Following the highest volume ever recorded on China’s imports of virgin commodity polymers, in March 2015, imports eased in April but set another record for that month. Nearly 2.3 million tons of commodity polymers were imported in March, an all time high. Another 1.8 million tons entered China in April, a record for that month, which ordinarily is the start of a relatively a slow second quarter. Volume in March was influenced by the lateness of the New Year holiday, but also by low prices and government stimulus efforts. The latter two factors continued to contribute to relatively heavy imports in April. Commodity polymer imports were over 7 million tons through April, up 6% versus the prior year.
Imports of recycle polymers climbed in March and April but were down slightly YTD.
Exports of a large number of fabricated plastic products made from commodity polymers rebounded sharply in April as manufacturers resumed operations and shipments. Over 2.5 million tons were shipped YTD, up 10% from last year.