Highlights of U.S. Exports

Highlights of U.S. exports through September 2011: most polyolefins exports, excluding LLDPE, down slightly or unchanged; PVC exports up 10%; increased shipments also of polyacetals, polycarbonates, ethylene, EDC, VCM and MEG; lower exports of propylene, PET and styrene.

Although numerous shifts occurred among end markets, there was no change in the total volume of US exports September YTD of polypropylene, 901 K tons, and ethylene copolymers, 733 K tons. Declines of 5%-6% were seen on shipments of LDPE, 472 K tons, HDPE, 1.27 M tons, and propylene copolymers, 464 K tons. Exports of LLDPE showed the steepest decline, down 20%, to 431 K tons, noting a very sharp drop off in trade with China.

PVC exports continued high, shipments of 2.3 M tons YTD up 10%, Mexico, Russia and Brazil particularly high growth destinations.

China was a growth market for US exports of polyacetals and polycarbonates. US shipments to all destinations totaled 81 K tons of polyacetals, up 11%, and 300 K tons of polycarbonates, up 5%, respectively. PET exports were off 25%, to 249 K tons, on much lower volumes to Latin America.

US exports of ethylene nearly doubled over the period, to 152 K tons, Venezuela and Japan leading growth destinations. Propylene exports, however, were off 20%, to 103 K tons. Exports of EDC were 417 K tons, up 9%; VCM, 829 K tons, up 28%; MEG, 401 K tons, up 3%. Styrene exports dropped 11%, to 936 K tons.

[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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