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Europe attracts more polymer imports in 2015

by ChemOrbis Editorial Team -
  • 23/02/2016 (16:26)
Polymer imports into the European Union increased year on year in 2015 due to the persistent supply constraints led by production outages in the region, especially for polyolefins in the first half of the year. In addition, many non-European countries also boosted their exports to the region owing to favorable netbacks. Polymer imports to the EU posted an annual gain of 3.5% to reach 5,183,048 tons in the past year, according to data from Eurostat.

On a product by product basis, imports of homo-PP climbed by almost 20% on the year to 898,400 tons in 2015. Among non-European countries, Saudi Arabia exported the most homo-PP to Europe with 407,289 tons, with the country’s exports suggesting an annual gain of 9.8% compared to 2014. Following Saudi Arabia, South Korea came in second, boosting its homo-PP exports to Europe by 29% on the year to 93,350 tons. Russia’s homo-PP exports to the region surged significantly by 174% compared to 2014 to reach 61,791 tons last year. For PP copolymer, imports edged lower by 2.3% on an annual basis in 2015 to 226,269 tons. South Korea ranked as the top PP copolymer exporter to the region with over 58,000 tons.

Europe’s LDPE imports increased by 16.7% annually to 552,289 tons in 2015. The top non-European LDPE exporter to the region was Turkey with 66,375 tons, with the country’s exports suggesting an increase of 72.9% year on year. Imports for LLDPE were also up by 10.8% compared with 2014 and reached 837,380 tons in 2015. Saudi Arabia was the top LLDPE supplier to Europe by exporting 455,263 tons. LLDPE imports from South Korea and Brazil also climbed by 31% and 87% year on year respectively, with each country exporting over 80,000 tons of LLDPE to Europe in 2015.

Imports also rose by 4.8% year on year for HDPE in 2015 to reach 1,153,801 tons. Saudi Arabia ranked as the top HDPE exporter to Europe with 470,782 tons for the year of 2015, though imports from the country declined by 16% year on year. HDPE imports from the US, on the other hand, increased by 43.9% from 2014 to 82,863 tons in 2015.

Despite the gains in imports of PP and PE, PVC imports remained largely unchanged at 348,566 tons in 2015. Mexico’s exports to Europe dropped by 19.8% from the previous year to 173,714 tons. Regaining some of Mexico’s lost share in PVC imports, the US boosted its PVC exports to Europe by 63.4% year on year to 53,663 tons.

PS imports dropped by 26.8% compared with 2014 to 122,649 tons in 2015. South Korea was the top non-European PS suplier to Europe with around 33,000 tons, though the country’s exports to the region shrank by 8.2% year on year.

Europe’s PET bottle imports also slumped by 24.2% from 2014 to 573,184 tons. The top PET bottle exporters to Europe in 2015 were South Korea with 204,700 tons, followed by Indonesia (109,617 tons). Turkey also boosted its presence significantly in Europe’s import PET bottle market as imports from the country surged by 244% year on year to 108,757 tons in 2015.
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