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Mixed impact of India's lockdown on China PX and PTA industry

After the March 22 announcement of city lockdowns, India’s Directorate General of Shipping (DGS) imposed quarantine on shipping vessels from ports of infected countries including China for 14 days starting from the date of departure from the infected ports. This lockdown would have a mixed impact on China’s PX and PTA industry

India's PTA capacity is 6.18 million tons per year. However, due to India's anti-dumping policy on China's PTA, PTA exports to India is not too large. In 2019, China's total PTA exports to India were around 41,000 tons, accounting for about 6 per cent of China's total exports.

At present, no PX suppliers announce force majeure or reduction in production. MCPI's 1.2 million tons/year PTA plant has announced force majeure. It is reported that the company is discussing the specific time of close. Some South Indian yarn mills have announced production suspensions, and some ports have announced force majeure on March 25. Market sources say India's polyester polymerization rate has also dropped significantly. Therefore, the impact of India's lockdown in the future may further increase.

For PTA, although the export volume that directly affects the Chinese mainland may not be obvious, the main PTA import origins of India are South Korea and Taiwan. If India could not consume the amount, it means that South Korea and Taiwan need to find other export destinations. Mainland China is also an attractive market.