Mid-year Global Trade Highlights: Glycols, Monomers and Feedstocks

Highlights of global trade June 2011 YTD from ITP’s monthly newsletters on benzene, styrene, MEG, DEG, EDC/VCM, methanol, ethylene and propylene are summarized.

Representing the majority of the world’s trade, ITP measured 3.4 million tons of benzene traded through June, up 8%; 5.3 million tons of styrene, down 2%; 6.4 million tons of MEG, up 6%; 0.6 million tons of DEG, up 8%; 1.2 million tons of EDC, down 3%; 1.8 million tons of VCM, up 10%; 14.2 million tons of methanol, up 8%; 3 million tons of ethylene, up 9%; and 3.2 million tons of propylene, down 1%.  ITP’s Yearend 2011 Projections show lower percentage numbers for nearly all of these products, although all continue positive except styrene, EDC and propylene, with small declines. Trends in global trade volume generally reflect trends in demand.

Among the many trends June YTD for these products, of particular note are: a 62% increase in Asia-Pacific benzene exports on higher shipments to Western Europe, North America and the Middle East; increased Middle East exports of several basic chemicals, including styrene, up 7%, MEG, up 15%, DEG, up 19% , ethylene, up 90% and propylene, up 17%.  The bulk of Middle East shipments of these products were to Asia-Pacific but also noting sizeable volumes of MEG and DEG shipped to North America and Western Europe and ethylene to Western and Eastern Europe. Middle East exports of methanol were off 1%, a moderate increase to Asia-Pacific offset by a steep drop to Western Europe. North America’s EDC exports to Asia-Pacific were down 7%, coincident with 12% higher Middle East shipments to that region. North America’s VCM exports surged 60%, mainly on shipments to Latin America, with smaller volumes to Asia-Pacific.

[important]This information is from ITP’s newsletters on global trade in polymers and chemicals, available by subscription monthly or quarterly.[/important]

Jean J. Sudol
International Trader Publications, Inc.
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