China’s PE Imports Grow; Supplies from the US to Shrink Further

China imported 11 million tons of ethylene polymers through July, 2019, up 19% from the same period in the prior year. The US supplied 3.6% (397,000 tons) of the total, down from 5.2% (839,000 tons) at the end of 2018.

The decline in imports from the US was mainly as: HDPE, 49,000 tons, down 79% July YTD; linear low density PE, 66,000 tons, down 56%; and EVA, 16,000 tons, down 52%.

Imports of conventional high pressure LDPE, however, were not subject to the new tariffs so imports from the US rose 145%, to 200,000 tons July YTD. Volumes are likely to fall, however, because as of December 15th China will assess a 10% duty on LDPE from the US.

Written by Jean J. Sudol. Data from International Trader Publications’ China Polymer Trade Report, a monthly online analysis of China’s trade in commodity and recycle polymers and key fabricated plastic products.