Duties of 25% on imports from the US of most polyethylene grades have had little effect on China’s total imports, which were at record levels from March through May, 2019.Continue reading
US exports of polyethylene reached successive new highs from March through May, 2019, with relatively little impact evident from reduced shipments to China.Continue reading
In April 2019, for the second month in a row, China’s imports of ethylene polymers hit a new record high. Year to date, reduced volumes from North America were offset by increased volumes from Asia-Pacific sources.Continue reading
Despite a steep drop in imports in February 2019 due to the Chinese New Year holiday, as well as slowing winter demand, China’s imports year to date, 10.9 million tons, were up 19% from the same two-month period in 2018.Continue reading
Based on latest available statistics, ITP projects a volume of 3.2 million tons of recycle polyethylene traded globally in 2018. This is a decline of 31%, or 1.4 million tons, from 2017. Exports out of Western Europe and North America were particularly impacted, although shipments from all regions were down.
China imported a record 6 million tons of LNG during November 2018, raising the year to date import volume to 47.6 million tons, an increase of 43% from the same period in 2017.
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.
Singapore imported 1.7 million tons of commodity polymers through July 2018, up 11%, and exported 4.2 million tons, up 6%.
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.
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.