Tag Archives: Polyethylene

Trends in China’s Trade in Commodity Polymers in 2022

For the second year in a row, imports of commodity polymers into China were down and exports of most commodity polymers were up, the result of weak demand due to Covid lockdowns. The year ended with commodity polymer imports totaling 25 million tons, down 9% from 2021. This followed a 19% drop in 2021 versus 2020. Commodity polymer exports were 10.8 million tons in 2022, up 22%. This followed a 74% jump in 2021 versus 2020.

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ITP Projects China’s Imports of Polyolefins Down Substantially in 2022; Smaller Volume Exports are Projected Up, Especially for Polyethylene.

Weak demand in China as a result of stringent Covid restrictions was reflected in lower imports of polyolefins into China, and higher exports out of China, in each of the last two years.

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China’s Imports of Polyethylene Picked up in August, 2022; Reduced Volumes YTD Changed Trade Flows Globally

After several slow months China’s imports of ethylene polymers in August 2022 were up by 140,000 tons from July. The 12% fall off in imports YTD, to 10.5 million tons, led to increased exports by Asia-Pacific exporters to Western and Eastern Europe and Africa.

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China Commodity Polymer Trade April 2022 Reflected Continued Weak Economic Activity From Covid Lockdowns

Polymer imports in April were almost as low as during Chinese New Year; exports of PVC hit a new high and shipments of PET also remained high; exports of fabricated plastic products continued slow.

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Russia’s Exports of Polyolefins to Western and Eastern Europe

Russia exports more than twice as much ethylene and propylene polymers to other Eastern European countries than it does to Western Europe. Turkey and Poland are the top two destinations in Eastern Europe. Flows to Poland, other EU countries within Eastern Europe, and the Ukraine are most likely to be affected by the war in Ukraine.

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Impressive Surge in US Exports of Polyethylene in March, 2022

The United States exported 966,000 tons of ethylene polymers in March, 2022, an increase of 160,000 tons over February. Shipments of every PE grade were up in March. Further increases are likely with startup of new capacity.

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China’s Imports and Exports of Commodity Polymers Dropped With the Start of Chinese New Year on February 1st, but Trends Differed From Prior Periods.

Reflecting both new domestic capacity and weaker domestic demand, imports in February 2022 continued depressed and, unlike prior years, did not show the surge typically seen in the month prior to the national holiday. Exports surged in December, then slowed in January and February.

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Western Europe Exports to Russia More of Most Major Polymers than it Imports from Russia, with the Exception of Polypropylene.

Western Europe’s polymer trade with Russia, particularly in polyolefins, styrenic polymers and PVC, will be impacted by sanctions and broken supply chains from the war in Ukraine.

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Ukraine Exports and Imports Numerous Polymers and Chemicals that Will Likely be Impacted by the Conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Ukraine exports sizable volumes of benzene, caustic soda, propylene monomer and PVC, and, imports polyethylene, polypropylene, liquefied propane and butane gas and PET.

Ukraine’s top export markets include Italy, Poland, Turkey, Czech Rep., Russia and Spain, among others. Russia is Ukraine’s top import source for LDPE, polypropylene, methanol and liquefied propane and butane gas.

This table shows Ukraine’s total exports and imports in 2021 and top trading partners for each:

From International Trader Publications’ World Trade Analyses, continuously updated analysis of trade between countries and regions for each product.

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