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.
Shipments totaled 5.3 million tons for the year, with volumes at record high levels early in the year, a slowdown from May through November, then a surge in December.
As US exports of recycle polyethylene and PET dropped to record low levels in October, 2017, US imports jumped, mainly on higher volumes from Canada and Mexico.
The new year started off strong for US exports of polyolefins, with heavy shipments in January 2017 of HDPE, LLDPE, LDPE, polypropylene homopolymer and propylene copolymers. Continue reading
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.
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.
The volume of PE bags and sacks (plus cones) traded globally in 2015 was 3.7 million tons. Trade volume in 2016 is projected to be up about 4%, to just over 3.8 million tons. Western European countries and the United States are major import markets; China is the world’s top exporter, although shipments from other countries are rising. Continue reading
Unusually low imports of monoethylene glycol into China early in 2016 were reflected in trade flows globally, especially exports out of the Middle East and from Asia-Pacific suppliers. Global volume of 8.1 million tons through August was down 11%, despite strong demand in several other markets.
Mexico’s exports of HDPE rose sharply in the second quarter of 2016, while exports of L/LLDPE continued a gradual upward trend. Imports of both polymers also trended higher. Major shifts in imports and exports are expected as Braskem Idesa’s new plant ramps up. Continue reading
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.