4 year forecast for the production of caprolactam in the world market

Dec 5th, 2016

The Asian region is the most active consumer of a cyclic amide (caprolactam). From 2015 to 2020 the average annual growth of caprolactam consumption is projected to reach 2.4 percent. The largest application of caprolactam is observed in the manufacture of engineering plastics and films as well as fibres.

Before 2016 Asia had been the main importing region of caprolactam, however, in the near term the situation of world trade in caprolactam will change. The evidence of this is the fact that China is building up its own production of caprolactam, while several European and North American are being closed. Thus, being a net importer, China will turn into a net exporter. By 2020, the imports of caprolactam into the Asian region will be reduced to about 0.4 million tonnes per year. In 2020 the world capacity utilisation of caprolactam will be estimated at 77%. In 2015-2020 the average annual growth of caprolactam in the CIS countries will amount to 3%. The level of capacity utilisation has decreased (under 90%) since 2012. It is connected with the suspension of caprolactam production in the enterprise “Azot”, Ukraine. The experts project the growth of production in the next 4 years which will amount to 526 thousand tonnes. For reference, the consumption of caprolactam in 2015 amounted to over 250, 000 tonnes. The domestic processing sector received 33 % of the total caprolactam produced. 33% of products included 3% of textile yarn, 8% of the plastic film, 3% of carpet thread (3%) and 19% of technical and cord yarn. The export of caprolactam respectively comprised 67%.

The consumption growth is expected in the sectors of carpet production, technical and tire cord yarns, plastics and films. In 2015-2020 the utilisation rate will amount to about 86%. In 2020 the share of caprolactam export will decline to 34% owing to its output growth within the territory of CIS.