Tag Archives: United States

Advanced Look at Western Europe’s HDPE Polymer Imports

Although Eurostat statistics for polymers and other products are published three months after the trade month, an earlier view of import demand and the impact of shipping disruptions in the Red Sea can be obtained from trading partner export statistics.

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Trends in Polyolefin Polymer Trade in Western Europe in 2023

Polyolefin polymer demand in Western Europe in 2023 is measurable in part from the region’s intra-regional trade, its imports from other regions, and its exports to other regions. Lower intra-regional trade and lower imports indicate a drop in demand from one year to the next. These were evident in 2023 versus 2022 for LDPE, linear PE, HDPE, and PP homopolymer. Lower polymer demand in a region is also usually associated with an increase in a region’s exports, if conditions make this possible. Western Europe’s exports of HDPE did increase in 2023, but shipments of other polymers were constrained by low demand in other regions and surging exports from North America.

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Trends in China’s Polyolefin Polymer Trade Through February 2924

Polyethylene polymer import and export volumes were higher versus February YTD 2023, but at depressed prices. Imports of polypropylene were down sharply; low-priced export volumes climbed.

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The Rise and Fall of Global Paraxylene Trade

New para-xylene capacity in China and also in the Middle East and the rationalization of uncompetitive production in the US and Western Europe have massively changed global trade flows.

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Trends in China’s Trade in Commodity Polymers in 2023

China’s imports of commodity polymers as a total of all grades of PE, PP, styrenics, PVC and PET, declined for the third year in a row, a loss of nearly 10 million tons of volume over the 2020-2023 period. Exports of the combined total climbed for the third year in a row, increasing by nearly 7 million tons. Shipments of manufactured products identifiable as plastic showed a small gain of 0.7 million tons in 2023, rising to 16.7 million tons.

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Acrylonitrile Global Trade Trends

For most of the last ten years the volume of acrylonitrile (ACN) traded globally has trended downward. The exception was the period 2018 to 2021 when trade volume initially increased, then steadied, paralleling the trend in global trade in ABS polymer, its largest end use. There have been major shifts in ACN trade between regions over the period.

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Trends in Ethylene-alpha-Olefins Copolymers Global Trade

Global trade in ethylene-alpha-olefins copolymers (EAOC) was 14.1 million tons in 2022. ITP projects a 7% increase in global trade in 2023, to 15.1 million tons.

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Trends in LDPE/LLDPE Global Trade

Global trade in LDPE/LLDPE was 22.3 million tons in 2022. LDPE/LLDPE accounted for 33% of the 68 million tons of all grades of ethylene polymers traded globally that year.

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Trends in EDC and VCM Global Trade

Global trade volume for both EDC and VCM trended upward from 2018 through 2020 but then diverged, with profound changes in regional, and country, imports and exports over the period.

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