US Exports of Ethylene Polymers Reach a New High in March 2020

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.