Trade volume by year end is projected at 22 million tons, down 2% from 2018 based on the latest statistics from 50 countries. This compared with an 11% gain in global trade volume in 2018 versus 2017. Prominent trends in 2019 include a drop in Asia-Pacific intra-regional trade, increased exports from the Middle East, and lower shipments from North America.Continue reading
The US shipped 406,000 tons of recycle polymers through July, 2019, down 46% from the same period in the prior year. China’s total ban on imports of recycle polymers as of 2018 was a key factor in the decline. Further declines in US exports are expected as India has announced it will also ban all recycle polymer imports.Continue reading
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
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
Lower imports into China were evident in the slowdown in trade within the Asia-Pacific region in 2018.Continue reading
In advance of the Chinese New Year holiday beginning on February 5th, China’s imports of many products jumped to new highs in January.Continue reading
On August 23rd, 2018, China imposed a 25% duty on imports of ethylene, propylene and butadiene from the US. China imports relatively small volumes of propylene and butadiene from the US. Imports of ethylene, however, are sizable and volumes slowed in the fourth quarter, impacted by the duty.Continue reading
Thailand exported 5.4 million tons of commodity polymers in 2018, up 16% from 2017. The country became an important new market for recycle polymers, imports of which nearly quadrupled in 2018, to 553,000 tons. Sizable volumes of fabricated plastic products, 663,000 tons, up 8%, were exported to Asia-Pacific and North America.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.
Higher phenol exports from new capacity in Saudi Arabia was one factor in the 7% increase in global trade volume, to 3.0 million tons, projected for 2018.