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China’s chemical market price Review in 2023

Views: 158     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2024-01-16      Origin: Site


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China's chemicals market is the largest in the world, and it's growth makes up half the growth ofthe global chemicals market. The edge that multinational chemical companies have enjoyedthere is thinning as China's local chemical companies become more competitive.

Increasingly, local companies are pushing their advantage , developing products and solutions optimized for the oversea market.

Looking back on 2023, the chemical market as a whole showed a state of declining more than rising. Among them, 48 products increased, accounting for 39% of the bulk list; there were 75 products that declined, accounting for 61% of the bulk list.


In the fourth quarter of the year, the first and third quarters were dominated by upward movements, while the second and fourth quarters were dominated by sharp declines.

In the first quarter: the market was overall flat, with 62 raw materials rising, accounting for 54%; and 52 raw materials falling, accounting for 46%. Among them, the raw materials with an increase of more than 20% are: formic acid (+29.2%), diethylene glycol (+27%), aniline (26.6%), hydrogen peroxide (20.6%); the decrease is obvious in the lithium battery industry chain, lithium carbonate industrial grade, Battery-level prices fell by more than 50%, ranking first on the list of declines.


Second quarter: The raw material market in this quarter has declined significantly, which can be said to be the lowest point of the chemical market in 2023. There are only 9 rising raw materials, accounting for 8%; there are 101 falling raw materials, accounting for 90%! Lithium carbonate industrial grade and battery grade rebounded, rising 32.7% and 20.6% respectively; polycrystalline silicon (-58.9%), diethylene glycol (-58.9%), sulfur (-34.5%), yellow phosphorus (-24.4%), phosphoric acid ( -21.2%) and other 21 popular raw materials fell by more than 20%.


Third quarter: Relying on the peak season, accidents of major manufacturers and market support, the growth rate is rapid, with more than 82% of raw materials rising (92 types of raw materials), and only 17% of raw materials (19 types) falling. Among them, hydrogen peroxide surged by 171.5%, with a quotation of 2,127 yuan/ton, a record high; 36 raw materials including acetic acid, sulfuric acid, soda ash, bisphenol A, and epoxy resin increased by more than 20%! The lithium battery industry chain plummeted again, ranking first on the decline list, with lithium hydroxide (-25.5%), lithium carbonate battery grade, and industrial grade falling by 44% and 46% respectively.


Fourth quarter: After the peak season, the market returned to rationality, coupled with the severe overseas situation, the market became more cautious, and the market began to decline again. Only 23 kinds of raw materials increased, accounting for 20%; a total of 89 kinds of raw materials fell, accounting for 77%. Among them, hydrogen peroxide, which surged in the third quarter, plummeted 61.6% this quarter, returning to around 800 yuan/ton. The three lithium battery giants continued their decline, with a drop of more than 40%.


The overall market performance has improved compared with 2022, but the growth of raw materials is limited. The industrial chain that ranked first in 2022 actually became the first to plummet in 2023! Chemical raw materials have undergone a major reshuffle. What enlightenment does it have on the chemical market in 2024?

The lithium battery industry chain has fallen as hard as it rose in the early stage. All four seasons of the year, three of them plummeted.

Lithium carbonate (industrial grade):The quotation at the beginning of 2023 was 504,000 yuan/ton, and the quotation at the end of 2023 was 94,000 yuan/ton, a month-on-month decrease of 81.35%, and a decrease of 410,000 yuan/ton.


Lithium carbonate (battery grade):The quotation at the beginning of the year was 525,000 yuan/ton, and at the end of the year it was 103,000 yuan/ton, a month-on-month decrease of 80.4%, a decrease of 422,000 yuan/ton.


Lithium hydroxide:The quotation at the beginning of 2023 was 553,000 yuan/ton, and the quotation at the end of 2023 was 133,000 yuan/ton, a month-on-month decrease of 75.9%, a decrease of 178,000 yuan/ton.


Lithium iron carbonate:The quotation at the beginning of 2023 was 166,000 yuan/ton, and the quotation at the end of 2023 was 46,000 yuan/ton, a month-on-month decrease of 72.3%, and a decrease of 120,000 yuan/ton.


