Two main factors – the startup of new capacity plus tariffs on exports to China – have resulted in large regional shifts in US exports of linear PE. Exports have increased to all regions but especially to Western and Eastern Europe, and combined shipments to those regions now exceed those to Asia-Pacific.
Based on latest available statistics, ITP projects a volume of 3.2 million tons of recycle polyethylene traded globally in 2018. This is a decline of 31%, or 1.4 million tons, from 2017. Exports out of Western Europe and North America were particularly impacted, although shipments from all regions were down.
A 14% increase in global LNG trade in 2018, to 318 million tons of imports and exports, is forecast by ITP based on the latest available statistics. This follows an 8% increase in global trade in 2017 versus 2016.
China imported a record 6 million tons of LNG during November 2018, raising the year to date import volume to 47.6 million tons, an increase of 43% from the same period in 2017.
Higher phenol exports from new capacity in Saudi Arabia was one factor in the 7% increase in global trade volume, to 3.0 million tons, projected for 2018.
The United States exported 18.4 million tons of LNG through October 2018, up 54%, and imported 2 million tons, down 10%. Continue reading