Exports from the US of commodity polymers trended higher through most of the first half of 2018 and set a new record in June. Imports of fabricated plastic products also hit a new high in June.
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
Imports were at record levels for most of the second half of 2017.
The United States exported a total of 4.5 million tons of ethylene polymers through October 2017, down 3% from the prior year. The small decline was the net of lower shipments of LLDPE and HDPE, partly offset by gains on exports of LDPE, EVA and Ethylene Copolymers.
Brazil’s imports of ethylene polymers were up 13% through June, 2017 and imports of propylene polymers increased 5%. Brazil’s exports of these polymers were off slightly YTD.
Iran exported 2.7 million tons of ethylene polymers in 2016, up 19%, and 190,000 tons of propylene polymers, down 10%. Continue reading
With construction continuing on massive new polyethylene capacity, US imports trended up to a new record high in the second half of the year, as US exports plummeted.
An important trend since March 2016 has been record exports of polymers from China. Exports of PVC surged in March and continued high through August, as did exports of PET. Shipments of polyolefins were heavy from March through June/July, but slowed in August.
China exported 4.1 million tons of polymers in 2015, down 10% from the prior year. PET was the largest volume polymer export, followed by PVC, both down from 2014. Exports of polyethylene increased.
Qatar exports huge volumes of EDC, VCM, polyethylene and methanol. Qatar also imports numerous polymers and chemicals. Continue reading