US Ethylene Polymer Exports, R-PE Trade, and Imports of PE Sacks and Bags as of February 2020

US exports of ethylene polymers continued strong through February 2020, volume near record levels. Shipments of recyclable polymer continued falling. Imports of PE sacks and bags from China dropped.

The US exported 1.9 million tons of ethylene polymers through February 2020, up 34% from the same period in 2019. Shipments of HDPE, EAOC and Identified-LLDPE were particularly heavy. Over 600,000 tons of ethylene polymers were shipped to both Latin America, up 20%, and Asia-Pacific, up 82%, and nearly 300,000 tons to Western Europe, up 18%.

The US exported only 38,000 tons of recyclable PE to date, down 23%. Destinations were wide-spread and included Malaysia, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Hong Kong and Thailand. There has been an upward trend in US imports of R-PE but volumes are small, 12,000 tons YTD, up 30%, material from Canada and Mexico.

The US imported 137,000 tons of PE sacks and bags through February, down 6%. Imports from China were 37,000 tons of the total, down 32%. Imports from Mexico and Vietnam posted strong gains.

From International Trader Publications’ US Polymer Trade Report, an online analysis of US trade in all commodity and recyclable polymers, and key fabricated plastic products, published as soon as US statistics are posted.