Brazil’s Polymer Trade Sets Multiple Records in 4Qtr 2020

Imports of polyethylene, polypropylene, PVC and PET all hit new highs during the fourth quarter of 2020, as did imports of film and sheet made from PP, PVC and PET, and even imports of recyclable PVC and PET polymer. Exports during the period, particularly of polyethylene and polypropylene, were at their lowest levels in over five years.

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New Focus on Middle East Trade

Several countries in the Middle East do not publish timely statistics on their exports or imports. Most of their trade, however, is visible from the imports and exports of trading partners. The 100 reporting countries in ITP’s data base are estimated to capture from 75%-95% of actual trade. ITP’s World Trade Reports now show Middle East trade by trading partner, including monthly quantity, average PPT and cumulative volume for: Israel, Iran, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

All Available Countries Added to ITP’s World Trade Reports and Matrixes

Not all countries publish their trade statistics. All those that do, however, are included in ITP’s World Trade Reports and Matrixes, providing the most comprehensive coverage possible for liquefied gases, olefins, polyolefins, other major polymers, recyclable polymers, synthetic rubber products, vinyl monomers and others. ITP’s database now contains 100 countries and will be expanded as more countries become available.

Contrasts Between Iran and United Arab Emirates Exports of Polyethylene

Iran and UAE do not publish timely trade statistics, but, their exports are visible in large part from trading partner import statistics. For Iran, these show a drop in polyethylene exports through August 2020 and dependence on a limited number of markets; for UAE, these show export growth and a broader range of markets.

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Record Imports into China of LLDPE and HDPE, and, Changes in Suppliers

As it did in 2009 during the financial crisis, China buttressed the global petrochemical industry with record imports of LLDPE and HDPE during the 2020 pandemic. Volume was heavy from May through October 2020. Much higher imports from North America (US), Eastern Europe (Russia) and other Asia-Pacific, and a drop in imports of LLDPE from the Middle East, were prominent supply changes.

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China’s Imports of Polyethylene Rebound in September; New Record Highs on Imports of HDPE and LDPE

After slowing in July and August, China’s imports of polyethylene rose strongly in September, 2020, and were accompanied by rising prices. Imports of conventional high pressure LDPE and HDPE set new records.

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