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.
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 volume of liquefied natural gas traded globally through July 2017 exceeded 150 million tons, up 11% from last year, based on latest available trade statistics.
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.
China ended 2015 with imports of polyolefins up 10% from 2014. Imports of HDPE and EVA were particularly strong, up 12% and 27%, respectively. In addition to higher volumes from the Middle East and Asia-Pacific, supplies from North America and Latin America rose sharply.
Iran’s exports of several large volume polymers and chemicals were up sharply in the first half of 2015 versus the prior year. These products were shipped primarily to just three markets, China, India and Turkey, a situation which will change should sanctions be lifted. Continue reading
Nearly 800,000 tons of sheet and other flat products (film, foil and strip) made from PVC were traded globally in 2014, up 3% from the prior year. Trade volume through June of 2015 was down 3%, based on reporting countries. Global trade volume is an indicator of global demand.
The United Arab Emirates’ exports of polyethylene and polypropylene increased substantially in 2014, and shipments grew through the first half of 2015.