North America exported 4.8 million tons of ethylene polymers to destinations outside the region in 2017, down 7%. Shipments to Europe and Latin America generally declined across polymer grades but exports to Asia-Pacific were higher.
Western Europe imported 4.3 million tons of ethylene polymers in 2017 from all outside sources, up 4% from the prior year, and exported to destinations outside the region slightly less than it had imported, 4.2 million tons, up 7%.
China is the world’s largest polyethylene importer, with a volume in 2017 of 13.5 million tons, up 18%. Continue reading
In addition to polyethylene, mainly in the form of conventional high pressure polymer, China has proposed tariffs on a number of other chemical and related products. The largest volumes potentially impacted include liquefied propane gas, PVC and EDC.
The volume of US exports of polyethylene that could potentially be exposed to punitive tariffs totaled 229,000 tons in 2017. Conventional high pressure low density polyethylene was 155,000 tons of that total. Continue reading
Although virgin polyethylene production capacity is similar in both regions, Western Europe exported 1.4 million tons of recycle polyethylene in 2017, compared with 0.6 million tons exported by from North America.
Shipments in 2017 from both regions were mainly to Asia-Pacific, although 220,000 tons of its total was shipped by Western Europe to Eastern Europe. Exports from both Western Europe and North America declined versus 2016, by 15% and 9%, respectively.
As of January 2018, China’s imports of R-PE have virtually disappeared. Although R-PE imports into Vietnam, Malaysia, Turkey and other countries have been rising, their imports to date are much smaller than China’s. Because of the previous size of Western Europe’s R-PE exports, that region will likely be impacted by the loss of the Chinese market to a greater degree than will North America.
From International Trader Publications’ Recycle Polyethylene World Trade Review – a continuously updated on line analysis of trade trends between countries and regions, based on latest import/export statistics from 46 countries.
LNG global trade in 2017 was 280 million tons, up 8%.
Propylene monomer global trade in 2017 was 8.0 million tons, up 2% from 2016.
Ethylene global trade in 2017 was 7.9 million tons up 10% from 2016.
Butadiene global trade in 2017 was 2.7 million tons, up 7% from 2016.