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.

Imports into China of commodity polymers totaled 4 million tons February 2022 YTD, down 14% from the same period in 2021. Exports were 1.4 million tons, up 32%

The largest volume commodity polymer import into China by far was polyethylene, 2.6 million tons through February, down 13%. Imports of polypropylene were 0.7 million tons, down 13%; styrenic polymer imports were 0.5 million tons, down 19%.

PET was the largest commodity polymer export out of China, 732,000 tons, up 50% through February. PVC exports totaled 326,000 tons, down 3%, polyethylene, 156,000 tons, up 44%, polypropylene, 128,000 tons, up 70%.

From International Trader Publications’ China Polymer Trade Report, a monthly analysis of China’s trade in all grades of commodity polymers, recyclable polymers and key fabricated plastic product.