Tag Archives: North America

Western Europe’s Polyethylene Imports in 2021 Projected to Nearly Equal 2019 Pre-Pandemic Levels; Polypropylene Imports, to Exceed Those Levels

Imports of PE and PP from Eastern Europe increased in both 2020 and 2021. Large volumes of polymer were imported from the Middle East, Asia-Pacific, North America and other regions, despite widely discussed logistics issues.

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Global Trade in Caustic Soda Increased by 2.5 Million Tons from 2010 to 2020, With Additional Gains Projected for 2021

Key trends over the period that contributed to the increased volume were: higher exports from North America; increased imports into Latin America, Asia-Pacific and Western Europe; and, increased trade within Western Europe and Asia-Pacific.

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HDPE Global Trade Volume Was Down 8% in the First Half of 2021; Trade in Linear Polymer was off 3%.

These regional trends were the same for both polymers: lower imports into Western and Eastern Europe and, with the biggest impact on global trade volumes, Asia-Pacific; increased imports into the smaller markets of Africa and Latin America; reduced exports from North America; mixed trends for Middle East exports; higher exports from Asia-Pacific.

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2.2 Million Tons of Ethylene Trade Was Added Globally From 2010 – 2019, but was Followed in 2020 by a Sharp Contraction.

The volume of ethylene traded globally rose from 5.8 million tons in 2010 to a high of 8 million tons in 2019, then slowed to 7.4 million tons in 2020 because of the pandemic. Regional trade flows shifted dramatically during that period.

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The Volume of RPE Traded Globally Fell by 45% from 2016 to 2020, Dropping from 5.1 to 2.8 Million Tons

Key trends included: a dramatic drop in trade within the Asia-Pacific region; much lower imports into Asia-Pacific from other regions: much higher imports into Eastern Europe.

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The Volume of Recyclable PE Traded Globally in 2020 Rose by 9% From the Prior Year, to 2.8 Million tons.

Imports into Eastern Europe were particularly strong. Imports into Asia-Pacific also increased, despite China’s import ban. Expanded trade within Western Europe, Eastern Europe and North America were also factors in the increase.

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China’s Imports of Ethylene Polymers Were up 11% in 2020, to 21.3 M Tons, Although Volume Slowed in the Fourth Quarter

Imports of HDPE were 9.1 million tons in 2020, up 14% from the prior year; linear polymer as EAOC, 6.7 million tons, up 17%; LDPE, 3.4 million tons, down 1%; and EVA, 1.0 million tons, down 3%. Much higher volumes from North America and Eastern Europe and little growth in supplies from the Middle East were striking trends.

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Record Imports into China of LLDPE and HDPE, and, Changes in Suppliers

As it did in 2009 during the financial crisis, China buttressed the global petrochemical industry with record imports of LLDPE and HDPE during the 2020 pandemic. Volume was heavy from May through October 2020. Much higher imports from North America (US), Eastern Europe (Russia) and other Asia-Pacific, and a drop in imports of LLDPE from the Middle East, were prominent supply changes.

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