Economic recovery was apparent in the stunning surge in China’s imports of virtually every major grade of commodity polymer in June. Import volume for the month, 3.6 million tons, was unprecedented and raised China’s YTD import total to 15.9 million tons, up 8% from the first half of 2019.
US statistics for December, delayed by the government shutdown, are now available and show large increases for the year on exports of ethylene polymers, on imports of propylene polymers and PET, and, on imports of some fabricated plastic products.
China’s imports October YTD showed particularly strong gains on imports of ethylene-alpha-olefins copolymers (LLDPE) and styrenic polymers, versus the same period in 2017. Only imports of PVC were down.
There was a strong upward trend in Thailand’s exports of commodity polymers through most of the first seven months of the year. Imports of virgin commodity polymers were up slightly; imports of recycle polymers soared.
Korea’s exports of commodity polymers expanded moderately in the first seven months of 2018, as did shipments of fabricated plastic products. Imports rose sharply. Korea exported less recycle polymers but imported more.
India’s trade in commodity polymers in the first half of 2018 was highlighted by record high exports of virgin polymers, record high exports of fabricated plastic products, and, increased imports of recycle polymers.