Weak demand in China as a result of stringent Covid restrictions was reflected in lower imports of polyolefins into China, and higher exports out of China, in each of the last two years.
Imports of ethylene polymers are projected to total 16.1 million tons in 2022, down 7% from 2021. This follows a decline of 17% in 2021 versus the previous year.
Imports of propylene polymers are projected to total 4.7 million tons in 2022, down 8% from 2021. This follows a decline of 25% in 2021 versus the previous year.
China’s polyolefin exports surged in the second quarter of 2022 but then slowed. ITP projects exports by yearend 2022 of 1.2 million tons of ethylene polymers and 1.3 million tons of propylene polymers, up 26% and 3%, respectively, from 2021. This followed gains on exports in 2021 versus 2020 of 50% for ethylene polymers and 216% for propylene polymers.
From International Trader Publication’s Projected World Trade Matrixes for polymers of ethylene and propylene.