Latin America’s Polyethylene Import Trends

The Latin American import market for polyethylene has become increasingly important to exporters worldwide as demand in the region is expected to grow rapidly but capacity expansions are limited.

In 2014, Latin America imported over 3.4 million tons of polyethylene (HDPE, LLDPE, LDPE), up 3.2% from 2013.  The growth rate on polyethylene imports over the four year period from 2010 through 2014 averaged 4.2% per year.

How much Latin America imports from different regions fluctuates from year to year. In 2014, imports from both Asia-Pacific and Western Europe of all the PE grades were up substantially versus the prior year, as were also imports of LDPE from the Middle East. North America supplied 73% of the 3.4 million ton total, Western Europe 7%, the Middle East 8% and Asia-Pacific 12%.

Four years earlier, in 2010, North America had supplied 81% of the 2.9 million tons imported,  Western Europe 7%, the Middle East 5%, and Asia-Pacific 6%.

Data through June 2015 shows strong growth on polyethylene imports into Latin America, volume up 11% from last year, and large percentage increases on imports from Asia-Pacific, Western Europe and the Middle East.

From ITP’s: World Trade Reports and Annual Reviews.