Strong Domestic Demand and Supply Constraints Reflected in US Polymer Imports and Exports Through November 2021 and also in US Imports of Fabricated Plastic Products.

US statistics through November show imports across all commodity polymers up 17% from the same period the year before, exports down 15%, and fabricated plastic product imports up 23%.

The United States imported record volumes of commodity polymers – PE, PP, PS, PVC, PET – through most of 2021. Volume totaled 6.4 million tons November 2021 YTD, up 17% from the first 11 months of 2020.

US imports of ethylene polymers were 3.3 million tons of the total, up 4%. The highest growth was on imports of propylene polymers, 0.8 million tons, up 84%, and PET, 1.3 million tons, up 37%. Imports of styrenic polymers, 0.6 million tons, and PVC, 0.4 million tons, were each up 13%.

US commodity polymer exports totaled 13.1 million tons through November, down 15%, volume depressed for most of the year.

Shipments of ethylene polymers, 8.5 million tons, were down 16% through November; propylene polymers, 1.7 million tons, down 12%; PVC, 2.1 million tons, down 19%.

During most of 2021 the US imported record volumes of fabricated plastic products that are identifiable by specific polymer type. Volume November YTD was 5.3 million tons, up 23%, the largest components of the total including film/sheet made from PE, PP, and PET, PE sacks/bags and PVC floor/wall coverings.

From International Trader Publications’ United States Polymer Trade Report, a monthly analysis of US polymer trade in all grades of commodity polymers and also in key fabricated plastic products and recyclable polymers.