Trends in Polyolefins Trade in 2011 – Preliminary

Preliminary overview of polyolefins trade in 2011: increased global trade volume in all polyolefins, except LLDPE and EVA; higher Middle East exports of PE and PP, and, especially, copolymers; generally lower exports from Western Europe and North America.

Based on preliminary data, global trade volume in 2011, an indicator of global demand, was: 10.6 M tons of LDPE, up 5%; 8.9 M tons LLDPE, down 1%; 16.1 M tons of HDPE, up 5%; 15.1 M tons of polypropylene homopolymer, up 3%; 7.2 M tons of propylene copolymers, up 3%; 4.4 M tons of ethylene copolymers, up 14%; and 1.6 M tons of EVA, down 3%. A few trends visible for each product are highlighted below.

  • LDPE – Substantially higher imports entered Asia-Pacific; imports into Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America posted modest gains.
  • LLDPE – Imports into Eastern Europe, Latin America and, especially, Western Europe, increased, but Asia-Pacific imports were off 11%. The Middle East exported much higher volumes to Europe and the Americas; slightly higher volumes to Asia-Pacific.
  • HDPE – Eastern Europe was a high growth market, imports up 18%. Imports into Western Europe, Latin America and Asia-Pacific increased by 4%-8%.
  • Polypropylene – The Middle East exported much higher volumes of homopolymer to Western and Eastern Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia-Pacific. North America’s exports fell 4%; Western Europe’s exports rose 1%, a gain to Eastern Europe offsetting a sizeable decline to Asia-Pacific.
  • Propylene Copolymers – Factors in the 3% increase in global trade volume: expanded intra-regional trade in Western Europe; much higher Middle East exports to Europe and Asia-Pacific.
  • Ethylene Copolymers – All world regions had higher imports in 2011, the highest volumes entering Asia-Pacific and Latin America.
  • EVA – Asia-Pacific imports grew 14%; other regions had smaller gains except Western Europe which was down   1%.

[important]Final figures will be published March 26th in ITP’s World Trade Annual Reviews for each product. A prospectus is available at our web site.[/important]

Jean J. Sudol
International Trader Publications, Inc.
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