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Briefing on China's Acetic Acid Industry

Briefing on China's Acetic Acid Industry2019.09.04

Acetic acid, as an important chemical reaction solvent and chemical intermediate products, is mainly used to produce acetic anhydride, ethylene acetate, acetate esters, cellulose acetate and metal acetate, and also used as solvents for pesticides, pharmaceuticals and industries. Acetic acid is widely used in synthetic fiber, coating, pharmaceutical, pesticide, food additive, textile industry.


Acetic acid consumption in China is mainly concentrated in the fields of acetate, vinyl acetate, and PTA, accounting for 30.7%, 26.1% and 28.1% respectively in the total consumption.



China’s acetic acid production capacity gradually slowed down and almost stagnated after 2014 due to the oversupply. In 2018, China's acetic acid production reached 6.16 million tons, seeing a slight drop from 2017. It is expected that the domestic acetic acid industry will face a tight supply in the short term.



China’s acetic acid consumption has maintained a steady growth in recent years due to the increasing market demand. In 2018, China's acetic acid consumption was about 5.47 million tons.




In 2017, China's acetic acid export volume surged to 459,000 tons, and continued to rise to 712,400 tons in 2018, seeing a 55.2% year-on-year growth. The main reason for the surge of acetic acid export in China is unsmooth production overseas due to the bad weather or accidents, such as the hurricane Harvey and explosion in North America.




The import of acetic acid in China was kept at a lower level below 20,000 MT, but in 2015 and 2016, the import had a significant increase.
Global acetic acid production capacity has been on the rise, and the global demand will grow at an annual rate of about 5% in the next few years.  As the world's largest producer of acetic acid, China should adjust the industrial structure of acetic acid to increase the international competition. 

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