PET and PVC are China’s largest commodity polymer exports but shipments of both were down substantially in 2015 versus 2014.
China imported 7.4 million tons of recycle polymer in 2015, down 11% from 2014. This compared with a 5% increase in imports in 2014 versus 2013, and an 11% decline also in 2013, the year stricter pollution controls went into effect.
China exported 4.1 million tons of polymers in 2015, down 10% from the prior year. PET was the largest volume polymer export, followed by PVC, both down from 2014. Exports of polyethylene increased.
China’s exports of fabricated plastic products surged in December 2015 and ended the year up 6% from 2014. Exports of several large-volume fabricated products set new record highs.
In 2014, global trade in recycle polyethylene totaled 6.6 million tons, up 23%. Trade volume through June of 2015 was 2.6 million tons, down 13%, based on reporting countries. Global trade volume is an indicator of global demand.
The end of the Chinese New Year holiday, low prices, plus a new government stimulus effort and the anticipation of additional measures to come, resulted in a massive increase in China’s imports of polyolefin and other polymers in March, 2015. Continue reading