China’s PE and PP Imports Slow in July and August 2020

China’s imports of ethylene polymers dropped from a record high of 2.1 million tons in June to 1.8 million tons in August. Imports of propylene polymers fell from 840,000 tons in June, another record, to 580,000 tons. Despite the declines, imports YTD are up substantially for both polymer groups.

After a slow first quarter, China’s PE imports rebounded strongly in the second and remained high despite declines in the third. Imports of ethylene polymers totaled 13.7 million tons through August, up 8% from the same period last year. China imported higher volumes of ethylene-alpha-olefins copolymers, HDPE and EVA but imports of conventional high pressure LDPE were down.

There were large percentage gains on ethylene polymer imports from South Korea, UAE, United States, Russia and others, which more than offset lower volumes from Saudi Arabia and Iran, among others. Prices rose slightly on the lower volumes in July and August.

Imports of propylene polymers totaled 4.5 million tons through August, up 29% on higher volumes from South Korea, UAE, Thailand, India and many others. Average prices also rose on the smaller volumes in July and August.

From International Trader Publications’ World Trade Reports on all ethylene and propylene polymer grades. These are continuously updated analyses of global trade for countries and between regions, based on statistics from 100 countries.