March 2016 statistics show a rebound in China’s imports of both virgin and recycle commodity polymers. China’s exports of commodity polymers hit a record high.
Over 9 million tons of benzene were traded globally in 2015, up 16% from 2014. Prominent regional trends during the year included: higher Asia-Pacific exports and also expanded trade within that region; increased imports into North America; increased imports into Western Europe; and, in the Middle East sharply higher trade, both imports and exports, with imports exceeding exports. Early data for 2016 indicates a continuation of these trends.
The volume of polypropylene homopolymer traded globally in 2015 was 17.3 million tons, up 3% from 2014. Imports into Asia-Pacific were unchanged from the prior year. Western Europe’s imports rose 21%; North America’s, 42%, but on small volumes. Data available to date for 2016 indicates a continuation of these trends.
Large volumes of both propylene copolymers and polypropylene homopolymer are traded globally. In 2015, propylene copolymer trade totaled 8.4 million tons, up 5%. This compared with 17.3 million tons of polypropylene homopolymer trade, up 3%.
North America’s exports in 2015 versus 2014 were up by 10%-12% for LDPE and LLDPE, and by 32% for HDPE. Data through February 2016 indicates even higher percentage increases compared with the prior year. Imports of all three grades into the region were small and declined in 2015.
There has been an upward trend in United States exports of methanol for several months with shipments in both January and February 2016 at new record levels. Continue reading