Global Trade Projected up 6%-9% in 2019 for Polyethylene; Down Slightly for Polypropylene

Latest import/export statistics from all available countries indicate strong growth in global trade volume for polyethylene by year end 2019 but a contraction for polypropylene. Because global trade is driven by global demand, the trend in world trade volume generally indicates the trend in world demand.

HDPE global trade is projected up 6% for 2019, to 25 million tons. This compares with a 3% increase in 2018 from 2017.

Conventional high pressure low density polyethylene, as evident from countries specifically reporting this product, is also projected up 6%, to 13 million tons, the same increase as in the prior year.

Trade in linear low density polymer, including ethylene-alpha-olefin copolymers (EAOC), is projected up 9%, to 18 million tons. This is down from a 21% gain in 2018 versus 2017, noting that last year’s gain partly reflected a shift in categorization to the new EAOC code.

Polypropylene homopolymer trade is projected down 2% for 2019, to 19 million tons; propylene copolymers is unchanged from last year, at 10 million tons. In 2018, these products were up 2% and 3%, respectively.

Written by Jean J. Sudol. Data from International Trader Publications’ World Trade Reports on polyethylene and polypropylene, continuously updated analysis of global trade based on latest trade statistics.