ITP’s analysis of global trade in propylene copolymers – olefin polymers in which propylene is the predominant comonomer by weight, excluding homopolymer – indicates a 4% increase in the volume of polymer traded in 2014 versus 2013, to 7.9 million tons. Trends in global trade volume generally indicate trends in global demand.
Major trends in 2014 included substantially higher imports into Western Europe, up 20%, and North America, up 24%, small increases of 1%-6% into Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America, and a decline of 10% into Asia-Pacific.
On the export side, shipments from Asia-Pacific showed the highest increase, up 27% on gains to all regional markets except the Middle East. Asia-Pacific’s top destinations by volume were Eastern Europe and Africa, followed by Latin America, North America and Western Europe.
Exports from Western Europe were down by 1%, mainly on a small decline to Eastern Europe. North America’s exports also fell 1%. Shipments from the Middle East dropped 4%, a decline of 10% to Asia-Pacific not offset by strong gains to Africa and Western Europe.