Analysis of the current situation of global and Chinese polylactic acid (PLA) competition, and the rapid rise of Chinese companies

Biodegradable Plastic Category

Since the environmental pollution problems caused by traditional plastics are mainly due to their non-degradability, a consensus has gradually been formed in the industry to replace non-degradable plastics with degradable plastics; in addition, in terms of raw material sources, bio-based raw materials are used to partially replace petroleum raw materials. After years of development, two types of "petroleum-based degradable plastics" and "bio-based degradable plastics" have gradually formed.

Policies related to plastic ban and restriction in China

In January 2008, my country promulgated the "Notice on Restricting the Production and Sale of Plastic Shopping Bags" for the first time, which will be implemented nationwide from June 1, prohibiting enterprises from producing, selling and using plastic shopping bags with a thickness of less than 0.025 mm, and Implement a system of paid use of plastic bags. In 2012, the state stepped up policy efforts to encourage the development of biodegradable plastics and their series of products, laying a foundation for further realizing the national plastic restriction. By January 2020, the domestic "Strictest Plastic Restriction Order in History" - "Opinions on Further Strengthening Plastic Pollution Control" will be issued, and the policy will clarify non-degradable plastic bags; disposable plastic tableware; disposable plastic products for hotels and hotels; express plastic When and where the ban on packaging four single-use products will be implemented. After the promulgation of the strict order, the Ministry of Commerce, the State Post Bureau and other departments issued relevant bills to fully support the plastic ban policy.
At present, more than 20 regions in my country have introduced relevant plastic reduction laws. In 2015, Jilin Province took the lead in proposing a plastic ban policy and became the first province in China to completely "ban plastic". From 2019 to 2020, various local plastic restriction/ban policies have been issued intensively, and most regions have reached a consensus on the implementation of plastic governance in stages, with 2020/2022/2025 as the time node to complete the target plastic restriction plan in stages.

Industry chain analysis of polylactic acid industry

Polylactic acid is made of biomass such as corn and straw as raw materials, and is fermented by microorganisms to produce lactic acid, which is used as an industrial link for the production of polylactic acid raw materials; the midstream link of polylactic acid is mainly responsible for extracting lactide from lactic acid as raw material, and the polymerization of lactide to form pure After the polylactic acid is compounded and modified, the compounded modified polylactic acid required by the downstream is formed.
Due to the similar properties of polylactic acid and traditional plastics, the modified polylactic acid can be used in many fields such as film bag packaging, disposable tableware, 3D printing materials, and medical auxiliary equipment. In addition, PLA can be quickly degraded into carbon dioxide and water under composting conditions after use, and then can generate starch under photosynthesis, which can be used in the next production of polylactic acid, forming a carbon circular economy of polylactic acid.
my country has an abundant supply of corn and straw raw materials. According to statistics, my country's corn output will remain above 250 million tons per year from 2015 to 2021, and the output of corn straw will remain above 320 million tons. Corn straw as a raw material alternative will greatly ease the burden of single corn raw materials. Tight supply situation.
At present, affected by the epidemic control in China, the logistics of some major corn producing areas in Northeast China and North China are blocked, and the corn inventory in northern ports is low, and the supply of corn is limited. Internationally, due to the impact of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Ukraine, as the world's fourth largest corn exporter, 21 The annual export is 31.61 million tons, accounting for about 16.85% of the global export volume, and my country is the main exporter. In 21 years, China imported 8.23 ​​million tons of Ukrainian corn, accounting for about 29% of the total import value. The conflict between Russia and Ukraine may affect the production and export of Ukrainian corn and increase the pressure on my country's corn imports. In terms of planting costs, the cost of corn planting in my country continued to rise in 21-22 years, domestic land rent increased by about 35-50% in 21 years, and chemical fertilizers increased by 30%, and the upward trend continued until 22 years. On the whole, it is expected that the domestic corn market price will remain in a high range in 2022.

Future polylactic acid production capacity expansion

Under the background of the gradual implementation of the global plastic restriction policy, enterprises with polylactic acid production capacity have begun to expand production on a large scale. According to incomplete statistics, in the next 3-5 years, it is estimated that the new global PLA production capacity will reach 2.7 million tons, of which my country's PLA new production capacity will be 2.52 million tons.

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