0.000

Poland

4.044

4.851

Others

0.304

0.383

Total

6.863

6.975

Av € per ton

402.0

387.0

Czech imports of methanol amounted to 6,212 tons in January 2024 against 6,105 tons in January 2023.  Imports from Poland amounted to 4,851 tons versus 4,044 tons whilst Estonia supplied 1,212 tons.  Prices per ton for methanol imports amounted to €402.0 per ton in January.

Poland Methanol Imports (unit-kilo tons)

Country

Jan-24

Jan-23

Belgium

8.374

0.000

Estonia

0.598

0.000

Germany

6.649

3.208

Netherlands

0.145

3.946

Norway

8.401

6.300

Russia

0.000

33.690

Venezuela

20.245

0.000

Others

0.050

0.046

Total

44.461

52.170

Av € per ton

325.5

320.3

Imports of methanol into Poland were completely restructured in January this year with the leading supplier replaced by Venezuela against Russia.  Imports from Venezuela amounted to 20,245 tons in January against imports of 33,690 tons from Russia in January 2023.  Other sources this year have included shipments from Germany, Belgium and Norway. 

Poland Methanol Exports (unit-kilo tons)

Country

Jan-24

Jan-23

Austria

0.000

4.402

Czech

3.199

5.641

Germany

8.328

6.776

Romania

0.000

2.890

Slovakia

3.644

4.524

Ukraine

2.474

3.863

Hungary

0.000

0.411

Others

0.060

0.063

Total

17.705

28.569

Av € per ton

383.179

403.522

In place of Russian exports Poland increased imports from Norway, rising from 30,160 tons to 101,129 tons and from new countries such as Trinidad which supplied 43,007 tons in 2023 and Venezuela which supplied 38,759 tons.  Average costs for Polish methanol imports dropped from €380.4 per ton in 2022 to €301.8 in 2023.

Exports of methanol from Poland amounted to 17,705 tons in January against 28,569 tons in January 2023.  Trade increased in the first year of the war as Poland became a trading route for Russian methanol supply which could not access South East Europe directly.  However, the EU sanctions on Russian methanol means that this source of product is no longer available and as a result Polish volumes have fallen since 2023.  Average prices for Polish methanol exports dropped from €403.5 per ton in January last year to €383.2 in 2024.

Hungarian methanol imports (unit-kilo tons)

Country

Jan-Dec 23

Jan-Dec 22

Austria

2.137

2.778

Germany

35.513

16.456

Netherlands

26.702

12.464

Poland

10.358

24.092

Russia

0.000

21.526

Slovenia

7.630

3.635

Slovakia

4.591

23.469

Others

4.058

4.730

Total

90.989

109.150

Av € per ton

426.6

559.5

Imports of methanol into Hungary totalled 90,989 tons in 2023 versus 109,150 tons in 2022, with average prices falling from €559.5 per ton to €426.6 per ton.  Germany provided 35,513 tons which was up from 16,456 tons in 2022, whilst inward shipments from the Netherlands increased from 12,464 tons to 26,702 tons.  Imports from Russia were not carried out in 2023 against 21,526 tons in 2022. 

Azerbaijan has replaced some of Russia’s previous market share in Europe.  The top five importers of methanol from Azerbaijan include Romania, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Lithuania.   Exports to the EU from Azerbaijan’s SOCAR plant amounted to 260,700 tons in 2023 which was 0.4% down from 2022.  

Romania imported 82,300 tons of methanol from Azerbaijan in 2023 against 60,100 tons in 2022, whilst the Netherlands reduced imported from 105,800 tons in 2022 to 71,300 tons.  

Grupa Azoty Jan-2024

Grupa Azoty Production (unit-kilo tons)

Product

Jan-24

Jan-23

Nitrogen Fertilisers

2299

2741

Compound Fertilisers

264

769

Potassium Fertilisers

40

80

Pigments

9

24

Urea

796

1037

Oxo alcohols

53

146

Polyamide

48

126

Ammonia

33

23

Caprolactam

84.6

123.2

Speciality Fertilisers

132

247

Debt issues for Grupa Azoty have raised the spectre of deconsolidation even though the group wants to stay in its current format.  The government, which has an interest in Azoty, tends to want to retain the group as it stands at the same time there are question marks regarding the investment of a coal fired plant at Pulawy and the polypropylene project for Polimery Police. 

The new management team is currently working on a new strategy which may take several months before becoming evident.  The addition of the Polimery Police plant to Grupa Azoty could help significantly to the financial performance of Grupa Azoty which has been under pressure from energy and raw material costs in the past two years.  

