The US imported 577,000 tons of propylene polymers through October, 2018, up 39% from the same period in 2017. US exports of these polymers were down 13% through October, to 1.5 million tons.
ITP projects MEG trade volume for 2018 of 15.1 million tons, up 1% from 2017. This compares with an increase of 10% from 2016 to 2017. The trend in global trade volume generally indicates the trend in world demand.
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.
Korea’s exports of commodity polymers expanded moderately in the first seven months of 2018, as did shipments of fabricated plastic products. Imports rose sharply. Korea exported less recycle polymers but imported more.
The United States exported 1.8 million tons of LNG in November 2017, setting another record. The average price picked up slightly from the prior month, to $214/ton.
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.
China imported 11 million tons of ethylene polymers through October 2017, up 20%. Imports of all grades were up substantially and volume has been heavy since August.
The US exported 9.1 million tons of LNG through August 2017, up 358% from the same period in 2016. There were exports to many new markets, plus higher shipments to some of the same markets as in 2016.
Butadiene trade totaled over 1.3 million tons in the first half of 2017, up 8% from the same period in 2016. Prominent trends included increased imports into Asia-Pacific and expanded trade within the region, a strong increase in exports from Latin America, and lower exports from Western Europe.
United States exports of propylene hit 61,000 tons in June, 2017, at an average price of $813/ton. Shipments YTD were up 31% from the same period in 2016.