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Briefing on the Imports and Exports of Polyurethane in 2009-2018

Briefing on the Imports and Exports of Polyurethane in 2009-20182019.06.21

Polyurethane (PU) can be divided into polyester type and polyether type based on raw materials. It is a new kind of organic polymer material with advantages in heat insulation, sound insulation, wear resistance, oil resistance, elasticity, etc, therefore it can be used in various sectors such as chemical industry, electronics, textile, medical industry, construction, building materials, automobile, national defense, aerospace, aviation, etc.


The upstream market of polyurethane mainly involves polymerization MDI, pure MDI, TDI, polyether polyols, polyester polyols and so on. The PU industry in China started in early 1960s with the production of TDI, and in 1980s, China introduced many equipment and advanced technologies from Japan and European countries, and the PU industry developed at top speed, with the annual growth of more than 20%.


The polyurethane production has a steady growth in the past ten years, and the PU output has increased from 4.28 million tons in 2009 to 12.5 million tons in 2018.



According to the data from China Customs, the PU export has seen a stable increase from 31,646 MT in 2009 to 210,416 MT in 2018, but the average export price has gown through ups and downs in the past 10 years. PU export price has seen a continuous decrease from 2012 to 2016 which has fallen below 3,000 USD per MT, and after 2016 the export price began to rise again and has rebounded to 3,069 USD/MT in 2018.



(Data Source: China Customs)


China’s PU import has shown a downward trend from 2010 to 2015 despite of a slight increase in 2013. From 2015 to 2018, the PU import has shown a steady increase to 169,041 tons. The PU import price peaked at 4,784.7 USD/MT in 2014 and the it has shown a stable growth in general during the past 10 years.



(Data Source: China Customs)


Though China’s PU industry develops rapidly and has become the largest PU producer in the world, it is expected that in the next few years, the PU industry will be further optimized and the product performance will continue to be improved. Enterprises should combine their own conditions to create an innovative and green production system for suitable development.

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