Strong competition from Asian fertiliser producers, which benefit from both competitive labour costs and lower energy prices have been a major problem in the past two years.  Moreover, the plastics segment has had a very difficult time in conjunction with the downturn in the construction and automotive industries. High costs combined with weak demand have presented challenges to Grupa Azoty in managing production and sales.  In the chemical segment, prices are falling due to lower demand from European customers and thus effectively all the main product groups are under pressure. 

The company currently has high debt, high financing costs, and a new complex that is not yet generating cash.  Orlen has indicated that it is ready to take over the Pulawy plant from Grupa Azoty, but for at least the time being this interest has been rejected.

Chimcomplex Jan-Dec 2023

Romanian chemical producer Chimcomplex operated at a reduced capacity over 2023 due to market circumstances.  Costs declined last year for raw materials and energy, and average prices of one the company’s main feedstocks propylene reduced from €1241 per ton to €701 per ton.  Despite lower costs overall, margins have been restricted by lower prices for polyols.  Chloralkali sales helped offset the weakness in polyol sales and allowed the company to attain a 8% margin between January and December 2023.   Energy costs were significantly lower this year for both natural gas and electricity.

Chimcomplex Production (unit-kilo tons)

Product Group

Jan-Dec 22

Jan-Dec 22

Chloralkali

227.106

278.071

Propylene Oxide

51.457

65.690

Polyols

60.118

69.962

Plasticizers

1.889

9.842

Inorganic chlorides

4.933

10.075

Methylamines

0.994

1.362

Total

346.497

435.002

Chimcomplex Revenues (€ million)

Product Group

Jan-Dec 23

Jan-Dec 22

Petrochemicals

137.734

220.502

Chloralkali

130.975

200.262

Oxo alcohols

1.119

13.430

Other

11.603

28.475

Total

281.431

462.669

Chimcomplex’s turnover totalled €275 million in 2023, decreasing from €350.861 million in 2022.   The company recorded an operating profit of €22.542 million in 2023 and the net profit amounted to €15.296 million, decreasing from €23.160 million in 2022.  In the context of a continued decline in consumption that began in the second half of 2022, Chimcomplex’s sales volume decreased by 38% in 2023 compared to 2022.  However, cost reduction efforts led to achieving an operating profit margin of 8% in 2023.

The drop in turnover was caused by lower quantities sold by the company.  Chimcomplex focused its activity on the polyols/polyethers and caustic soda sectors, which were the most profitable. The share of the main products in total sales comprised 48.9% for polyols and 46.5% for chloralkali products.

 

PCC Rokita Jan-Dec 2023

 

PCC Rokita Margins

Product Group

Jan-Dec 23

Jan-Dec 22

Polyurethanes

4.1%

12.2%

Chloralkalis

26.7%

40.1%

Chemical

8.0%

27.1%

Due predominantly to the weakness in the polyurethane sector and polyol sales, PCC Rokita reduced net profits from  €143.994 million in 2022 to €59.155 million in 2023.  The company generated revenues of €527.381 million, which was 26% lower than in 2022.  In terms of product shares, polyols accounted for 42% of PCC Rokita’s sales, with the chlorine division accounting for 44% and phosphorous chemicals 8%.  By region, 48% of total sales were shipped to the Polish market, 24% to the EU,14% to Germany and 3% to Asia.

PCC Rokita Product Sales (unit-kilo tons)

Product Group

Jan-Dec 23

Jan-Dec 22

Polyurethanes

88.4

95.0

Chloralkalis

316.0

395.1

Chemical

20.3

25.4

PCC Rokita's sales (€ million)

Product Group

Jan-Dec 23

Jan-Dec 22

Polyurethanes

214.8

279.7

Chloralkalis

297.3

443.4

Chemical

36.0

51.6

PCC Rokita's Prices (€ per ton)

Product Group

Jan-Dec 23

Jan-Dec 22

Polyurethanes

2321.7

3387.1

Chloralkalis

728.4

718.4

Chemical

1779.1

2044.4

Revenues declined in all three sectors, but the chlorine division recorded the largest proportional fall.   The decline in revenues from these three complexes was caused, on the one hand, by lower sales volume and, on the other hand, by lower average sales prices of the offered products.

Significant factors affecting the segment's result in relation to 2022 included a decrease in demand for polyether polyols, increased market availability of polyether polyols from outside Europe, and a decline in prices and margins on the market.

Profitability in the European polyol sector has reached its lowest levels in many years, despite the improvement in the third and fourth quarters.  Margins for PCC Rokita’s polyurethanes dropped from 12.2% in January to December 2022 to only 4.1% in 2023, although the chlorine sector’s margins only dropped from 26.7% against 40.1%. 

