The volume of p-xylene traded globally in 2015 was up 8% from 2014, indicating a significant increase in global demand. A strong expansion of trade within the Asia-Pacific region, lower imports into the region, much higher imports into North America and reduced exports were prominent trends during the year.
The volume of methanol traded globally in 2015 was unchanged from 2014, indicating no increase in global demand. Much higher exports from the Middle East to Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America were prominent trends during the year.
China imported 7.4 million tons of recycle polymer in 2015, down 11% from 2014. This compared with a 5% increase in imports in 2014 versus 2013, and an 11% decline also in 2013, the year stricter pollution controls went into effect.
China exported 4.1 million tons of polymers in 2015, down 10% from the prior year. PET was the largest volume polymer export, followed by PVC, both down from 2014. Exports of polyethylene increased.
China’s exports of fabricated plastic products surged in December 2015 and ended the year up 6% from 2014. Exports of several large-volume fabricated products set new record highs.
China ended 2015 with imports of polyolefins up 10% from 2014. Imports of HDPE and EVA were particularly strong, up 12% and 27%, respectively. In addition to higher volumes from the Middle East and Asia-Pacific, supplies from North America and Latin America rose sharply.