Exports from the US of commodity polymers trended higher through most of the first half of 2018 and set a new record in June. Imports of fabricated plastic products also hit a new high in June.
US exports of PE, PP, PS, PVC and PET totaled 6.4 million tons through June, up 8%. Just over half the total, 3.3 million tons, were polymers of ethylene, up 16%. Shipments of PVC were 1.7 million tons, up 12%. Exports of polypropylene, 966,000 tons, were down 15%.
Likely influenced by the ongoing trade dispute between the US and China, with importers seeking to buy product before tariffs are applied, imports into the US of several fabricated plastic products soared to new highs in May and again in June and totalled 2.0 million tons, up 20%. PE sheet and film, PE plastic bags and PVC floor and wall coverings, all of which may see additional tariffs of 25%, shot to new highs.
From International Trader Publications‘ United States Polymer Trade Report.