In 2014, global trade in para-xylene totaled 15.8 million tons, up 2% from the prior year. Trade volume through June of 2015 was up 12% from the same period in 2014, based on reporting countries. Global trade volume is an indicator of global demand.
P-xylene global trade is characterized by large volume exports from a number of major supplying countries, and, large volume imports into several key markets.
Trade information for a few countries is restricted. However, based on those reporting prominent trends in the first half of 2015 included a strong expansion of trade within the Asia-Pacific region, increased exports from Western Europe to North America, sharply lower exports from North America to both Latin America and Asia-Pacific, and, much higher exports from the Middle East, mainly to Asia-Pacific, with small volumes going to Europe and North America.
South Korea was the world’s largest exporter of p-xylene in 2014 shipping nearly 4 million tons, up 30% from the prior year. Exports were at record high levels through most of the last half of the year and continuing through the first half of 2015. China was, by far, Korea’s largest destination, follow distantly by Taiwan and Japan.
Other major exporters of p-xylene include Netherlands, Russia, United States, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan and Taiwan.
China was the world’s biggest p-xylene importer in 2014, volume at nearly 10 million tons, up 10%. Imports trended upward towards the latter part of 2014 and ended the year with a new high of 1.2 million tons in December. Imports in the first half of 2015 continued strong, volume up 24% through June, to 5.9 million tons.
Other leading import markets included: Belgium, Finland, US, Mexico, Brazil, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan.
From International Trader Publications’: P-Xylene World Trade Report