 

PCC Exol Jan-Dec 2023

 

PCC Exol Margins

 

Jan-Dec 23

Jan-Dec 22

Total margins

18.3%

21.9%

Net margins

4.4%

10.1%

PCC Exol's sales (unit-kilo tons)

Product Group

Jan-Dec 23

Jan-Dec 22

Surfactants-detergents & cosmetics

67.4

66.9

Surfactants-industry

33.2

33.6

PCC Exol's sales (€ million)

Product Group

Jan-Dec 23

Jan-Dec 22

Surfactants- detergents & cosmetics

89.8

112.9

Surfactants-industry

74.7

94.9

PCC Exol's Prices (€ per ton)

Product Group

Jan-Dec 23

Jan-Dec 22

Surfactants- detergents & cosmetics

1332.9

1687.6

Surfactants-industry

2249.9

2825.6

The PCC Exol Group generated a net profit in 2023 that was almost 65% lower than 2022.  However, the comparative year, i.e. 2022, was a period in which record results were recorded, and thus 2023 was considered relatively successful. 

Sales of surfactants for detergents and cosmetics rose slightly from 66,900 tons to 67,400 tons in 2023, whilst sales of industrial surfactant sales dropped from 33,600 tons to 33,200 tons.  Prices for both categories fell from €1687.6 per ton to €1332.9 per ton and €2825.6 per ton to €2249.9 per ton.

In terms of market demand, in the first half of 2023, and especially in the second quarter, the market faced a decline in demand. The decline in demand was caused by high stocks of surfactants in many European companies.  In turn, in the second half of 2023, demand rs improved although tailing off towards the end of the year.  On the producers' side, the surfactant market in 2023 was characterized by oversupply, and at the same time, increased imports of surfactants to Europe were noted.  The further development of surfactant imports to Europe in 2024 may be influenced by the geopolitical situation in the Middle East and the fact that shipping owners are limiting imports through the Suez Canal due to terrorist attacks on commercial ships in that region.

Russian petrochemical and organic chemical production Jan-24

Russian Petrochemical Production (unit-kilo tons)

Product

Jan-24

Jan-23

Ethylene

409.3

391.3

Propylene

238.2

232.2

Benzene

129.5

113.4

Toluene

29.6

27.4

Xylenes

41.8

39.9

Orthoxylene

12.3

11.0

Paraxylene

20.8

20.2

Styrene

56.3

62.4

Ethylbenzene

59.8

70.9

Methanol

378.0

330.3

Isopropanol

6.1

5.7

Ethylene Glycol

39.6

38.5

Butanols

11.4

5.7

Phenol

23.6

15.9

Acetic Acid

23.4

15.9

Phthalic Anhydride

9.8

7.0

The chemical industry in Russia appears to be unaffected by the apparent damage to numerous Russian refineries from drone attacks in the past two months.   Drones have been focused on disrupting fuel supply rather disabling chemical plants.  Some of those refineries hit supply feedstocks to chemical plants, and that could become an issue. 

In January Russian chemical production started as it finished 2023 with volumes close to pre-invasion levels.  Ethylene production amounted to 409,300 tons in January against 391,300 tons in January 2023 whilst propylene production increased from 232,200 tons to 238,200 tons.

Aromatic monomer and derivative production in January was stable for most products, apart from ethylbenzene which fell from 70,900 tons to 59,800 tons and styrene which fell from 62,400 tons to 56,300 tons.   Production of aromatics could be affected by the increasing drone attacks on Russian refineries, which are aimed principally at disabling fuel sources.   Kirishi has already been hit once, whilst other aromatic producing refineries at Omsk and Ufa may be too far from the Ukrainian border to be targeted by drones. 

Russian polymer production Jan-2024

Russian Polymer Production

(unit-kilo tons)

Product

Jan-24

Jan-23

Plastics in Bulk

920.0

885.0

Polyethylene

316.1

317.8

Polystyrene

45.9

48.1

PVC

92.8

76.3

Polypropylene

197.9

193.1

Polyamide

11.7

11.5

Synthetic Rubber

121.7

121.4

Synthetic Fibres

13.7

14.1

The production of plastics in primary forms in Russia in January 2024 rose 3.9% to 920,000 tons.  The main stimulant from higher growth in plastics production came from PVC which rose by 27.3% over January 2023 whilst the production of formaldehyde resins increased by 12.6%.  At the same time, the production of polystyrene dropped 4.6% and polyacetals dropped 2.3%.  The volume of synthetic rubbers produced amounted to 121,700 tons versus 121,400 tons in January 2023. 

