Thursday, June 26, 2014

Percentage of Chemical Imports Supplied by the United States

The graph below shows the percentage of the total chemical imports for 13 countries supplied by Untied States companies (total US company chemical exports to the countries) in 2012.

The percentage results are based on statistical data from two sources – the United States Census Bureau and the World Trade Organization.  The US Census provides export values for categories of products (by NAICS code) exported to countries.  Click here to find these values.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) provides trade statistics by region, country, and product type, including the total value of chemical products imported into countries.  Click here to find these statistics for 2012. 

The WTO statistics include the total value of chemical products imported into a country.  To get the percentages in the graph above, the amount of chemical products exported to the country from the US (from the US Census statistics) was divided by the total chemical products imported into the country (from the WTO statistics).

The percentage results might be useful to show what countries heavily rely on US chemical imports and which countries have little US chemical imports.  Planners might find these percentages useful in developing sales strategies with respect to the individual countries.

Friday, June 20, 2014

A Large Percentage of Taiwan’s Chemical Production is Exported

In 2011, approximately 47% of Taiwan’s chemical sales were in foreign markets, based on data found at Taiwan’s Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) (click here to find this data).  This data shows that in 2011 the chemical manufacturing sector in Taiwan had a total $86.4 billion in sales.   Other DGBAS data shows that the chemical sector had exports of approximately $40.8 billion in 2011.  Therefore, about 47% ($40.8 billion exported/$86.4 billion produced) of Taiwan’s chemical production (measured by sales price) was exported in 2011.  A similar percentage is likely for subsequent years.

DGBAS also shows that the total Taiwan exports (all exports, not just chemical exports) totaled $305.4 billion in 2013.  The percentages of this $305.4 billion total exported to specific countries were:  mainland China, 27%; Hong Kong, 13%; USA, 11%; Singapore, 6%; Japan, 6%; South Korea, 4%; Philippines, 3%; Vietnam, 3%; Malaysia, 3%; Thailand, 2%; Germany, 2%; Indonesia, 2%; and all others, 7%.

Assuming that the percentage of chemicals exported to specific countries is roughly the same as the percentage of all products exported to specific countries, this suggests that about $11 billion of chemicals were exported to mainland China in 2011 (27% X $40.8 billion); about 5.3 billion to Hong Kong in 2011 (13% X $40.8 billion); about $4.5 billion of chemicals exported to USA in 2011 (11% X $40.8), etc.   And, roughly the same amounts are likely to have been exported in 2012 and 2013.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Companies and Demand Trends for High-Purity Alumina

Information found on the Internet indicates that about 50% of the world-wide production of high-purity alumina (HPA) is in China.  However, the current largest producer (seller) of HPA is the Japanese company Sumitomo.  Companies in other areas producing HPA include: Hydro (Norway); Alcoa (United States); Rusal (Russia); Baikowski (France); and Orbite Aluminae (Canada).  Large Chinese producers are: Hekei Hebei Pengda Advanced Materials Technology; Zibo Xinfumeng; and Dalian Rall Fine Ceramics.

The demand growth for HPA (99.99% and greater aluminum oxide purity) is expected to grow from 25 to 30% per year over the next few years.  Currently, an estimated 13,000 to 15,000 metric tons per year are produced.  Increasing HPA use in light-emitting diode (LED) products (such as screens and lighting) is one factor for this high growth rate.  Other uses of HPA are: in the semiconductor industry; automotive sensors; phosphor-based products; abrasives; and watch covers.   An interesting unknown concerning the future HPA demand is the recent building of a factory in Arizona by Apple to produce relatively large quantities of synthetic sapphire.  Synthetic sapphire is made from HPA.  Depending on how Apple uses this synthetic sapphire could influence other companies’ synthetic sapphire use, and consequently HPA demand.

The current price reported on the Internet for HPA ranges from $50 per kg to $400 per kg, depending on purity and other specifications.  The increasing demand for HPA is attracting new producers.  This in turn should lead to more supply and decreased prices.

The above blog represents a general overview of companies, demand, and pricing related to HPA.  Please email me should you be seeking more research and analyses either on this topic or other chemical industry data, statistics, and activities.