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.
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.
The US exported a total of 1.7 million tons of recycle polymers in 2017. Imports into the US of recycle polymers were 429,000 tons, up 2%. Continue reading
Imports of fabricated plastic products that can be specifically identified by polymer were 3.5 million tons in 2017, up 17%. (Much larger volumes of fabricated products are imported as mixtures of polymers.) Imports were at record high levels for most of the year, including through the fourth quarter.
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.
United States exports of propylene hit 61,000 tons in June, 2017, at an average price of $813/ton. Shipments YTD were up 31% from the same period in 2016.
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.