SIBUR’s domestic market sales increase but profits fall

SIBUR’s net profit is reported to have amounted to 168.510 billion roubles in 2023, equating roughly to $1.8 billion.  Data for the full year of 2022 is not available but for the nine months net profits amounted to 226.4 billion roubles which equated to roughly $2.5 billion.  The company’s debt increased by the end of 2023 to about 637 billion roubles against 635.2 billion roubles at the end of 2022.

SIBUR’s production of petrochemical products amounted to 8 million tons in 2023 of which 5.9 million tons, or around 75%, were sold on the domestic market.  SIBUR exported about 1.8 million tons to the countries of the Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East.  

Due to increased demand from Russian processors, sales of SIBUR's polypropylene and polyethylene in the domestic market increased by 11% compared to 2022.  In other product areas, sales of BOPP films increased by 16% in 2023, elastomers by 8%, and plastics and organic synthesis products by 11%.  Due to SIBUR’s exclusion from Western markets, the group now prioritises the domestic market and has become involved in a range of new product areas.  These include construction, medicine, flexible packaging, agriculture, mechanical engineering and housing and communal services.  Only synthetic rubber remains export-oriented whilst for basic polymers and special chemicals, SIBUR primarily focused on the Russian market.

Russian ethylene production, Jan-2024

Russian Ethylene Production (unit-kilo tons)

Region

Jan-24

Jan-23

North Caucasus Federal District

31.411

28.345

Volga Federal District

195.399

195.375

Ural federal district

136.115

124.126

Siberian Federal District

46.373

43.441

Total

409.298

391.287

Russian ethylene production totalled 409,226 tons in January 2024 against 391,287 tons in January 2023.  Regarding individual producers ZapSibNeftekhim at Tobolsk produced 136,115 tons up from 124,126 tons from January 2023.  The two Siberian crackers at Tomsk and Angarsk increased production from 43,441 tons to 46,373 tons.  

Russian Propylene Production (unit-kilo tons)

Region

Jan-24

Jan-23

North Caucasus Federal District

13.164

11.078

Volga Federal District

84.384

83.651

Ural federal district

94.633

95.427

Siberian Federal District

45.994

42.007

Total

238.175

232.163

Stavrolen at Budyennovsk increased production from 28,345 tons to 31,411 tons whilst production from the five plants in the Volga Urals region was almost the same at 195,399 tons versus 195,375 tons.   These plants included Nizhnekamskneftekhim and Kazanorgsintez in Tatarstan, Gazprom neftekhim Salavat and Ufaorgsintez in Bashkortostan, and SIBUR-Kstovo in the Nizhniy Novgorod region.   

Russian Propylene Domestic Sales (unit-kilo tons)

Producer

Jan-24

Jan-23

Angarsk Polymer Plant

4.523

2.187

SIBUR-Kstovo

17.427

12.378

LUKoil-NNOS

15.449

18.833

Stavrolen

0.000

3.302

Others

5.656

2.595

Total

37.399

38.662

Russian propylene production Jan-2024

Russian Propylene Domestic Purchases

(unit-kilo tons)

Consumer

Jan-24

Jan-23

Saratovorgsintez

13.814

16.035

Volzhskiy Orgsintez

1.166

0.889

Akrilat 

2.233

0.511

SIBUR-Khimprom

3.637

1.993

Omsk-Kaucuk

4.846

1.802

Tomskneftekhim

1.182

0.504

ZapSibNeftekhim

6.858

14.901

Moscow Refinery

0.873

0.250

Ufaorgsintez

0.302

1.269

Kazanorgsintez

0.690

0.000

Khimprom Kemerovo

0.331

0.508

Total

37.399

38.662

Russian propylene production amounted to 238,175 tons in January against 232,163 tons in January 2023.  ZapSibNeftekhim reduced production at Tobolsk slightly from 95,427 tons to 94,633 tons whilst the four plants located in the Volga-Urals produced 84,384 tons against 83,651 tons.  Stavrolen increased production from 11,078 tons to 13,164 tons and the Siberian plants increased from 42,007 tons to 45,994 tons.  

Russian sales of propylene on the domestic merchant market amounted to 37,399 tons in January 2024 against 38,662 tons last year.  The largest propylene supplier to the domestic market was SIBUR-Kstovo which increased sales from 12,378 tons to 17,427 tons. 

