The need for PMMA film and sheet in personal protective equipment resulted in a stunning surge in imports into countries all over the globe during the April – August 2020 period, and also record exports from several.
The volume of isocyanates (combined MDI, TDI and other) traded through May 2020 was down 10% from the same period last year, based on latest available statistics. Asia-Pacific and Western Europe, accounting for more than half of global trade volume, each saw trade contract within their regions, with lower imports.
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.
LNG trade is projected to exceed 340 million tons by year end 2019, up 4% from 2018, based on latest available statistics from 90 countries. Major increases in exports from US and Russia are impacting trade flows globally.
Western Europe will import 63 million tons of LNG by year end 2019, based on projections from latest available statistics. Volumes from Eastern Europe and North America are expected to quadruple; supplies from other regions to rise 22 – 36%.