China’s Imports of Recycle Polyethylene from Europe, North America and Asia Each Down 20-30%

China imported 1.9 million tons of recycle polyethylene from all sources in 2017, down 23%. Imports trended lower for most of the year with further declines expected in 2018 as restrictions come into full force.

China’s imports of R-PE fell to 69,000 tons in December, 2017, their lowest level in at least five years. The average price also dropped, to $525/ton.

This compared with monthly volumes nearing 400,000 tons in numerous months in 2013-2014 and average prices of over $700/ton throughout that period.

Western Europe was China’s largest supplier of R-PE in 2017, providing over 800,000 tons, down 20%. Other Asian countries shipped 715,000 tons to China, down 29%; North America, 293,000 tons, down 19%.

From International Trader Publications China Polymer Trade Report – an on line analysis of China’s imports and exports of virgin commodity polymers, recycle polymers and fabricated plastic products.