Tag Archives: Vietnam

US Exports of Recycle Polymers Down 46% as of July 2019; Further Declines Likely From India’s Ban on Recycle Polymer Imports

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.

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Global Trade in Recycle Polyethylene Down 31% in 2018

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.

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Little Change in MEG Global Trade Volume Projected for 2018

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.

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Western Europe Exported 2.4 Times as Much Recycle PE in 2017 as Did North America

Although virgin polyethylene production capacity is similar in both regions, Western Europe exported 1.4 million tons of recycle polyethylene in 2017, compared with 0.6 million tons  exported by from North America.

Shipments in 2017 from both regions were mainly to Asia-Pacific, although 220,000 tons of its total was shipped by Western Europe to Eastern Europe. Exports from both Western Europe and North America declined versus 2016, by 15% and 9%, respectively.

As of January 2018, China’s imports of R-PE have virtually disappeared. Although R-PE imports into Vietnam, Malaysia, Turkey and other countries have been rising, their imports to date are much smaller than China’s. Because of the previous size of Western Europe’s R-PE exports, that region will likely be impacted by the loss of the Chinese market to a greater degree than will North America.

From International Trader Publications’ Recycle Polyethylene World Trade Review – a continuously updated on line analysis of trade trends between countries and regions, based on latest import/export statistics from 46 countries.

China’s End to Imports of Recycle Polymers Will Have Global Impact

If China cuts off all imports of recycle plastics, as reported in the media as possibly occurring as soon as 2018, the impact on recycling industries in the US, Europe and Asia of the loss of a market for 7.3 million tons of recycle polymer would be huge.

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