Author Archives: 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.

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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China Removes Tariffs on Four Specific Grades of Polyolefins from the US, Prior to the Phase I China – US Trade Agreement

China removed the 25% tariff on imports from the US of specific grades of HDPE, linear low density polyethylene, polypropylene and ethylene-propylene copolymers as of December 26, 2019.

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China’s Imports of Ethylene Polymers Hit a New High in November, 2019. Fabricated Product Exports Remained Depressed.

China’s imports of ethylene polymers surged in November in advance of the Chinese New Year holiday that begins January 25, 2020. Exports of fabricated products trended higher in October and November, but remained below levels reached earlier in the year, and also in 2018, largely because of the trade war with the US.

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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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