US exports of ethylene polymers set a another record high in October, 2018, climbing to 706,300 tons. Volume in January was 494,000 tons.
China’s imports October YTD showed particularly strong gains on imports of ethylene-alpha-olefins copolymers (LLDPE) and styrenic polymers, versus the same period in 2017. Only imports of PVC were down.
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.
US exports of ethylene polymers soared to an all-time high of 653,315 tons in September, 2018, despite tariffs of 25% imposed by China on HDPE, EAOC and EVA from the US.
As of August 23, 2018 China imposed a 25% tariff on a number of products from the US, including HDPE, ethylene-alpha-olefins copolymers and EVA. The new tariffs did not reduce total US exports of ethylene polymers in August, which continued at record levels.
Reflecting new capacity, US exports of ethylene polymers (LDPE, LLDPE, EAOC, HDPE, EVA, Copolymers) trended upward from the last quarter of 2017 and climbed through several new highs through July 2018.
India’s trade in commodity polymers in the first half of 2018 was highlighted by record high exports of virgin polymers, record high exports of fabricated plastic products, and, increased imports of recycle polymers.
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
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.
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.