Reduced Polypropylene Exports from the Middle East Shift Global Trade Flows

Middle East exports of polypropylene homopolymer have been down since February 2013, with lower shipments to Asia-Pacific, Western and Eastern Europe and Africa. Other trends evident in the first half of the year were expanded trade within the Asia-Pacific region and substantially higher imports into Eastern Europe from other regions. 

Polypropylene exports from the Middle East were down 14% through June, to 1.7 million tons, as visible from trading partner imports. Lower shipments from Saudi Arabia accounted for most of the region’s decline but UAE, Kuwait and other countries also exported less polymer.

The lower availability of polymer from the Middle East in Asia-Pacific was partly offset by expanded trade within the region, noting especially a 29% increase in exports from South Korea, and a 91% increase from India. Eastern Europe imported 30% more polymer from Western Europe through June, with higher volumes also supplied by Asia-Pacific and Africa.