Monthly Archives: January 2021

China Ships Record Volumes of Fabricated Plastic Products Yearend 2020, on Pandemic-Related Demand

China manufactures countless plastic products. Trade in some of these products can be identified by specific polymers while other products are made from a number of polymers and fall into groups defined by end uses. Exports of these products combined totaled 13.9 million tons in 2020, up 10% from 2019. The pandemic created strong demand for PPP related products, packaging, household items and builders’ materials.

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China’s Imports of Ethylene Polymers Were up 11% in 2020, to 21.3 M Tons, Although Volume Slowed in the Fourth Quarter

Imports of HDPE were 9.1 million tons in 2020, up 14% from the prior year; linear polymer as EAOC, 6.7 million tons, up 17%; LDPE, 3.4 million tons, down 1%; and EVA, 1.0 million tons, down 3%. Much higher volumes from North America and Eastern Europe and little growth in supplies from the Middle East were striking trends.

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China’s Imports of Polypropylene Jumped 25% in 2020, to 6.8 M Tons

Higher volumes were imported from Asia-Pacific, 4.9 million tons, up 24%, the Middle East, 1.4 million tons, up 26%, as well as all other regions. Average prices soared from August through December, reaching $1190/ton.

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New High on LNG Exports from the United States in November, 2020, China a Factor

US exports slowed during the second quarter of 2020, hovered at a low around 2 million tons per month from June through August, then climbed sharply, to over 6 million tons in November.

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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Several countries in the Middle East do not publish timely statistics on their exports or imports.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.