Thailand’s PE and PP Exports Surge in April, 2020, Indicating a Rebound in China’s Imports

Thailand’s exports of polyethylene rose sharply in March and April. Polypropylene exports shot to a new record high after two slow months. Average prices sank.

Thailand exported 880,000 tons of ethylene polymers through April, down 15% from the same period in 2019. Shipments to China climbed from a low of 73,000 tons in February to 123,000 tons in April, but exports to that market were down 27% YTD, to 368,000 tons YTD. The average price on the 252,000 tons shipped to all destinations in April fell to $958/ton. The upward trend in Thailand’s exports of ethylene polymers for most of 2018 and 2019 is visible below:

The new record high of 130,000 tons of polypropylene shipped in April raised Thailand’s export total YTD to 386,000 tons, up 5%. The average price in April dropped to $898/ton.

Exports to China picked up from 13,000 tons in February, to 62,000 tons in April, for a YTD total of 128,000 tons, up 17%. Thailand’s other growth export destinations for propylene polymer included: Vietnam, Japan, Bangladesh, Philippines and Pakistan.

From International Trader Publications’ Thailand Polymer Trade Report, a monthly analysis of Thailand’s trade in all polymers of ethylene, propylene, styrene, VCM and PET, recycle polymers and fabricated plastic products.