Focus on: China’s Chemical Trade in the First Half of 2015

There were spectacular increases on imports of several large volume chemicals and polymers into China in the first half of 2015, and declines on others.

China’s benzene imports had the highest percentage increase, up 170% from the same period in 2014, to 895,000 tons, on supplies from South Korea, Thailand, India, UAE, Saudi Arabia and others. There were also much higher imports of: methanol, 2.6 million tons, up 56%; para-xylene, 5.9 million tons, up 24%; VCM, 396,000 tons, up 28%; EVA, 414,000 tons, up 26%; and cumene, 334,000 tons, up 21%.

China imported substantially less: acrylonitrile, 217,000 tons, down 19%; ethylene monomer, 636,000 tons, down 18%; acetone, 205,000 tons, down 17%; toluene, 362,000 tons, down 48%; propylene oxide, 156,000 tons, down 37%; ortho-xylene, 190,000 tons, down 32%; and styrene, 1.8 million tons, down 13%.

Imports of purefied terephthalic acid fell 48%, to 389,000 tons, but China’s exports of PTA surged 42%, to 330,000 tons.

China’s two leading polymer exports declined: PET, 950,000 tons, down 14%; uncompounded PVC, 393,000 tons, down 29%.

From ITP’s: World Trade Reports, providing the most current view possible of changing trade flows between countries and regions for polymers and chemicals.