Global Sulphur demand: How will China’s 27% share of consumption develop?Posted On: 19-04-2017 By: Grahame Turnbull
By Meena Chauhan – Sulphur and Sulphuric Acid Research Manager
China is the leading consumer of sulphur worldwide, with demand across fertilizer and other sectors in 2016 representing over a quarter of global consumption. Changes to China’s local consumption is a major consideration for the global sulphur balance due to the size of its import requirement. In recent years, China’s annual sulphur imports represented over a third of global trade, averaging 10-12 million tonnes per year, maintaining significant influence on global benchmarks. Due to the significance of trends in China on international markets, Integer Research has produced a spotlight report on China, answering key questions on the future direction in this leading sulphur market.
Energy production in China has been rising in recent decades across the oil and gas sector, leading to a boost in domestic sulphur recovery. Developments in the Sichuan province have, for instance, led to a significant increase in sulphur production capacity – due to the levels of hydrogen sulphide (H2S) content in the gas fields. In this new spotlight report, we consider the status of thirteen projects currently active in China, which are due to come online in the period to 2021 and analyse how these will impact local supply.
Sulphur recovery is expected to see a boost in the next five years – we estimate an increase of 72% in this period – and this raises questions on whether imports will remain as strong as they currently are. There is also a question mark over future demand growth rates in the country, as we forecast limited capacity additions in the fertilizer sector. Growth rates are expected to see a slowdown, impacting the balance for sulphur imports. Any downturn in China’s import requirements could have significant impact on international trade and pricing.
Taking a look at China’s supply sources, there have been major fluctuations among most of its main suppliers across the Middle East, North America and the FSU. With the rise of Saudi Arabia’s domestic consumption of sulphur in the processed phosphate sector we also address the question of whether Saudi Arabia is likely to maintain its position in China in the coming years.
For more information on Integer’s Chinese Sulphur spotlight report, and how the analysis and supporting data it provides can support your decision making, please check the links below. We also have a $300 discount offer which must end April 30th 2017
If you have any questions about this article or the Chinese Sulphur spotlight report, please contact us using the details below
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The Integer Research sulphur analyst team recently presented a free to watch webinar covering recent market developments, the changing tide of trade of sulphur, global supply/demand balance of sulphur, the rise of Middle East as the leading producer and looking at long term market trends and dynamics.
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