China’s imports of ethylene polymers dropped from a record high of 2.1 million tons in June to 1.8 million tons in August. Imports of propylene polymers fell from 840,000 tons in June, another record, to 580,000 tons. Despite the declines, imports YTD are up substantially for both polymer groups.
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.
Heavy exports from North America to Latin America, increased exports from Western Europe to various markets but lower imports into the region, and, much lower shipments out of the Middle East and Asia-Pacific were prominent trends.
In April 2019, for the second month in a row, China’s imports of ethylene polymers hit a new record high. Year to date, reduced volumes from North America were offset by increased volumes from Asia-Pacific sources.
China’s polyethylene imports rebounded strongly in November 2017. This followed a relatively small holiday-related decline in October, versus previous years. Imports of recycle polyethylene continued trending downward, to their lowest monthly volume in the 2013-2017 period.