Regarding consumers Saratovorgsintez purchased 13,814 tons in January against 16,035 tons last year, whilst ZapSibNeftekhim reduced purchases from 14,901 tons to 6,858 tons. 

Russian butadiene production Jan-2024

Russian Butadiene Production (unit-kilo tons)

Producer

Jan-24

Jan-23

ZapSibNeftekhim

26.391

15.677

Nizhnekamskneftekhim

16.719

13.885

Togliattikaucuk

3.798

4.445

Sterlitamak Petrochemical Plant

2.086

2.350

Omsk Kaucuk

2.897

3.965

Total

51.891

40.322

Russian butadiene production totalled 51,891 tons in January this year against 40,322 tons in January 2023.  The largest producers ZapSibNeftekhim and Nizhnekamskneftekhim both increased production in January this year, rising to 26,391 tons and 16,719 tons respectively. 

ZapSibNeftekhim is the sole Russian butadiene producer which produces only for merchant market sales.  Nizhnekamskneftekhim processes most of its butadiene into rubber grades SKD-N and SKD-L.  Other producers of butadiene in Russia include Togliattikaucuk, Sterlitamak Petrochemical, and Omsk Kaucuk.

Russian plastics production Jan-2024

Russian bulk plastics production amounted to 920,000 tons in January this year against 885,000 tons in January 2023.  Despite the increase this year’s figure was still lower than the 946,000 tons in January 2022.   

Russian Ethylene Polymer Production by Region

Region

Jan-24

Jan-23

Central Federal District

6.565

9.573

Northwestern Federal District

2.505

2.706

Southern Federal District

0.000

2.410

North Caucasus Federal District

28.962

26.469

Volga Federal District

99.700

114.182

Ural federal district

145.596

130.525

Siberian Federal District

30.578

31.932

Far East

0.010

0.010

Total

313.906

317.798

Polyethylene production amounted to 313,906 tons in January 2024 against 317,798 tons in the first month last year.  The largest producer ZapSibNeftekhim at Tobolsk produced 145,596 tons against 130,525 tons.  Production in Siberia is undertaken at Tomsk and Angarsk and for both plants amounted to 30,578 tons in January 2024 versus 31,932 tons.  Tomskneftekhim produced a total of 444,000 tons of LDPE and polypropylene in 2023.  The increase in output at Tomsk was due to the modernisation of equipment and the undertaking of a number of technical improvements. 

Most of the polyethylene plants are close to running at full capacity, although Kazanorgsintez faces feedstock limitations.  Production in Russia should be boosted in 2025 following the completion of the new EP-600 cracker at Nizhnekamsk which is expected to be ready for production by the end of 2024.  Not only will this new ethylene plant provide feedstock for increased production at Nizhnekamskneftekhim, but it will also provide feedstock for Kazanorgsintez where polymer capacity exceeds olefin capacity.  As part of SIBUR’s investment at Nizhnekamskneftekhim, the new 50,000 hexene plant will enable the production of higher-grade polyethylene. 

Russian Propylene Polymer Production

(unit-kilo tons)

Region

Jan-24

Jan-23

Central Federal District

10.652

13.705

Northwestern Federal District

0.001

0.006

Southern Federal District

0.001

0.858

North Caucasus

10.910

7.572

Volga Federal District

38.148

35.968

Ural federal district

105.983

104.255

Siberian Federal District

32.237

30.759

Total

197.932

193.124

Russian polypropylene production Jan-2024

Production of propylene polymers in Russia amounted to 197,932 tons in January against 193,124 tons in January 2023.  ZapSibNeftekhim accounted for 105,983 tons which was up from 104,255 tons last year.   Nizhnekamskneftekhim and Ufaorgsintez jointly accounted for 38,148 tons in the first month in 2024 against 35,968 tons in January last year, whilst Stavrolen increased production to 10,910 tons from 7,572 tons.    

Russian trade in bulk polymers

Russian polymer exports have been in decline since 2022 and this trend followed into 2023, even if exports remain relatively important in some product areas.  The decrease in the share of exports in polymer shipments is due to higher demand from domestic processors which have increased activity since the mass exit of Western companies from the market. This scenario has allowed Russian processors not only to fill market gaps left by European suppliers, but also to be able to introduce new brands to the market.   Pipe polymers has seen the largest growth covering areas of the water and gas industries.

Russian polyethylene market 2023

Russian Polyethylene Sales

(unit-kilo tons)

Product

Total Sales

Exports

Export % of sales

2021

3402

1978

58.1

2022

3362

1743

51.8

2023

3389

1106

32.6

Polyethylene exports from Russia have been steadily declining for two years in parallel with the growth of domestic consumption.  Exports dropped to 1.106 million tons in 2023 compared to 1.978 million tons in 2021.  No exports to the EU countries and Ukraine were undertaken in 2023.  The main market has been and remains China.  Although volumes dropped from 407,649 tons in 2022 to 307,574 tons in 2023, the first two months of 2024 has seen higher volumes.    

