What will be the market development of China’s cellulose ether industry in 2022?

According to the “China Cellulose Ether Industry Research and Investment Forecast Report (2022 Edition)” released by Li mu Information Consulting, cellulose is the main component of plant cell walls and the most widely distributed and most abundant polysaccharide in nature. It accounts for more than 50% of the carbon content of the plant kingdom. Among them, the cellulose content of cotton is close to 100%, which is the purest natural cellulose source. In general wood, cellulose accounts for 40-50%, and there are 10-30% hemicellulose and 20-30% lignin.

The foreign cellulose ether industry is relatively mature, and is basically monopolized by large-scale enterprises such as Dow Chemical, Ashland, and Shin-Etsu. The cellulose ether production capacity of major foreign companies is about 360,000 tons, of which Shin-Etsu of Japan and Dow of the United States both have a production capacity of about 100,000 tons, Ashland 80,000 tons, and Lotte over 40,000 tons (acquisition of Samsung-related businesses), the top four manufacturers Production capacity accounts for more than 90% (excluding China’s production capacity). A small amount of pharmaceutical-grade, food-grade products and high-end building material-grade cellulose ethers needed in my country are provided by well-known foreign companies.

At present, most of the production capacity of ordinary building material-grade cellulose ethers expanded in China has intensified the competition of low-end building material-grade products, while pharmaceutical and food-grade products with high technical barriers are still the short board of my country’s cellulose ether industry.

The quality and production capacity of carboxymethyl cellulose and its salt products in my country have been greatly improved in recent years, and the export volume has increased year by year. Foreign market demand mainly depends on my country’s exports, and the market is relatively saturated. The room for future growth is relatively limited.

Nonionic cellulose ethers, including hydroxyethyl, propyl, methylcellulose and their derivatives, have good market prospects in the future, especially in high-end applications, which still have a large market development space. Such as medicine, high-grade paint, high-grade ceramics, etc. still need to be imported. There is still a lot of room for improvement in the level of production technology and research and development, and there are also big investment opportunities.

At present, the level of mechanical equipment for the domestic purification process is low, which seriously restricts the development of the industry. The main impurity in the product is sodium chloride. In the past, three-legged centrifuges were widely used in my country, and the purification process was intermittent operation, which was labor-intensive, energy-consuming and material-consuming. Product quality is also difficult to improve. Most of the new production lines have imported advanced foreign equipment to improve the equipment level, but there is still a gap between the automation of the entire production line and foreign countries. The future development of the industry can consider the combination of foreign equipment and domestic equipment, and import equipment in key links to improve the automation of the production line. Compared with ionic products, non-ionic cellulose ethers have higher technical requirements, and it is urgent to break through the technical barriers in production technology and application expansion.

Post time: Apr-10-2023