China’s Demand for PE and PP Imports Dropped in April, 2021; Exports of PVC Continued at Record Levels

After a moderate rebound in imports in March, following the Chinese New Year Holiday, imports into China fell substantially in April. China exported extremely high volumes of PVC in both March and April.

Through April, 2021 China imported a total of 9.9 million tons of commodity polymers, up 6% from the same period in 2020. Imports of ethylene polymers were 6.5 million tons of the total, up 8%; polypropylene was 1.7 million tons, up 1%; styrenic polymers were 1.3 million tons, up 17%.

Unusually high export volumes were seen in March and April. YTD, these totaled 3.1 million tons across all the commodity polymers, up 71%.

Much of the volume and growth in China’s commodity polymer exports was because of PVC, shipments of which were 0.9 million tons of the total, up 211% as supply shortages globally raised demand for this polymer. Much higher volumes were shipped YTD to India, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Brazil, Malaysia, UAE and others. Exports of PET were 1.2 million tons of the total, up 14%.

From International Trader Publications’ China Polymer Trade Report, a monthly analysis of China’s imports and exports of all commodity polymers, recyclable polymers and key fabricated plastic products.