The largest consumer of Russian polyethylene in 2023 was Turkey where shipments amounted to 428,000 tons which compares against 270,000 tons in 2021.  The reason shipments to Turkey have increased are largely connected with shorter transport distances and easier logistics.  China and Turkey accounted for around 90% of polyethylene exports from Russia last year.  Vietnam became the third largest export market in 2023 accounting for 63,000 tons, which is 2.5 times higher than in 2021. 

By contrast inward shipments of polyethylene from China into Russia increased by value in the first eleven months to 95,891 tons versus 48,379 tons in 2022 and 21,983 tons in 2021.   Russian imports of polyethylene from China started rising in the last few months in 2022 and then stabilised in for the first three quarters in 2023.  The fourth quarter saw more export more volumes which appear to have carried into 2024.

Russian PP market 2023

Russian Propylene Polymer Production

(unit-kilo tons)

Region

Jan-24

Jan-23

Central Federal District

10.652

13.705

Northwestern Federal District

0.001

0.006

Southern Federal District

0.001

0.858

North Caucasus

10.910

7.572

Volga Federal District

38.148

35.968

Ural federal district

105.983

104.255

Siberian Federal District

32.237

30.759

Total

197.932

193.124

Russian Polypropylene Sales

(unit-kilo tons)

Product

Total Sales

Exports

Export % of sales

2021

2113

730

34.5%

2022

1956

662

33.8%

2023

2075

 875

42.2%

Polypropylene exports amounted to 875,000 tons in 2023 against 662,000 tons in 2022. Polypropylene processing in the Russian domestic market has been slower than polyethylene to increase, whilst at the same time the shift in trade to China in the past two years has been successful.  Exports to China in 2023 amounted to 157,109 tons in 2023 against only 13,000 tons in 2021.   Exports to Uzbekistan have also risen in the past two years, amounting to 108,000 tons in 2023 against only 7,000 tons in 2022. 

Russian PVC & Polystyrene market 2023

Russian PVC Sales

(unit-kilo tons)

Product

Total Sales

Exports

Export % of sales

2021

1043

143

13.7%

2022

890

149

16.7%

2023

935

87

9.3%

Production of both PVC and polystyrene in Russia has declined since 2021 but have relatively withstood the impact of international sanctions.  PVC demand in Russia suffered more than any other of the bulk polymers from sanctions and production dropped from 1.095 million tons in 2021 to 970,300 tons in 2022.  As PVC demand recovered to an extent in the latter part of 2023 this led to increases in production and volumes last year were only slightly down on 2022.  The increased demand in 2023 also meant that there was less product available for exports which dropped from 149,000 tons in 2022 to 87,000 tons, dropping in share of total sales from 16.7% to 9.3%.

Turkey remained the largest importer of Russian PVC in 2023, although volumes dropped by half to 32,000 tons.  Shipments to Azerbaijan increased three-fold (up to 16,000 tons) and to Kazakhstan four-fold times (up to 19,000 tons). 

Russian Polystyrene Sales

(unit-kilo tons)

Product

Total Sales

Exports

Export % of sales

2021

564

39

6.9%

2022

544

61

11.2%

2023

529

26

4.9%

Polystyrene production in Russia is focused mainly on the domestic market.  Exports increased in 2022 for general-purpose polystyrene and impact-resistant polystyrene which mainly went to China.  At the same time, imports dropped sharply.  

Exports of expanded polystyrene in two years decreased by two and a half times, amounting to 8,400 tons in 2023. Prior to the war Ukraine was the main buyer of Russian expandable polystyrene, taking 10,584 tons in 2021 in addition to 1,933 tons of general-purpose polystyrene.  Turkey became the main sales market in 2023 and accounted for 62% of all Russian polystyrene exports. Uzbekistan was also a major buyer, which increased purchases by 2.5 times compared to 2021. This country accounted for 19% of Russian exports in 2023.

Russian paraxylene  production Jan-24

Russian Paraxylene Production (unit-kilo tons)

Region

Jan-24

Jan-23

Kirishinefteorgsintez

3.636

3.263

Ufaneftekhim

10.802

14.224

Gazprom Neft

10.001

6.001

Total

24.440

23.488

Russian paraxylene production amounted to 24,440 tons in January against 23,488 tons in the same month in 2023.  Ufaneftekhim reduced production from 14,224 tons to 10,001 tons whilst Gazprom Neft increased production from 6,001 tons to 10,001 tons.

