US exports of HDPE have trended higher through most of 2018, with volume of 2.1 million tons through October up 21% from the same period in 2017. A record 259,000 tons were shipped in the month of October.
Shipments increased to every region except the Middle East, with the largest percentage gains on exports to Western Europe and Asia Pacific.
ITP projects MEG trade volume for 2018 of 15.1 million tons, up 1% from 2017. This compares with an increase of 10% from 2016 to 2017. The trend in global trade volume generally indicates the trend in world demand.
On August 23rd, the US imposed tariffs of 25% on imports of a number of fabricated plastic products from China, including film/sheet from PE and PP, tubes/pipes from PE and PP and monofilament from PE. US imports from China of all these products except PE film/sheet were down in August versus July.
As of August 23, 2018 China imposed a 25% tariff on a number of products from the US, including HDPE, ethylene-alpha-olefins copolymers and EVA. The new tariffs did not reduce total US exports of ethylene polymers in August, which continued at record levels.
Although trade data for July for the US does not reflect new tariffs of 25% on many fabricated plastic products from China, US statistics showed record volumes being imported each month from May through July.