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.

EAOC accounted for 21% of the 68 million tons of all grades of polyethylene traded globally that year. Trade in other polyethylene grades was: LDPE/LLDPE, 22.3 million tons, 33% of total of all grades; HDPE, 25.1 million tons, 37%; EVA and other copolymers, 6.5 million tons, 9%.

EAOC is a new product category created in 2017 by the World Customs Organization, with a new Harmonized System code number. Prior to then, EAOC was combined with other ethylene copolymers under a different HS code.

This graph shows the trend in global trade volume for EAOC and also other ethylene copolymers:

The following graphs show how much EAOC was exported by each region to other regions and how much was imported into each region from other regions (both excluding intra-regional trade). Exports from North America more than doubled while shipments from the Middle East rose10%. On the import side, Asia-Pacific volumes rose sharply, with gains also into Western Europe, Eastern Europe and Latin America.

Exports out of the US and imports into China were two of the largest factors affecting global trade. The startup of new capacity in the US in recent years and its expansion into global markets is evident in the graph of US exports of EAOC through July 2023. Note the 145% jump in US shipments to China, among other gains:

China’s imports of EAOC were up 17% through July 2023 versus the same period in 2022. Note that China reports all its trade in linear low density polyethylene as EAOC, none under LDPE/LLDPE.

From International Trader Publications’ Ethylene-alpha-Olefins Copolymers World Trade Analysis, a continuously updated online analysis of global trade developed from trade statistics from all available countries.