Ufaneftekhim’s paraxylene capacity was increased to 260,000 tpa in 2022 but is operating at under 50% utilisation rate which is fairly indicative of the global market.  In the US, Ineos Aromatics has taken a strategic decision to indefinitely halt the operations of two paraxylene production lines at its Texas City facility in Texas. The affected lines have capacities of 525,000 tpa and 400,000 tpa. 

Russian PET consumption 2023

Overall consumption of PET preforms increased from 718,000 tons in 2022 to 744,000 tons in 2023.  At the same time, there was a redistribution of shares in the main segments of PET consumption. Consumption of PET preforms for bottles in Russia in the beer segment fell by 4.8% in 2023 against an increase of 2.5% in 2022.  Conversely the share of soft drinks increased to 25% after experiencing a decline in 2022. 

The shares of the water and milk segments in PET consumption showed growth for the second year.  Water production accounted for 25% of all preforms sold in the Russian market in 2021, and this share rose to 27% in 2022 and 28% in 2023.  Regarding the milk sector, only 5% of preforms were consumed in 2021, but this rose to 19% in 2022 and 20% in 2023.  Further growth is predicted in the water and milk segments.  PET bottles are not only more cost-effective due to its weight, but also much more environmentally friendly in terms of its recycling capabilities in Russia and its carbon footprint.  There are no restrictions at the legislative level on transparent PET for water, but it is required to be white for milk. 

The departure of some foreign brands from the Russian market has helped accelerated the development of the bottled water industry in Russia.  Domestic players have used this unique opportunity to expand the sales market, bringing their brands to new regions and increasing the range of products.  Despite the difficulties that the Russian market experienced in 2022 and 2023, bottled water continues to be a sought-after product.

Russian polyester fibre market

Russian polyester fibre producers

Company

Licensor

Main production area

Vostokhimvolokno

Moscow

Polyester yarns

Komitex

Syktyvkar

Geotextiles and fabrics

TechnoNikol

Tver

 PET fibres various

Selena-Khimvolokno

Karachay-Cherkessia

Textiles, non-wovens

Shakhty Polyester

Shakhty

Polyester staple

Zavidovsky Textile

Tver

Upholstery polyester fabrics

The demand for PET fibres in Russia and yarns amounted to around 330,000 tons in 2023, with around 60% of the market based on imports.  The domestic market of polypropylene and polyamide fibres and yarns is balanced, but the situation is quite different for polyester fibres and yarns, which are most in demand by various sectors of industry.  More than 200,000 tpa of polyester fibres and yarns worth more than $250 million are purchased annually.  To date, PET for fibre purposes has not been produced in Russia. At the same time, the production of food-grade PET in the Russian Federation, used mainly for bottle containers, exceeds 600,000 tpa.

Russian synthetic rubber production Jan-2024

Russian Synthetic Rubber Production by Region (unit-kilo tons)

Region

Jan-24

Jan-23

Central Federal District

26.335

24.815

Northwestern Federal District

0.140

0.000

Volga Federal District

86.446

85.644

Siberian Federal District

8.751

10.937

Total

121.672

121.396

Synthetic rubber production in Russia amounted to 121,672 tons in January 2024 against 121,396 in the same month in 2023.  The largest category of production came from butadiene-styrene SKS-SKMS, which are Russian SBR grades, and this amounted to 37,587 tons. 

Isoprene rubber production amounted to 20,243 tons and butadiene rubber amounted to 20,101 tons.  Isoprene rubber production is undertaken in Russia at Nizhnekamskneftekhim, Togliattikaucuk and Sterlitamak Petrochemical Plant.  Butyl rubber production at Nizhnekamskneftekhim and Togliattikaucuk totalled 15,227 tons in January and halogenated butyl rubber at Nizhnekamskneftekhim 10,785 tons.   

In terms of regional production Tatarstan and Bashkortostan accounted for 72% of total synthetic rubber production in January.  Around 20% of production took place at Voronezhsintezkaucuk and 7% at Omsk Kaucuk.  Of the total production of synthetic rubber in January, 86,446 tons came from the combined plants of Nizhnekamskneftekhim and Togliattikaucuk.  Voronezhsintezkaucuk produced 26,335 tons against 24,815 tons in January 2023 whilst Omsk Kaucuk reduced production from 10,937 tons to 8,751 tons. 

