China imported 2.5 million tons of recycle PE, PP, PS, PVC and PET through April 2017, up 25% from the prior year. Imports of every recycle polymer showed an increase.
Although operation “National Sword” restricting imports of contaminated polymer came into effect in February, 2017, China’s imports through April were up 16% for PE, 23% for PP, 20% for styrenic polymerss, 9% for PVC, and 40% for PET. (PP is grouped with smaller volumes of other polymers.)
Of particular note were imports of the PP group and PET, both of which hit new record highs in 4Qtr 2016, and did not show steep volume declines in January/February 2017 due to Chinese New Year as was typical in earlier years. Pre-buying in advance of the new restrictions was a probable cause. China’s imports of all the recycle polymers did slow in April; further declines are likely.
From International Trader Publications’: China Polymer Trade Report