Although trade data for July for the US does not reflect new tariffs of 25% on many fabricated plastic products from China, US statistics showed record volumes being imported each month from May through July.
Singapore imported 1.7 million tons of commodity polymers through July 2018, up 11%, and exported 4.2 million tons, up 6%.
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.
Global trade in recycle polyethylene was down 14% through June 2018, the loss of China as an import market partly offset by higher imports into other Asia-Pacific markets and also Turkey.
China has reported aggregated statistics for its imports of major products, including polypropylene, ABS and PVC. Continue reading
Global trade in ethylene polymers expanded by 6% through June 2018, to over 22 million tons based on preliminary data. Most of the increase was accounted for by higher volumes of conventional high pressure PE and ethylene-alpha-olefins copolymers. Continue reading
If a trade accord between the US and the EU is finalized and the US puts in place more export terminals, LNG exports from the US will rise. Through May 2018, the US exported a total of LNG totaled 9.0 million tons, up 61% from the same period in 2017. Exports have been climbing since early 2016. Korea, Mexico and China were the top three export destinations to date, with relatively small volumes to the EU. Continue reading
After slowing throughout the first quarter, China’s imports of LNG picked up in both April and May.
Although virgin polyethylene production capacity is similar in both regions, Western Europe exported 1.4 million tons of recycle polyethylene in 2017, compared with 0.6 million tons exported by from North America.
Shipments in 2017 from both regions were mainly to Asia-Pacific, although 220,000 tons of its total was shipped by Western Europe to Eastern Europe. Exports from both Western Europe and North America declined versus 2016, by 15% and 9%, respectively.
As of January 2018, China’s imports of R-PE have virtually disappeared. Although R-PE imports into Vietnam, Malaysia, Turkey and other countries have been rising, their imports to date are much smaller than China’s. Because of the previous size of Western Europe’s R-PE exports, that region will likely be impacted by the loss of the Chinese market to a greater degree than will North America.
From International Trader Publications’ Recycle Polyethylene World Trade Review – a continuously updated on line analysis of trade trends between countries and regions, based on latest import/export statistics from 46 countries.
Ethylene global trade in 2017 was 7.9 million tons up 10% from 2016.