The largest producer of synthetic rubber in Russia Nizhnekamskneftekhim recorded a fall in revenues in 2023 by 11.7% to 227.5 billion roubles.  The company’s net profit amounted to 22.6 billion roubles against 47.8 billion roubles in 2022.

Russian synthetic rubber market Jan 2024

Russian Tyre Production (unit-kilo tons)

Product

Jan-24

Jan-23

Car Tyres

19.6

13.5

Lorry tyres

3.8

4.8

Agricultural tyres

0.5

0.4

Total

23.9

18.7

Tyre manufacturing in Russia showed an increase in January 2024, rising particularly in the car sector where consumption increased from 13,500 tons to 19,600 tons.  Russian and localized foreign manufacturers provide about 60% of domestic tyre consumption, despite the sanctions.   There are a total of 18 production facilities in Russia, where tyres of various classes are produced but quality remains a problem. 

The main problem facing the Russian tyre sector is the depletion of stocks of high-quality tyres of top brands, the prices for which have increased significantly.  At the same time the quality of budget tires leaves much to be desired according to market observers, as Chinese and Russian tyres perform their function extremely poorly.

Raw materials for Russian tyre industry

In some respects, the Russian tyre market has quickly reoriented to the supply of tyres and raw materials for their domestic production to friendly countries.  On the other hand, Russia needs to establish the production of vulcanizers, plasticizers and other components to create a full chain of production.  The Department of Chemical Industry of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia has already identified at least 40 raw materials which are necessary for the creation of these products.  To meet SIBUR's own needs which have been accentuated through the exit of international companies from the Russian market, the company has decided to build its own catalyst plant at the holding's Voronezh site.  The design production capacity amounts to 350 tons per annum for pure N-butyllithium.   SIBUR plans to build three production lines for synthesis and filtration.

Russian methanol production Jan-2024

Russian Methanol Production

(unit-kilo tons)

Region

Jan-24

Jan-23

Central Federal District

127.495

117.549

Northwestern Federal District

8.881

6.495

North Caucasus Federal District

11.595

7.812

Volga Federal District

155.631

114.865

Ural federal district

5.579

5.924

Siberian Federal District

68.843

77.667

Total

378.024

330.312

Russia produced 378,024 tons of methanol in January this year against 330,312 tons in January 2023, with the combination of export activity and domestic merchant sales enabling most producers to run at reasonable capacity levels.  By regional production the Volga-Urals region represents the largest in Russia, producing 155,631 tons in January which is much higher than the 114,865 tons in January 2023.   The Volga-Urals region includes Metafrax Chemicals at Gubakha, Tomet at Togliatti and Ammoni at Mendeleevsk. 

The second most important region for Russian methanol production is the Central Federal District which includes Shchekinoazot and Azot at Novomoskovsk, both of which are located in the Tula region.  Azot has been idle since January 2023 and thus Shchekinoazot was solely responsible for the production of 127,495 tons in January versus 117,549 tons in January 2023.  In the North Caucasus Azot Nevinnomyssk increased production from 7,812 tons to 11,595 tons in January 2024. 

Siberian plants include Gazprom Methanol at Tomsk and Angarsk Petrochemical Company, and combined they produced 68,843 tons in January 2024 versus 73,667 tons last year.  Regarding other plants Akron in the north west of Russia produced 8,881 tons in January against 6,495 tons last year whilst Novatek in the Urals region reduced production slightly from 5,924 tons to 5,579 tons.

Russian methanol exports Jan-2024

Russian Methanol Exports by Destination

(unit-kilo tons)

Country

Jan-24

Jan-23

Belarus

6.236

22.530

China

73.465

58.980

Finland

0.000

16.390

Kazakhstan

6.279

3.040

Latvia

0.000

0.320

Lithuania

0.000

56.659

Netherlands

0.000

4.160

Poland

0.000

12.580

UAE

2.055

0.000

Turkey

9.799

19.870

Others

0.000

0.000

Total

97.924

137.867

Russian methanol exports amounted to 97,924 tons in January against 137,867 tons in January last year.  China accounted for 73,465 tons against 58,980 tons in January 2023, whilst volumes to Turkey dropped from 19,870 tons to 9,799 tons.   The third quarter and fourth quarters last year saw lower exports from Russia, mainly due to the loss of EU trade and this extended into January.  Volumes to Kazakhstan and Belarus remain relatively insignificant.

 

Russian Methanol Exports by Producer

(unit-kilo tons)

Producer

Jan-24

Jan-23

Azot Nevinnomyssk

1.213

0.000

Azot Novomoskovsk

5.217

3.027

Akron

0.0 I