Japan’s Imports Slow; Exports Climb

After the tsunami in March 2011, Japan’s imports of many polymers and chemicals surged and exports dropped. A slowdown in imports was apparent in July, and also higher exports.  YTD, imports generally posted gains; exports, declines.

Despite the declines in July, Japan’s imports through the first half of 2011 were up for most of the products ITP covers. Particularly large volumes of ethylene copolymers were imported during the period, 196,000 tons, up 52%, and also PET, 445,000 tons, up 11%. Also higher were imports of polyethylene, polypropylene, propylene copolymers, polystyrene, uncompounded PVC, ABS and EVA, although volumes of these products were generally low.

Among major organics, Japan imported 1 million tons of methanol YTD, down 3%, and 47,000 tons of MEG, versus minor volumes in the prior year.

Japan exported lower volumes of ABS, benzene, ethylene copolymers, EVA, L/LLDPE, HDPE, polycarbonates, polypropylene, propylene copolymers, propylene monomer, polystyrene, PVC, styrene and VCM. Shipments of the largest volume chemicals, namely, propylene, styrene and VCM each were down 5% to 8%. Exports of uncompounded PVC were down 34%.

Full detail on volumes in July and year to date, including percentage changes, is available to subscribers in the “Early Release” section of the ITP website.

[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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