Global trade in both polypropylene homopolymer and propylene copolymers contracted by 1% in 2013. Trends in global trade volume for widely traded products are an indicator of global demand. ITP measured 15.7 million tons of polypropylene trade in 2013 and 7.5 million tons of propylene copolymers trade. The declines of 1% in 2013 compared with gains of 2% for homopolymer and 3% for copolymer in 2012 versus 2011.
Major regional trends reflected in polypropylene’s global trade growth rate in 2013 included: a 2% contraction in Western Europe’s intra-regional trade; a 24% increase in Western Europe’s exports to Eastern Europe; a 9% drop in exports from the Middle East on lower shipments to Asia-Pacific, Western Europe and Eastern Europe partly offset by a gain to Africa; increased Asia-Pacific intra-regional trade and lower net imports; higher exports from Asia-Pacific, up 15%, noting gains to Europe and, especially, Latin America; exports from North America down 14%.
Major regional trends impacting propylene copolymers’ growth rate in 2013 included: a 1% contraction in Western Europe’s intra-regional trade; lower imports into Eastern Europe from both Western Europe and the Middle East; a 9% drop in exports from the Middle East on lower shipments to Asia-Pacific and Eastern Europe; increased Asia-Pacific intra-regional trade and lower net imports; much higher imports into Latin America, polymer supplied mainly from North America, followed by Asia-Pacific.
(From ITP’s World Trade Reviews of 2013).