Tag Archives: Polyethylene

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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Trends in China’s Trade in Commodity Polymers in 2021

Unlike prior years, imports of commodity polymers did not surge into China toward yearend 2021 in advance of the Chinese Year slowdown. Also unusual was the sharp rise in exports out of China in December. The year ended with commodity polymer imports down 19%, to 27.5 million tons, and exports up 74%, to 8.9 million tons.

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Trends in Russia’s Exports of Polyolefins

Much lower exports to Asia-Pacific in 2021 versus 2020, due to a steep drop in shipments to China, shifted Russian exports toward Eastern Europe, Western Europe and, with smaller volumes, Latin America and Africa.

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China’s Commodity Polymer Imports Were Down 17% Through September, 2021; Exports Were Up 77%

China’s imports of all the major commodity polymer groups – PE, PP, PS, PVC, PET – continued depressed from last year’s levels; smaller volume exports, especially of PP, PVC and PET posted strong gains.

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China’s Imports of Commodity Polymers Through June 2021 Were Down 11% From the First Half of 2020; Exports Jumped 87%.

After a brief spike in March following the Chinese New Year, imports into China trended downward, a different trend than had been seen over the last three years. Also unusual were exports out of China, which began rising toward the end of 2020 and soared to unprecedented levels in the first half of 2021.

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