Imports of commodity polymers into the US in 2021 were the highest volume ever reported, 7.0 million tons, an increase of 1 million tons, 16%, from the prior year. The increase in imports, and also the drop in US exports by 15%, to 14.2 million tons, reflected strong domestic demand, US production issues and logistical problems. Demand is likely to continue strong in 2022. New US capacity and the gradual resolution of supply chain issues will likely result in further declines in imports and rising exports.
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.
China imported 18.1 million tons of virgin commodity polymers in 2011, down 2%; exported 2.7 million tons of virgin commodity polymers, up 38%; imported 8.4 million tons of scrap commodity polymers, up 5%; and, exported 6.2 million tons of specific fabricated polymer products, up 8%. Continue reading →