Higher volumes were imported from Asia-Pacific, 4.9 million tons, up 24%, the Middle East, 1.4 million tons, up 26%, as well as all other regions. Average prices soared from August through December, reaching $1190/ton.
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.
After a slow beginning to the year as China battled the Corona virus, polyolefin imports picked up moderately in March and April then soared to new record highs in May. Prices continued their steep declines.
Trade volume by year end is projected at 22 million tons, down 2% from 2018 based on the latest statistics from 50 countries. This compared with an 11% gain in global trade volume in 2018 versus 2017. Prominent trends in 2019 include a drop in Asia-Pacific intra-regional trade, increased exports from the Middle East, and lower shipments from North America.