Global trade in recycle polyethylene was down 14% through June 2018, the loss of China as an import market partly offset by higher imports into other Asia-Pacific markets and also Turkey.
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.
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
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.
The volume of recycle polyethylene traded globally was up 12% through May, 2017, mainly on higher imports into China, followed by gains in other Asia-Pacific markets.
China’s exports of polypropylene homopolymer surged to a new high in March 2017 and continued heavy in April. Continue reading
Preliminary figures for 2016 indicate a 6% increase in global trade volume in polyethylene film and sheet, to just under 5 million tons.
China’s imports of recycle PET climbed through most of 2016, reaching a new high of 277,000 tons in December. The average price picked up slightly towards year end, to $456/ton.
China exported 25,000 tons of polypropylene homopolymer in April, 2016, the highest monthly volume on record. Continue reading
The volume of polypropylene homopolymer traded globally in 2015 was 17.3 million tons, up 3% from 2014. Imports into Asia-Pacific were unchanged from the prior year. Western Europe’s imports rose 21%; North America’s, 42%, but on small volumes. Data available to date for 2016 indicates a continuation of these trends.