Polyethylene Sheets and Other Flat Products: Current Global Trade Trends

In 2014, global trade in polyethylene sheets and other flat products (film, foil and strip) totaled 4.4 million tons, up 2% from the prior year. Trade volume through June of 2015 was up 3% from the same period in the prior year, based on reporting countries. Global trade volume is an indicator of global demand.

Germany is the world’s largest exporter of these fabricated polyethylene products, shipping 733,000 tons in 2014, up 5%. This went mainly to countries within Western and Eastern Europe, although smaller volumes were exported to numerous other markets worldwide.

Many other countries also have large exports, including: France, Belgium, Italy, Netherlands, UK, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Poland, United States, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Japan and China.

Trade between countries within Western Europe accounted for about one-third of the world’s trade volume in 2014. Many countries within the region exhibited a strong cyclical pattern in their imports and/or exports, with roughly two-thirds of the volume traded taking place in the first half of each year.

Other important trade flows were: trade between countries within Asia-Pacific; trade between the US and Canada; trade between Western Europe and Eastern Europe; exports from Western Europe also to Africa, the Americas and Asia-Pacific; exports from North America to Latin America; and, exports from Asia-Pacific to Europe, Africa and the Americas.

Nearly every country imports some amount of polyethylene sheet and other flat products and many countries that export large volumes also have large volume imports. Outside of Western Europe, leading volume import markets included: Turkey, Ukraine, Russia, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania,  US, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Iraq, Israel, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, South Korea, China, Japan, Hong Kong and Australia.

From International Trader Publications: Polyethylene Sheets and Other Flat Products World Trade Report