Imports into China of most products eased in September 2011 after advancing strongly in August, but declines were generally modest. Exceptions, with gains, were MEG – setting a new record, DEG, polystyrene and PVC.
After impressive gains in August, imports into China of nearly all of the products ITP follows slowed in September. Further declines are likely in October because of a national holiday.
MEG imports of 701,000 tons in September set an all-time record. Year to date, MEG imports totaled 5.3 M tons, up 4%. Imports from Saudi Arabia were 2.5 M tons, up 21%; from Iran, 0.4 M tons, up 26%. Imports from several other suppliers declined, including: Taiwan, 0.8 M tons, down 14%; Singapore, 0.4 M tons, down 1%; Canada, 0.4 M tons, down 17%; and South Korea, 0.3 M tons, down 18%.
Imports of several major organic chemicals also showed gains YTD: DEG, 0.4 M tons, up 6%; ethylene, 0.7 M tons, up 21%; methanol, 4.2 M tons, up 11%. Styrene imports were down 5%, to 2.6 M tons. Saudi Arabia was the leading supplier to China of DEG. Top suppliers for other products: ethylene, South Korea, Japan and Iran; methanol, Iran, Oman and Saudi Arabia, each with gains; styrene, South Korea and Japan with declines and Saudi Arabia with a gain.
China’s imports year to date of polyolefins either were unchanged or fell slightly, off 2%-4%. Propylene copolymers were an exception with an increase of 9%, which largely offset the 2% drop in homopolymer imports.
Full detail on volumes in September and year to date, including percentage changes, is available to subscribers in the “Early Release” section of the ITP website.
[important]This information is from ITP’s newsletters on global trade in polymers and chemicals, available by subscription monthly or quarterly.[/important]