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Ethylene glycol industry development status

Nov 9, 2023

China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of ethylene glycol, with ethylene glycol production accounting for about 50% of the global total. In recent years, the apparent demand for ethylene glycol in China has continued to increase. In 2022, the apparent demand for ethylene glycol in China will be 20.748,300 tons, an increase of 3.23%. Driven by market demand, China’s ethylene glycol production capacity continues to increase, and with the continuous innovation and upgrading of ethylene glycol production technology, China’s ethylene glycol production continues to grow. Production increased from 6.67 million tons in 2018 to 13.278 million tons in 2022, with a compound annual growth rate of 14.76%. Among them, the growth rate of ethylene glycol production in 2022 is 12.55%, much higher than the growth rate of production capacity.

From the perspective of glycol price trend, since 2022, affected by the epidemic, the demand side has been hit hard, the contradiction between supply and demand has worsened, and the inventory in East China’s port has continued to accumulate, and the overall downward trend of China’s glycol market has fluctuated. Ethylene glycol market price fell from 5466.67 yuan/ton on March 9, 2022 to 3950 yuan/ton on November 21, 2022, a cumulative reduction of 1516.67 yuan/ton, a decline of 27.74% during the year. Since 2023, the price of ethylene glycol in China has fluctuated greatly. In January 2023, the price of ethylene glycol in China has moved up, mainly because the downstream polyester market is good, driving the spot center of gravity of ethylene glycol to move up. In February, the price of ethylene glycol fell first and then rose. At the beginning of the month, the operating rate of the industry was greatly increased, the impact of the increase in market supply, the price of ethylene glycol fell, and then the price of ethylene glycol gradually rose under the favorable drive of the polyester industry. In March, due to the significant slowdown in the recovery of the polyester industry, ethylene glycol prices began to loosen. In May, the price of ethylene glycol inverted “V” operation, which was affected by the maintenance of industry equipment, the price of ethylene glycol rose briefly, and then under the influence of the cumulative increase in port inventory, the market gradually declined, and maintained a weak operation situation in June.