Imports of commodity polymers totaled 6.8 million tons in the first quarter, down 5% from the same period, pre-Covid-19, in 2019. Exports of a basket of fabricated plastic products were down 3%, to 2.6 million tons.
During the two-year period from January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2021, China has agreed to increase by $200 billion purchases from the United States of manufactured goods, agriculture, energy and services.
On August 23rd, 2018, China imposed a 25% duty on imports of ethylene, propylene and butadiene from the US. China imports relatively small volumes of propylene and butadiene from the US. Imports of ethylene, however, are sizable and volumes slowed in the fourth quarter, impacted by the duty.
The March 1 deadline for an increase from 10% to 25% in tariffs by the US on $200 Billion of imports from China has been postponed, but tariffs on many polymers and chemicals put in place earlier by both countries remain.
China’s imports of ethylene jumped back up to nearly 200,000 tons in June 2017, at an average price of $1077/ton, after two months around 160,000 tons per month. Volume in the first half of the year was up 48% from the same period in 2016.
The volume of ethylene monomer traded as imports and exports in 2016 was 7.1 million tons, up 4% from 2015. Much higher imports into Asia-Pacific from sources outside the region, and also into Western Europe, were key factors on the demand side. (Based on latest available trade statistics.) Continue reading →
China’s imports of most polymers and chemical were lower in the first half of 2016 than in the same period in the prior year. Exceptions were imports of: ethylene, EVA, propylene oxide and, especially, methanol. China’s exports of PVC, polypropylene, PTA, VAM and non-expandable polystyene surged. Shipments of polyethylene also were up. Continue reading →