PVC Trade Flat in 2011; Mixed Trends for EDC and VCM

There was no change in the volume of PVC traded globally in 2011, 11.4 million tons. This compared with a 9% increase in 2010 and a 3% rise in 2009.

Trends for individual regions were mixed. Reduced PVC demand was evident in Asia-Pacific and Western Europe, both regions experiencing contractions in intra-regional trade and lower imports. Offsetting these negative factors were higher imports into Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and, with the largest percentage gains, Latin America, up 22%, and Africa, up 15%.

North America exported 2.3 million tons, up 9% on gains to Eastern Europe, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. (North America’s exports in 2010 had expanded 28%.) Western Europe exported 1.4 million tons, up 4% mainly on shipments to Eastern Europe. PVC exports from Asia-Pacific rose 5%, Africa and Latin America growth destinations. China’s imports were down 13%; exports surged 72%.

EDC trade fell 6% in 2011, to 2.3 million tons, which followed a similar percentage decline in 2010. Asia-Pacific imported 1.15 million tons, down 9%, supplied mainly from North America, with large volumes also from the Middle East and Western Europe. Asia-Pacific intra-regional trade fell 5%, to 0.6 million tons; intra-regional trade in Western Europe expanded 24%, to 0.5 million tons.

VCM trade posted a 1% gain in 2011, to 3.6 million tons, versus no change in 2010. Key factors were: 17% lower intra-regional trade in Asia-Pacific; moderately higher intra-regional trade in Western Europe and North America; a 22% rise in imports into Latin America, to 0.7 million tons, all of which was from North America; and, a 64% increase in Asia-Pacific imports, to 0.4 million tons, on monomer from North America and the Middle East.

These are a few of the trends in ITP’s World Trade Annual Reviews of 2011 for PVC and EDC/VCM. The Reviews are detailed analyses of trade between countries and regions,  based on import/export statistics from 60 countries, representing nearly all of the world’s trade volume. ITP measures trade volume as the sum of imports into all countries, which equals exports from all countries, as each import has a corresponding export. As the volume of product traded globally is a direct measure of a significant part of apparent demand for the widely traded products in the Reviews, percentage changes in trade volume from year to year generally reflect actual changes in demand.

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