Global Trade Growth in Polyethylene Slows in 2013

Growth rates of global trade in LDPE, LLDPE and HDPE in 2013 were down from the prior year. Trends in global trade volume for widely traded products are an indicator of global demand. ITP measured 10.7 million tons of LDPE trade in 2013, up 1%, which compared with a 9% increase in 2012 over 2011. LLDPE trade also was up 1%, to 9.6 million tons, versus a 6% gain in 2012. HDPE trade had the highest increase in 2013, up 4%, to 17.9 million tons, although this was down from a 5% rise in 2012.

The reduced global growth rates in 2013 were the net result of major regional trends, both positive and negative. These included: zero or negative expansion of Western Europe’s intra-regional trade; much higher imports into Western Europe from the Middle East of LLDPE, up 21%, and HDPE, up 15%; expansions by 4%-9% of Asia-Pacific’s intra-regional trade; Asia-Pacific imports of LDPE up 8% and HDPE up 15% but imports of LLDPE down 15% as more polymer was sourced from within the region; minor or negative growth in Eastern Europe’s PE imports; solid gains of 3%-7% in Latin America’s PE imports.

(From ITP’s World Trade Reviews of 2013).