Large volumes of both propylene copolymers and polypropylene homopolymer are traded globally. In 2015, propylene copolymer trade totaled 8.4 million tons, up 5%. This compared with 17.3 million tons of polypropylene homopolymer trade, up 3%.
Western Europe’s trade in propylene copolymers accounted for 35% of the global total in 2015; Asia-Pacific’s, 34%. This differed from homopolymer, where Western Europe was 26% of the global total and Asia-Pacific was 41%.
Increased copolymer demand in Western Europe in 2015 was indicated by a 3% rise in imports, to 332,000 tons and an 8% expansion in intra-regional trade, to 2.6 million tons. Exports were 960,000 tons, up 4% mainly on gains to Eastern Europe and Africa.
Africa was a particularly high growth import market for copolymers in 2015, volume up 22%, to 366,000 tons. The large percentage increase reflected increased volumes into the region from Asia-Pacific and Western Europe, which offset moderately lower volumes from the Middle East.
Imports into Asia-Pacific were 494,000 tons in 2015, up 5%, mainly on polymer from the Middle East. China was the world’s largest market, importing 1.5 million tons, up 7%. Asia-Pacific exported 582,000 tons, up 11%, Africa and Latin America the highest growth export destinations.
North America’s copolymer imports in 2015 were up 10%, to 119,000 tons, Asia-Pacific the largest supplying region. US imports have trended higher since at least 2011 and were at record levels in January and February 2016. Volume February YTD was 26,000 tons, up 49%. US exports ended 2015 down 1%, to 631,000 tons. Shipments February 2016 YTD were 100,000 tons, up 4%.
From: International Trader Publications Propylene Copolymers World Trade Report. For a free trial contact ITP@ITPweb.com