China’s imports of ethylene jumped back up to nearly 200,000 tons in June 2017, at an average price of $1077/ton, after two months around 160,000 tons per month. Volume in the first half of the year was up 48% from the same period in 2016.
The volume of butadiene traded as imports and exports in 2016 was over 2.5 million tons, up 10% from 2015. Higher imports into Asia-Pacific and North America featured prominently in the increase in global volume.
Over 9 million tons of benzene were traded globally in 2015, up 16% from 2014. Prominent regional trends during the year included: higher Asia-Pacific exports and also expanded trade within that region; increased imports into North America; increased imports into Western Europe; and, in the Middle East sharply higher trade, both imports and exports, with imports exceeding exports. Early data for 2016 indicates a continuation of these trends.
China ended 2015 with imports of polyolefins up 10% from 2014. Imports of HDPE and EVA were particularly strong, up 12% and 27%, respectively. In addition to higher volumes from the Middle East and Asia-Pacific, supplies from North America and Latin America rose sharply.
In 2014, global trade in polyethylene sheets and other flat products (film, foil and strip) totaled 4.4 million tons, up 2% from the prior year. Trade volume through June of 2015 was up 3% from the same period in the prior year, based on reporting countries. Global trade volume is an indicator of global demand.