The US$75 billion polyester industry continued to remain as an undisputed leader in the textile Industry. Year 2012 saw its market share increase to over 80 per cent given the continuing population growth and consistent improvement in standards of living, particularly in emerging economies and the fast growing mass markets.
Globally, demand for textile products has been growing for years. In the early 1980s, just 8 kg of textile fibres were consumed per capita per annum. By 2012, this has risen to 12.2 kg, implying an increase of 53 per cent in per capita use over the past three decades.
China is the largest producer and consumer of polyester. The volume of polyesters produced by China, grew by 60 per cent in the last four years, totaling over 30 mil-lion kgs, including 9 million kgs of staple fibre and 21.5 million kgs of filament.
Global PTA capacity increased to 54 million tons in 2012 with the net capacity addition during the year of 10.6 million tons. 2011 had seen miniscule capacity expansion while 2010 had recorded addition of 4 million ton. Thus, in the last five years, over 21 million tons of PTA capacity was added, almost one-third of total capacity as of 1 January 2013. Production could not rather keep pace with the capacity addition in 2012. The gap between production and capacity widened to 24 million ton during the year from 13 million ton in 2011 and 8 million ton in 2007, the pre financial crisis year.
Ethylene glycol production capacity increased by about 0.8 million ton in 2012 after the industry added just about 0.6 million in 2011. The total capacity as of 1 January 2013 stood at 28 million growing at annual rate of 5.5 per cent during the decade. Meanwhile, production increased 2.2 per cent in 2012 to 21.1 million tons as against the 5.4 per cent increase clocked in 2011. Asia accounted close to 45 per cent of global supplies in 2012 and its share has been growing over years. More than half of this is production originated from China and Taiwan. Singapore, an emerging supplier since Shell set up plant there, now account for 4 per cent of global ethylene glycol supply.
The US$24 billion polyester staple fibre industry saw prices declining rapidly in 2012. Global capacities for polyester fiber reached 20.5 million ton as of 1 January 2013, with capacity increase for the year at 0.75 million ton. And 90 per cent of this addition happened in Asia alone with China as the main contributor. In 2012, China has added 0.67 million ton of polyester fibre capacity taking its total capacity to 13.35 million ton a year. Production on the other hand increased 3.6 per cent to 14.62 mil-lion tons in 2012, helped by increased capacity and modest demand growth.
Although the capacity expansion in China was significant in 2011, its production growth was just close to 5.5 per cent in 2012. Global polyester staple fiber production is estimated to touch 17.9 million tons by 2018, as compared to 14.6 million tons in 2012. However, this will be marginally in surplus to the predicted demand in 2018. Asia, alone will have a surplus of close to 2 million ton which will be consumed by other regions in deficit.
Production capacity of polyester filament industry expanded 4.4 million tons in 2012, as the global textile markets recovered in 2009 after the financial crisis of 2008. Taking cue from there, polyester manufacturer started expanding their capacities in big way. Total capacity stood at 38.7 million tons in 2012. Asian region accounted for the entire capacity expansion and accounted for close to 94 per cent of global capacity. Production also grew 9.4 per cent in 2012 reaching 29 million tons, just below the 11 per cent growth seen in the previous year. The growth was primarily driven by Asia while West Europe, CIS and Middle East region reporting declines.
Production in America appear to rebound, somewhat. Although very small compared to China in terms of volume, production in North America was up 9.3 per cent with USA leading at 10.5 per cent growth while South America saw it increase 44 per cent on back of Brazil. Going ahead, demand in China and globally is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 4.7 per cent and 5.8 per cent, respectively, from 2013 to 2018. Consumption forecast for 2018 is pegged at 37.5 million ton while supplies are likely to grow at an annual rate of 4.5 per cent to 38 million, thus leaving a surplus of about half a million ton.
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