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Stats: China’s PE and PP imports fall in 1H 2021; exports hit record highs

by Merve Sezgün -
  • 04/08/2021 (11:04)
According to data from ChemOrbis Import Statistics, China’s total PE imports in the first half of 2021 declined 12% on the year to be reported at around 7.6 million tons. The cumulative PP imports were also down by 24% to around 2.2 million tons. On the other hand, the country’s polyolefin exports within the same period hit a record high of 1.15 million tons.

Worst 1H import performance since 2018

Data reveal that China’s total PP and PE imports in the January-June period of 2021 indicated the worst 1H performance since 2018.

In product-based breakdown, homo-PP imports in the first six months of 2021 decreased 25% year over year to almost 1.6 million tons. South Korea was the top homo-PP supplier to China with around 400,000 tons.

1H PP copolymer imports were also down 20% on the year at around 700,000 tons, with Singapore being the top supplier (185,000 tons).

China’s total HDPE imports in the first half of the year declined 21% from a year earlier to be reported at around 3.3 million tons. Saudi Arabia was the top HDPE supplier of China with slightly more than 682,000 tons, followed by Iran (661,013 tons) and the United Arab Emirates (528,185 tons).

LLDPE imports in the first half witnessed a relatively smaller decrease of 7.4% to reach 2.6 million tons. Saudi Arabia was the top supplier with almost 555,000 tons, followed by Singapore (499,451 tons).

LDPE imports, on the other hand, posted a marginal yearly increase of 1.5% to reach 1.6 million tons. Iran was China’s top LDPE supplier with slightly more than 385,000 tons.

Majority of exports went to SE Asia

Unlike imports, China’s PP and PE exports in the first six months of the year surged to the highest levels since ChemOrbis began keeping records in 2001.

Total PP exports in the January-June period of 2021 skyrocketed by 272% year over year to be reported at 870,000 tons. PE exports, meanwhile, surged 116% to reach 279,900 tons.

According to data, the majority of the cumulative polyolefin exports (31.71%) went to Southeast Asian countries. Vietnam alone accounted for 16.09% of the overall exports.

Southeast Asia was followed by Latin American countries (13.3%), India (9.70%), and Pakistan (6.11%).
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