Sharp Drop in Polyethylene Exports From Singapore and Korea to China in February 2020

Exports of ethylene polymers to China accounted for more than half of Singapore’s and Korea’s total exports in 2019 but shipments to China from both countries plummeted in January, and, especially, in February, the most current month available.

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United States Exports of PE Trended Higher in January 2020

After slowing in November, 2019, US exports of ethylene polymers climbed in both December and January 2020. Little impact on volumes and prices from the corona virus is expected in US export statistics for February, with March and following months affected more severely.

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Huge Increases in Western Europe’s Imports of Ethylene and Propylene in 2019 from North America, Latin America and Middle East

Imports of ethylene into Western Europe increased by over 200% in 2019 versus 2018, and imports of propylene jumped 70%, based on latest statistics from reporting countries.

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Small Drop in China’s Tariffs on Polymer Imports from US

As of February 14, 2020, China will knock 2.5% off the punitive tariffs applied on imports of many polymers from the US. Most of the tariffs have been in effect since 2018.

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China’s Ban on Plastic Bags Likely to Impact Imports of Polymers and Exports of PE Bags

By the end of 2020, China will ban plastic bags in major cities and, by 2022, country-wide. China is the world’s largest importer of the polyethylene used to manufacture bags, in addition to producing large volumes of polyethylene domestically. China exports large volumes of polyethylene bags.

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Phase I of the China – US Trade Agreement Includes Increased Imports into China of LNG, Liquefied Propane and Butane, Caustic Soda and Most Organic and Inorganic Chemicals

During the two-year period from January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2021, China has agreed to increase by $200 billion purchases from the United States of manufactured goods, agriculture, energy and services.

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