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.
China’s polyethylene imports rebounded strongly in November 2017. This followed a relatively small holiday-related decline in October, versus previous years. Imports of recycle polyethylene continued trending downward, to their lowest monthly volume in the 2013-2017 period.
The United States exported nearly 7 million tons of liquefied natural gas through June 2017, versus minor volumes in the same period in 2016. Shipments were global, with large volumes to all regions except Africa. As US exports to Western Europe and Latin America increased, shipments from the Middle East and Africa to those regions dropped.
After trending downward for most of 2016 and into early 2017 China’s imports of liquefied butane gases soared to a new record high of 557,000 ton in May and continued to rise in June, reaching 587,000 tons. Average prices slipped in both months, to $433/ton in June.
Through May, 2017, China imported a total of 5.4 million tons of ethylene polymers, up 17% from the same period in 2016. Iran supplied 823,000 tons, or 15%, of the total, down 7%. A restriction on imports into China from Iran, will likely be made up by Saudi Arabia, US, Korea and UAE, among others.