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China’s total PE imports in Q1 indicate lowest volume since late 2018

by Pınar Polat -
  • 29/04/2020 (09:39)
Data from ChemOrbis Import Statistics indicate that China’s cumulative PE imports in the first quarter of 2020 recorded a year over year decrease of 3.3% to reach around 3.8 million tons, the lowest quarterly figure in the import statistics since the fourth quarter of 2018.

China’s PE demand down in Q1 despite positive signals in March

China market signaled some positivity in March by starting to loosen two months of strict quarantine measures taken against the novel coronavirus outbreak. Ending lockdowns as well as the slight rebound in the country’s March PMI reading as a result of improved industrial activity were evaluated as promising developments.

However, the statistics data show that China’s buying appetite for PE grades in this year’s first three months was thinner despite the aforementioned supportive factors emerging.

The unexpected virus outbreak affected China considerably during the January-February period in terms of economy, weakening the country’s volumes for total PE imports during the first quarter compared to previous years.

Figures in product-based breakdown


The country’s total HDPE imports edged up by 1.1% from a year earlier in the January-March period to reach more than 1.9 million tons. Saudi Arabia was the top supplier of HDPE to China with around 484,000 tons.


The country’s LLDPE imports posted an annual loss of nearly 9% to reach more than 1.2 million tons in the first three months of the year. Saudi Arabia was the top LLDPE supplier to China with around 262,000 tons.


China’s LDPE imports declined 5% on the year to be reported at around 738,000 tons in the first quarter. Iran was standing at the top of the import list with around 183,000 tons.

You can track China’s imports on a monthly/yearly and cumulative basis by country and by product.
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