China’s Commodity Polymer Imports up 20% through February 2019, despite the Chinese New Year Slowdown

China imported 4.6 million tons of commodity polymers – PE, PP, PS, PVC and PET – through February 2019, up 20% from the same period in 2018.

A new record high on imports of commodity polymers in January 2019 was followed by one of the mildest declines in February seen in the last four years, as visible in the graph below:

Imports of polyethylene, all grades, totaled 2.9 million tons, up 24% through February. Propylene polymer imports were 806,000 tons, up 7%; styrenic polymer imports were 616,000 tons, up 21%.

Imports of all of these polymers from both Middle East and Asia-Pacific sources were up; imports from North America declined. Western Europe supplied more polyethylene and polystyrene than in the prior year, but shipped less polypropylene.

From International Trader Publications’ China Polymer Trade Report, a monthly online publication analyzing China’s imports and exports of all commodity polymers, recycle polymers and large-volume fabricated plastic products.