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China’s polymer imports hit record high in H1, HDPE contributes the most

  • 31/07/2017 (10:06)
Data from ChemOrbis Import Statistics revealed that China’s cumulative polymer imports in the first half of 2017 hit a record high since 2001 when ChemOrbis started keeping records. The country’s cumulative polymer imports reached more than 9 million tons in the first six months of 2017, up by 15% when compared to the same period of last year.

According to the data, the largest contribution to China’s record high polymer imports in the first half of the year came from HDPE, which posted a year over year increase of around 22% to reach more than 3 million tons in the same timeframe. This was followed by year over year increases of PP copolymer (17%), PVC (16%), LLDPE (15%), homo-PP (13%) and LDPE (6%). Overall imports of PS and ABS did not witness any major changes in the January-June period when compared to last year.

Regarding the origins that are at the top of China’s overall polymer imports list, Saudi Arabia ranked as the first with more than 1 million tons in the first six months of 2017. When compared to the same period of 2016, polymer imports from Saudi Arabia increased by around 30%. This was mainly due to the fact that Iran, as the top HDPE supplier of China since 2013, lost its place to Saudi Arabia in May and June as was noted in detail in a ChemOrbis Plastics News China’s imports of Iranian HD, LD and LLDPE slump in H1 .

The data shows that China’s HDPE imports from Saudi Arabia considerably increased by 33% in the first six months of 2017 while Iran’s market share diminished by around 12% when compared to the same period of last year. This was also studied in detail in an earlier ChemOrbis Daily Headline Iranian HDPE loses market share in China, focuses more on Turkey .

Meanwhile, in June 2017, China’s overall polymer imports increased 7.1% from a year earlier, with Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and Singapore standing at the top of the import list. Iran was not able to rank among the top five in June.

Apparently, rather than losing steam, China’s buying appetite for imports of many polymers continued to hit record highs despite the constant start-up of new capacities coming online in the country. Considering the new capacities looming in the second half of 2017 for polyolefins in the US, India, Iran and Southeast Asia, players are now keeping a close eye on whether China will maintain its same speed of imports and whether Saudi Arabia will manage to retain its position as the top supplier.

You can track China’s imports on a monthly/yearly and cumulative basis by country and by product (For members only).
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