Trends in Western Europe’s Trade in Ethylene

Western Europe moved into first place in 2018 as the world’s largest exporter of ethylene monomer, ahead of the Middle East, North America and Latin America.

Shipments of ethylene from Western Europe totaled 768,000 tons in 2018, up 64% from 2017. In comparison, exports from other regions were: the Middle East, 473,000 tons, down 9%; North America, 276,000 tons, up 52%; Latin America, 100,000 tons, up 17%. Export gains were fueled almost entirely by higher Asia-Pacific imports, which totaled 1.5 million tons, up 38%. China was by far the largest importer, followed by Indonesia and Taiwan.

A long ethylene market in Western Europe in 2018 was underscored by the rise in exports, a decline in imports for the second year in a row, and lower intra-regional trade.

Imports into Western Europe fell 43% in 2018, to 108,000 tons. This followed a decline of 31% in 2017 versus 2016. Less monomer was imported from both Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

Intra-regional trade contracted by 4%, to 3.5 million tons.

From International Trader Publications’ Ethylene World Trade Report, an on line Report updated daily and capturing nearly all of the world’s trade in ethylene monomer.