Tag Archives: US

Trends in United States Exports of Recyclable Polymers

The US exported 557,000 tons of recyclable polymers in 2021, one-third the volume of what was shipped in 2017. In addition to a sharp decline in volume over that period, the distribution of US exports changed. Latin America and Canada now account for a greater share of the total, although Asia-Pacific remains the largest volume destination. Further declines in US exports to Asia-Pacific are likely given the decision by CMA CGM, the US’s largest shipper of these materials, to end shipments as of June 1, 2022.

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Huge Increases in Brazil’s Imports of Polyethylene, Polypropylene and PVC Through June 2021

Brazil’s imports soared to record levels in the last half of 2020 and continued there through June of 2021. Exports during the period fell to record lows.

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Trends in US Exports of Recyclable Polymers

US exports of recyclable polymers fell from nearly 2 million tons in 2016 to 624,000 tons in 2020. The rate of decline slowed from 2018 through 2020 but new US government initiatives to cut greenhouse gases and reduce plastic waste may have an impact.

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The Volume of Recyclable PE Traded Globally in 2020 Rose by 9% From the Prior Year, to 2.8 Million tons.

Imports into Eastern Europe were particularly strong. Imports into Asia-Pacific also increased, despite China’s import ban. Expanded trade within Western Europe, Eastern Europe and North America were also factors in the increase.

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China’s Imports of Ethylene Polymers Were up 11% in 2020, to 21.3 M Tons, Although Volume Slowed in the Fourth Quarter

Imports of HDPE were 9.1 million tons in 2020, up 14% from the prior year; linear polymer as EAOC, 6.7 million tons, up 17%; LDPE, 3.4 million tons, down 1%; and EVA, 1.0 million tons, down 3%. Much higher volumes from North America and Eastern Europe and little growth in supplies from the Middle East were striking trends.

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Record Imports into China of LLDPE and HDPE, and, Changes in Suppliers

As it did in 2009 during the financial crisis, China buttressed the global petrochemical industry with record imports of LLDPE and HDPE during the 2020 pandemic. Volume was heavy from May through October 2020. Much higher imports from North America (US), Eastern Europe (Russia) and other Asia-Pacific, and a drop in imports of LLDPE from the Middle East, were prominent supply changes.

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Sharp Rise in Polycarbonate Film and Sheet Global Trade Projected for 2020, up 22%

Many countries reported record high imports of PC film and sheet from the second quarter of the year, on strong demand for personal protection equipment.

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