US exports of polypropylene, propylene copolymers and polyisobutylene were down 14% through July 2018, to 1.1 million tons, while imports jumped 36%, to 370,000 tons.
Brazil’s exports of commodity polymers trended downward through most of the first seven months of 2018. Imports were moderately higher; imports of fabricated plastic products rose strongly.
Butadiene global trade in 2017 was 2.7 million tons, up 7% from 2016.
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.
Brazil’s imports of ethylene polymers were up 13% through June, 2017 and imports of propylene polymers increased 5%. Brazil’s exports of these polymers were off slightly YTD.
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.
Brazil exported nearly 2 million tons of polyolefins, styrenic polymers, vinyl polymers and PET in 2016, up 28% from 2015.
With construction continuing on massive new polyethylene capacity, US imports trended up to a new record high in the second half of the year, as US exports plummeted.
Cuba’s largest polymer imports are HDPE, LDPE and PET. Sizable volumes of polyethylene bags/sacks and polyethylene film/sheet are also imported. Volumes rose sharply in 2015 versus 2014.
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.