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.

There was an increase of 5% on Asia-Pacific’s imports of recyclable polyethylene, to 649,000 tons. There were substantially higher imports from North America, to 234,000 tons, but, a moderate decline on supplies from Western Europe, to 354,000 tons. Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia were top growth importers.

Imports into Eastern Europe jumped 26%, to 583,000 tons, nearly all of which came from Western Europe. Turkey, Uzbekistan and Poland all had higher imports.

Western Europe’s intra-regional trade is a major factor in global trade, accounting for 890,000 tons in 2020, up 6%. Trade within Eastern Europe was also sizable, 170,000 tons, an increase of 3%.

Although smaller, trade between US and Canada jumped 21%, to 74,000 tons, with further gains expected because of recent agreements between the two countries exempting plastic scrap from restrictions under Basel Convention rules, published by the EPA.

From International Trader Publications’ Recyclable Polyethylene World Trade Report, a continuously updated analysis of trade between countries and regions based on ITP’s database of 100 countries.