The impact of the pandemic was not yet evident in US exports of ethylene polymers in the first quarter, which climbed each month to an all-time monthly high of 975,000 tons in March.
US first quarter shipments of ethylene polymers totaled 2.9 million tons, up 30% from first quarter 2019.
After declining for nearly two years, the average price picked up slightly in February and March, to $993/ton.
The distribution of US exports of ethylene polymers by major regions was: Latin America, 1.0 million tons, up 22%; Asia-Pacific 856,000 tons, up 54%; Western Europe, 443,000 tons, up 22%; Eastern Europe, 140,000 tons, up 61%; Africa, 134,000 tons, up 41%.
Exports of ethylene-alpha-olefins copolymers were up 47% YTD, to 1.0 million tons; exports of HDPE showed a 33% rise, to 1.1 million tons; shipments of linear other than EAOC also rose 33%, to 318,000 tons. Exports of LDPE were off 7%, to 307,000 tons, partly on a steep decline in shipments to China.
From International Trader Publications’ United States Polymer Trade Report, a monthly analysis of US imports/exports of all commodity and recycle polymers and major fabricated plastic products.