Author Archives: JJSUDOL

Russia’s Exports of Polyolefins to Western and Eastern Europe

Russia exports more than twice as much ethylene and propylene polymers to other Eastern European countries than it does to Western Europe. Turkey and Poland are the top two destinations in Eastern Europe. Flows to Poland, other EU countries within Eastern Europe, and the Ukraine are most likely to be affected by the war in Ukraine.

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Impressive Surge in US Exports of Polyethylene in March, 2022

The United States exported 966,000 tons of ethylene polymers in March, 2022, an increase of 160,000 tons over February. Shipments of every PE grade were up in March. Further increases are likely with startup of new capacity.

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China’s Trade in Commodity Polymers March 2022 YTD

After nearly a year of low volumes, China’s imports of virgin commodity polymers posted a small increase in March. Exports of PVC and PET exports surged. Shipments of fabricated plastic products rebounded modestly after the Chinese New Year slowdown. These flows were likely impacted by Covid-related lockdowns, the effects of which on demand and production are expected to continue for some months to come.

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China’s Imports and Exports of Commodity Polymers Dropped With the Start of Chinese New Year on February 1st, but Trends Differed From Prior Periods.

Reflecting both new domestic capacity and weaker domestic demand, imports in February 2022 continued depressed and, unlike prior years, did not show the surge typically seen in the month prior to the national holiday. Exports surged in December, then slowed in January and February.

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United States Exports of Ethylene Polymers in January 2022 Were at Their Highest Level in 10 Months

Despite the rise, shipments were still 20% below the record high volumes exported in January 2021. There was also a marked change in export destinations by region between the two periods.

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Western Europe Exports to Russia More of Most Major Polymers than it Imports from Russia, with the Exception of Polypropylene.

Western Europe’s polymer trade with Russia, particularly in polyolefins, styrenic polymers and PVC, will be impacted by sanctions and broken supply chains from the war in Ukraine.

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Russia’s Leading Exports and Imports of Polymers, Chemicals and Gases

The war in Ukraine, and with it sanctions and broken supply chains, will likely impact both exports from and imports into Russia of many products.

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Ukraine Exports and Imports Numerous Polymers and Chemicals that Will Likely be Impacted by the Conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Ukraine exports sizable volumes of benzene, caustic soda, propylene monomer and PVC, and, imports polyethylene, polypropylene, liquefied propane and butane gas and PET.

Ukraine’s top export markets include Italy, Poland, Turkey, Czech Rep., Russia and Spain, among others. Russia is Ukraine’s top import source for LDPE, polypropylene, methanol and liquefied propane and butane gas.

This table shows Ukraine’s total exports and imports in 2021 and top trading partners for each:

From International Trader Publications’ World Trade Analyses, continuously updated analysis of trade between countries and regions for each product.

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Trends in United States Exports of Recyclable Polymers

The US exported 557,000 tons of recyclable polymers in 2021, one-third the volume of what was shipped in 2017. In addition to a sharp decline in volume over that period, the distribution of US exports changed. Latin America and Canada now account for a greater share of the total, although Asia-Pacific remains the largest volume destination. Further declines in US exports to Asia-Pacific are likely given the decision by CMA CGM, the US’s largest shipper of these materials, to end shipments as of June 1, 2022.

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