In recent years, the new energy vehicle market has developed rapidly, pushing up related parts and raw materials. The lithium battery industry chain is riding the wind, once approaching the 600,000 mark. However, due to the increase in lithium mining and refining and the reduction in costs driven by technology, the production capacity of upstream lithium mines and lithium salts has rapidly expanded, leading to imbalances in market supply and demand and price fluctuations. By the end of 2023, my country's monthly production capacity of lithium iron phosphate will reach 356,000 tons, an increase of 178,000 tons from December 2022, an increase of 101.5%. The new production capacity has almost doubled, but the demand for lithium carbonate has not matched such a huge increase. In addition, under the influence of multiple factors such as changes in new energy market policies, increased environmental protection requirements, a large number of car companies cutting production and going bankrupt, and the overall global economic downturn, the raw materials of the lithium battery industry chain began to fall sharply.

It is expected that lithium salt prices will still be on a downward trend in 2024. In the short term, demand for lithium carbonate may remain sluggish in the first quarter of 2024 due to factors such as weather and the Spring Festival. It is expected that the spot price of lithium carbonate may fall below CNY80,000/ton by 2024.

Plasticizers top the list of annual increases

After experiencing the surge in popular industrial chains such as silicone, lithium batteries, and epoxy, the rising star in 2023 is actually the "unpopular" industrial chain - the plasticizer industry chain.

Plasticizer is a polymer material additive widely used in industrial production. It mainly weakens the secondary valence bonds between resin molecules, increases the mobility of resin molecular bonds, reduces the crystallinity of resin molecules, and increases the plasticity of resin molecules, making it Its flexibility is enhanced, it is easy to process, and it can be legally used for industrial purposes. It is widely used in food packaging, cosmetics, medical equipment, and environmental water bodies. Such as plastic wrap, food packaging, toys, etc.

According to data, in the chemical market in 2023, most of the increases will be in raw materials in the plasticizer industry chain, including PX, acetic acid, isooctyl alcohol, DOP, DBP, DOTP, n-butanol, etc. Among them, isooctyl alcohol topped the annual increase list, rising by 33.%, with an increase of 3,217 yuan/ton.

Product Name

Price at the beginning of 2023(CNY/Ton)

Price at the end of 2023(CNY/Ton)

Rise Gap(CNY/Ton)

Rise rate




































crude benzene





Isopropyl alcohol










Isooctyl acrylate










Maleic anhydride










hydrogen peroxide





propylene glycol










Pure benzene





The upstream pigments of plasticizers are relatively concentrated, and the fluctuation of crude oil in 2023 will bring cost support to them. Moreover, because there are many categories of plasticizers, up to 1,000 types, their uses are also relatively wide, involving wires, cables, floors, artificial leather, building materials, and medical equipment. , automobiles, agricultural films, clothing, food and pharmaceutical packaging and other fields of economic daily life and new materials, terminal consumer demand has been significantly boosted, and the scale of plasticizers is also expanding. In 2023, the plasticizer industry chain will skyrocket.

It is expected that in 2024, as environmental protection efforts increase, the use of traditional plasticizers will be restricted. Companies in the plasticizer industry chain in various countries will increase technological innovation and R&D investment. Plasticizers will usher in a period of growth. However, due to their popularity It has high adaptability, wide application channels, and the growth span is not expected to be too large.

China chemical market outlook in 2024

OPEC+ production cuts, geopolitical tensions, the Red Sea crisis and other issues will have a supply impact on the market in the short term. It is expected that internal and external demand will recover in the short term, and the focus of the crude oil market has increased, which has also brought cost support to the chemical market. However, the market trends in 2023 also remind us that the cost of raw materials is no longer the key to industry profitability, and it mainly depends on downstream demand.

Below price catalogue of China Chemicals is based on verage ex-factory quotation of domestic factories in China for your reference.

