Author Archives: JJSUDOL

About JJSUDOL

Jean Sudol is president of International Trader Publications, which analyzes global trade flows in polymers and chemicals. Prior to founding ITP in 1984, she worked in research at Union Carbide, in planning at Mobil Chemical, and, following that, in the industry as a consultant on trade. Jean has a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Fordham University, a Masters degree in Organic Chemistry from New York University and a Masters degree in Business from Manhattan College.

Trends in Western Europe’s Imports of Polyethylene in 2019

Imports of linear low density polyethylene into Western Europe from North America are projected to nearly equal the region’s imports from the Middle East by year end 2019, based on latest available statistics from 90 countries. Imports of HDPE from North America are trending sharply higher. Imports of both LLDPE and HDPE from the Middle East declined in 2018 and are projected down in 2019.

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Global Trade in P-Xylene Projected Down 2% in 2019

Trade volume by year end is projected at 22 million tons, down 2% from 2018 based on the latest statistics from 50 countries. This compared with an 11% gain in global trade volume in 2018 versus 2017. Prominent trends in 2019 include a drop in Asia-Pacific intra-regional trade, increased exports from the Middle East, and lower shipments from North America.

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Caustic Soda World Trade

A new report on global trade in aqueous caustic soda projects 20.7 million tons of trade in 2019, up 3% from the prior year, based on latest available statistics from 60 countries. Statistics in the new Caustic Soda in Aqueous Solution World Trade Report project higher exports from all regions, except from the Middle East.

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Global LNG Trade Projected Up 4% in 2019; Huge Shifts in Trade Between Regions

LNG trade is projected to exceed 340 million tons by year end 2019, up 4% from 2018, based on latest available statistics from 90 countries. Major increases in exports from US and Russia are impacting trade flows globally.

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LNG Imports into Western Europe Projected Up 75% in 2019 from 2018

Western Europe will import 63 million tons of LNG by year end 2019, based on projections from latest available statistics. Volumes from Eastern Europe and North America are expected to quadruple; supplies from other regions to rise 22 – 36%.

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Eastern European LNG Trade Spikes

There was a significant spike in Eastern European exports of LNG that largely went to Western Europe, and, a pronounced increase in intraregional trade mainly between Russia and Lithuania.

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Reduced Supplies from Saudi Arabia Adds Pressure on China in the Trade War with US

Saudi Arabia is China’s top supplier of HDPE, LLDPE, MEG, DEG and styrene and also ships large volumes of polypropylene, liquefied butane gas and liquefied propane gas, among others. The recent attack on Saudi oil facilities will reduce exports of polymers and chemicals, at the same time as imports from the US are curtailed by punitive duties.

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US Exports of Recycle Polymers Down 46% as of July 2019; Further Declines Likely From India’s Ban on Recycle Polymer Imports

The US shipped 406,000 tons of recycle polymers through July, 2019, down 46% from the same period in the prior year. China’s total ban on imports of recycle polymers as of 2018 was a key factor in the decline. Further declines in US exports are expected as India has announced it will also ban all recycle polymer imports.

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