Polyethylene – Major Trade Trends in 2014

ITP’s analysis of global trade indicates a 3% increase in the volume of LDPE traded in 2014 versus 2013, to 12.1 million tons, a 1% decline in the volume of LLDPE traded, to 9.6 million tons, and, a 1% gain in the volume of HDPE traded, to 18.6 million tons. Trends in global trade volume generally indicate trends in global demand. 

There were a number of trends that were common for all three polymers. Western Europe’s exports abroad increased by 12%-17% and included higher shipments to Eastern Europe and nearly all other regions except, in the case of HDPE, Asia-Pacific. Western Europe’s imports of these polymers from other regions fell by 7%-30%, reduced volumes from the Middle East a factor in all the declines, especially for LDPE and LLDPE.

North America’s exports of LDPE and LLDPE each were down by 4%; exports of HDPE dropped 12%.

In the Middle East, exports of LDPE and HDPE were up, by 3% and 5%, respectively; exports of LLDPE dropped 13% on sharply lower volumes to both Western and Eastern Europe and a 4% decline to Asia-Pacific.