Chemicals price catalogue in China local market
product name specifications 14th,Jan 15th,Jan
DMF 99.90%min; premium product 4750 4700
caustic soda Specifications: 32% liquid caustic soda; Technology: ion exchange membrane method; Quality grade: first-class product 782 782
Acetic anhydride Quality grade: superior product; acetic anhydride content, %: ≥99 5837.5 5837.5
OX Quality grade: superior product; Purity: ≥98 7800 7800
Bromine Product grade: industrial pure; use: flame retardant; packaging: jar 23800 23300
PX Grade: high-quality product; Purity: ≥99.7 8600 8600
Toluene Grade: Excellent grade; 6710 6710
Yellow phosphorus Grade: high-quality product; content % in benzene: ≥99.90 23862.67 23862.67
Phosphate rock Grade: high; P2O5 content (%): ≥30%; Ore dressing: no mineral processing required; Mineral composition: phosphate rock 1056 1056
Phosphoric acid Application level: industrial grade; grade: excellent grade; phosphoric acid (H3PO4) content: 85% 6360 6340
monoammonium phosphate Category: slurry method; Appearance: powdery; Grade: first-class product; Mass fraction of total nutrients: ≥55% 3253.33 3253.33
Potassium sulfate Status: Granules; Grade: Premium; Potassium oxide content/%≥:50.00%; Particle size (particle size 1.00mm~4.75mm or 3.35mm~5.60mm)/%≥:90; 3510 3510
Ammonium chloride Nitrogen:25.4% min 650 650
Potassium chloride (imported) Potassium oxide content/%≥:62%; grade: high-quality product; status: crystal/powder 2925 2925
Urea Usage: agricultural use; grade: high-quality product; particle size: small and medium particles; 2466.67 2461.67
carbon black Product name: N220; Usage: carbon black for rubber 8700 8700
liquid ammonia Quality grade:excellent product 3250 3183.33
Chloroform Grade: Excellent product; mass fraction of chloroform/%≥:99.90 2016.67 2016.67
Carbide Grade: first-class product; gas generation capacity (20℃, 101.3KPa)/(L/kg)≥:280 3000 3000
Adipic acid 99.7% min; premium product 9640 9640
Butadiene Grade: premium product; content, %: ≥99.5 8753.75 8928.75
1,4-butanediol 99.7% min 9535.71 9542.86
aluminum fluoride Brand: AF-0; Production process: Dry method 10575 10525
propane Propane,% (V/V) not less than: 95 5475.75 5430.75
Maleic anhydride Process: n-butane oxidation method 7300 7300
Acrylic Grade: first-class 6670.75 6733.25
Isopropyl alcohol Premium product 8100 8100
Potassium nitrate Industrial grade 99.4% min 5325 5325
potassium carbonate 99.0%min 7440 7440
hydrogen peroxide 27.5%min 823.33 823.33
Lithium carbonate Grade: Industrial grade 91600 91600
Pure benzene Petroleum benzene;99.9% min 7462.17 7497.17
ethanol Category: food grade; ethanol (%) ≥: 95.0 6550 6475
Isooctanol Premium product 13000 12925
cyclohexanone Premium product 9475 9475
Phthalic anhydride Grade: superior grade; Purity: ≥99.0%; Color (Pt-Co), No.: ≤150 7575 7587.5
Ethylene oxide Quality grade: premium product; usage grade: industrial grade; mass fraction/%: 99.90 6400 6400
Propylene oxide Quality grade:excellent product 9137.5 9137.5
Epichlorohydrin Premium product;99.9% min 8125 8125
n-butanol Premium product 8900 8750
aniline Aniline mass fraction/% ≥:99.4; dry product crystallization point/℃ ≥:-6.6; moisture mass fraction/% ≤: 0.1 10737.5 10337.5
formaldehyde 37% min 1153.33 1153.33
Styrene Premium product;99.8% min 8500 8550
Titanium dioxide Crystal form: rutile type (R2 type); production process: sulfuric acid method 16350 16350
DOP First class product 12120 12080
caprolactam Crystallization point: 68.9℃; high-quality product 13800 13800
Mixed xylene Heterogeneous grade, high-quality products 7110 7150
sulfuric acid Grade: qualified product; mass fraction of sulfuric acid/% ≥:98; product grade: industrial grade; type: concentrated sulfuric acid 232.5 232.5
phenol 99.9% min; premium product 7162.5 7220
Aggregate MDI Type: Polymer MDI; Brand: PM200; Product grade: Qualified product 15766.67 15766.67
acetic acid Premium product 3200 3200
acetone Premium product 7150 7150
hydrofluoric acid Category: Anhydrous hydrogen fluoride; Application grade: Industrial grade; Hydrogen fluoride content ≥: 99.95; Quality grade: Premium product 10333.33 10333.33
hydrochloric acid 31.0% min 100 95
fluorite Fluorite concentrate FC: FC-97; Usage: Chemical industry; Moisture content: wet state 3431.25 3431.25
sulfur S mass fraction/%≧:99; Category: Industrial grade; 936.67 936.67
Hydrogenated benzene Quality grade: high-quality product; benzene content ≧%: 99.9 7433.33 7433.33
