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Can China’s CTO and MTO industry survive the threat of massive steam cracker investment?

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04 September 2019

Can China’s CTO and MTO industry survive the threat of massive steam cracker investment?

Report summary

Since 2010, China has started up 25 CTO and MTO units, with total olefin capacity set to reach 13.6 million tons by the end of 2019. With so many MTO units starting up, demand for methanol in China grew rapidly. But this has led to methanol prices reaching levels that have squeezed the margins of MTO operations and deterred further investment. At the same time, stricter environmental controls are making new CTO development less attractive. Add a new wave of steam crackers coming online in the next few years and the future is not looking bright for China’s CTO and MTO industry. Read this insight to find out whether we think this China-specific olefin route can survive.

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