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Stats: China’s PE, PVC imports from US down in October

by Başak Ceylan - bceylan@chemorbis.com
  • 01/12/2020 (04:05)
According to data from ChemOrbis Import Statistics, the October figure took cumulative US polymers imports into China to new highs. With a yearly increase of more than 75%, the figure reached a total of 1,266,200 tons in the January-October period.

However, with a monthly drop of more than 30%, the October volume also marked the lowest monthly figure since June 2020 amid changing patterns from product to product.

US HDPE imports nearly halve in October

In product-based breakdown, China’s US HDPE imports in October nearly slashed in half from September to be reported at 45,812 tons. As ChemOrbis data show, US HDPE imports in China have been on a decline since a record-breaking 113,617 tons imported in August.

LDPE, LLDPE imports from US log smaller drops

Imports of other PE grades, including LDPE film and LLDPE C4 film, were also down on a monthly basis. However, the amount of decline was less pronounced than it was for HDPE grade. Accordingly, China’s LDPE imports from the US declined by 9% to 20,000 tons while LLDPE imports were down by 14% to 50,000 tons in October.

US displaced as top supplier for PVC

China’s PVC imports from the US also took a hit in October, declining by nearly 42% month-on-month. Taiwanese PVC displaced the US imports to a second place in October at 17,209 tons.

Domestic PVC, PE production down in US

According to market sources, PVC production in the US fell by 2% in October while exports fell to a level not seen since the recession. Higher domestic demand drove inventories down while outages from hurricanes and maintenance persisted. The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season set the record as the most active Atlantic hurricane, with a record-breaking 12 named storms, as well as six major hurricanes.

October PE exports were also reported below the 2020 average. According to market sources, PE inventories in the US showed a gain of over 300 million lbs (around 136,000 tons) in October, with production above last year’s rates.
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