TDI Grade: excellent grade; mass fraction, %: 99.5; color: 25 16900 16900
Ammonium nitrate Grade: first-class product 4000 4000
Diammonium phosphate Production process: traditional method; Appearance: granular; Mass fraction of total nutrients (N+P2O5) ≥: 64%; Grade: premium product 3986.67 3960
Dichloromethane Premium product 2410 2410
cryolite Molecular ratio: polymer ratio cryolite; brand: CM-0 7700 7750
polysilicon Grade: Level 1; Usage level: Solar grade 61666.67 61666.67
crude benzene Usage: for processing 6388.75 6388.75
Sodium metabisulfite Application grade: industrial grade; main content (calculated as Na2S2O5), ω/% ≥:96.5 2400 2400
Nitric acid Usage level: industrial grade; type: concentrated nitric acid; nitric acid content: 98% 2133.33 2116.67
acrylic acid Industry standard: general acid; grade: high-quality product 6150 6150
Battery grade lithium carbonate 99.5%min 101000 101000
activated carbon Material: coconut shell; Usage level: water purification and gas purification; Particle size: amorphous 11733.33 11700
Ethylene glycol Premium product; 99.8% min; 4453.33 4453.33
Light soda ash 99.20% min; premium product 2540 2500
polyacrylamide CPAM, cationic, molecular weight 12 million, 30 ion degree 13340 13340
Polyaluminium chloride Solid, aluminum oxide content ≥28% 1783.75 1783.75
Ethyl acetate National standard high-quality products 6853.33 6853.33
Silicone DMC Grade: first-grade product; total ring mass fraction %: ≥99.5 14760 14760
R22 Premium product; content, w%: ≥99.9% 21600 21600
R134a Product grade: premium product; content, w%: ≥99.9% 28500 28500
Melamine Grade: Excellent grade 99.8% 7450 7450
Lithium hydroxide Industrial grade 131000 130000
Butanone Purpose: General grade; Purity, %: ≥99.5 7450 7516.67
n-Propanol Content ≥ (%): 99.5; Grade: Excellent 7950 7950
Ammonium sulfate Grade: Qualified product; Nitrogen (N) content (on a dry basis) ≥: 20.5 811.67 811.67
Paraformaldehyde Content: 96%; premium grade; industrial grade; 4850 4825
Chlorinated paraffin Category: Chlorinated paraffin-52; Product grade: first-class product 5566.67 5566.67
Bisphenol A Premium product 9337.5 9337.5
Formic acid Industrial grade; content: ≥85.0%; high-quality product; 3150 3150
Epoxy resin Liquid epoxy resin;E-51 13433.33 13266.67
white carbon black Premium rubber grade products 5933.33 5933.33
Lithium Iron Phosphate Power type; high-quality product; 43400 43200
Heavy soda ash 99.20% min; premium product 2700 2670
propylene glycol Grade: Excellent; Content%: ≥99.5 8166.67 8066.67
baking soda Usage grade: food grade; total alkali content (calculated as NaHCO3), w/% ≥99.0~100.5% 2591.8 2591.8
Boric acid Category: Industrial grade; Product grade: Premium product; Content: ≥99.5% 7437.5 7437.5
Diethylene glycol Quality grade: high-quality product; content, %≥:99.9; 5700 5610
Dimethyl carbonate Grade: Industrial grade; Content%: ≥99.9 4000 3966.67
MIBK 99.50% 14966.67 14900
coal tar high temperature 3645 3645
Butyl acetate GB standard 99.9% 7700 7700
DOTP Premium product ester content 99.0 12275 12200
DBP First grade 9750 9637.5
Isobutyraldehyde Grade: high-quality product, content ≥99% 8466.67 8466.67
Soda ash 99.0% min 3383.33 3383.33
Tetrahydrofuran Content 99.9% national standard premium product 13075 13125
neopentyl glycol Content: 99.5% 9875 9875
Polycarboxylate superplasticizer monomer HPEG 7733.33 7733.33
cyclohexane Industrial grade content 99% 7000 7000
N-methylpyrrolidone Electronic grade 200kg/barrel 12666.67 12666.67
Hydrofluoric acid (export) Category: Anhydrous hydrogen fluoride; Application grade: Industrial grade; Hydrogen fluoride content ≥: 99.95; Quality grade: Premium product 13025 13025
Furfural National standard, industrial grade, 250KG/barrel 10500 10450
Furfuryl alcohol National standard, industrial grade, 250KG/barrel 10600 10650
Ethyl acrylate GB T 17529.3-1998:99.9% 10600 10575
Butyl acrylate Grade:Excellent grade 9580 9540
Isooctyl acrylate 99.90% 13425 13425
Titanium tetrachloride Content ≥99% industrial grade 10950 10950
Hexafluoropropylene Premium product 36670 36770
Glycerin (glycerol) Content ≥99.5% industrial grade 4575 4575
Chloroacetic acid ≥98.5% 3066.67 3083.33
n-Butyraldehyde 99.50% 8466.67 8466.67
stearic acid 1840 model 8180 8180
Resorcinol Content: ≥99.7%; Grade: Excellent product 44000 44000

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