The volume of caustic soda in aqueous solution traded globally has ranged narrowly between 20.2 and 21.4 million tons per year from 2018 to 2022. During that period Asia-Pacific exports to other regions increased 270%, particularly impacting exports out of North America and the Middle East.
Strong growth in exports of polypropylene out of the Middle East, and, in 2021 and 2022, also out of Asia-Pacific, were prominent trends in a comparison of regional exports from 2018 through 2022. Imports were mixed but generally increased into Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America over the period.
Much higher exports out of North America and flat exports out of the Middle East were evident from a comparison of regional exports from 2018 through 2022. On the import side, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America saw steady growth in imports.
Between 2017 and 2022 the volume of global trade for these materials fell. The two main components of global trade, intra-regional trade plus exports to other regions also dropped, although with important differences by region.
The United States reported exports of 7.45 million tons of ethylene polymers through August, 2022, up 20% from the same period in 2021. Exports increased to every region but there were minor changes in each region’s percent of total.