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Stats: China’s PE imports dip while exports surge to all-time high in May

by Başak Ceylan - bceylan@chemorbis.com
  • 29/06/2021 (09:16)
Data from ChemOrbis Import Statistics revealed that China’s May PE imports dropped by nearly 32% from the previous year to 1,126 million tons. May’s figures also demonstrated the lowest levels since February 2021, during which trading activities weakened amid the Lunar New Year holiday.

All three PE grades see y-o-y drops

A breakdown of the latest data indicated a yearly decrease of 32% for HDPE imports at 545,721 tons. On a monthly basis, China’s total HDPE imports were mostly flat. China’s LLDPE imports fell by 39% on the year and by 18% on the month to 358,710 tons in May. At 221,490 tons, the country’s LDPE imports were lower by 13% from last month and by 15% from a year earlier.

China PE Imports

What were key drivers behind low figures?

According to market players, figures largely reflected the volumes purchased during the final month of the first quarter and in April, during which global PE supplies were significantly tighter due to storm-related outages in the US. Compared to other major markets, relatively low PE prices in China around that time also influenced the volume of imports in the country.

China’s PE exports more than triple

At the same time, China’s PE exports surged to a record-high in May 2021, more than tripling from a year earlier period. At around 78,000 tons, the country’s May PE exports were also higher on the month by around 6%.

ChemOrbis Import Statistics data also showed that China’s PE exports during the January-May period were at a staggering 238,100 tons.

China PE Exports
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