China maintains power in global methanol market

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As the first country to be affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, China’s leading position in the global methanol market looked at risk in 2020. But its early and rapid recovery led to China importing a record 13 million tonnes in the year, up by 20% on the 2019 level. The burgeoning downstream methanol-to-olefins sector remained critical to demand strength. In fact, the pandemic even helped boost demand for some olefins derivatives with the sudden, increased need to produce medical supplies, food packaging and single-use plastics. Similarly, weak demand in countries unable to recover so quickly amid ongoing waves of infection forced methanol cargoes to flow to China. Seemingly unscathed by the events of 2020, China has reasserted its importance in the global methanol market and looks set to maintain this position in the near term.

Table of contents

  • Executive summary
  • China commands lion’s share of global methanol demand
  • Pandemic destroys global demand, but early recovery fuels China’s appetite for methanol
  • China’s methanol imports in 2020 hit record high
  • Looking forward

Tables and charts

This report includes 4 images and tables including:

  • Surging China’s share in the global methanol demand
  • 2010 - 2020 China methanol consumption
  • 2010-2020 China olefin margins
  • 2010-2020 China methanol imports

What's included

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    China maintains power in global methanol market

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