Two main factors – the startup of new capacity plus tariffs on exports to China – have resulted in large regional shifts in US exports of linear PE. Exports have increased to all regions but especially to Western and Eastern Europe, and combined shipments to those regions now exceed those to Asia-Pacific.
A 14% increase in global LNG trade in 2018, to 318 million tons of imports and exports, is forecast by ITP based on the latest available statistics. This follows an 8% increase in global trade in 2017 versus 2016.
ITP projects global trade volume in 2018 of 62 million tons in all polymers of ethylene (LDPE/LLDPE, HDPE, EAOC, Copolymers and EVA), up 5% from 2017. This compares with an increase of 7% in 2017 versus 2016. The trend in global trade volume generally indicates the trend in world demand.
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.
LNG global trade in 2017 was 280 million tons, up 8%.
Butadiene global trade in 2017 was 2.7 million tons, up 7% from 2016.
Middle East exports of liquefied propane gas to Asia-Pacific are projected to be down 3% at yearend 2017, to 19.9 million tons. This follows a decline of 7% in Middle East shipments to the region in 2016 versus 2015. The Middle East’s much smaller exports to Africa also were down for the second year.
In contrast, North America’s exports to Asia-Pacific are projected to end up 18% in 2017, to 13.2 million tons. In 2016, North America’s shipments to that region had jumped 81% from the prior year.
North America’s exports to Western Europe and Latin America are projected to be down in 2017 but shipments to Eastern Europe and Africa have risen in each of the last two years.
US exports were 2.6 million tons in October and 2.4 million tons in November, both volumes near record levels. Shipments totaled 24.1 million tons through November, up 14% on higher volumes to Japan, China, Mexico, Korea and many others.
From International Trader Publications’ Liquefied Propane Gas World Trade Report – a continuously updated on line analysis of global trade based on statistics from 60 countries.
Exports from the Middle East to all other regions of LDPE/LLDPE, HDPE, EVA and Ethylene Copolymers (Ethylene-alpha-Olefins Copolymers plus Other Ethylene Copolymers) are projected by International Trader Publications to be up 9% at yearend 2017 versus 2016, to 17.1 million tons. This is an increase of 1.4 million tons from the prior year.
Asia-Pacific’s imports from other regions of LDPE/LLDPE, HDPE, EVA and Ethylene Copolymers (Ethylene-alpha-Olefins Copolymers plus Other Ethylene Copolymers) are projected by International Trader Publications to be up by 15% at yearend 2017 versus 2016, to over 15.6 million tons. This is an increase of over 2 million tons. Continue reading
Trade in LDPE/LLDPE, HDPE, EVA and Ethylene Copolymers is projected by International Trader Publications to be up by 6% at yearend 2017 versus the prior year, to nearly 60 million tons.