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Stats: Turkey’s 2020 polymer imports set to beat the 2017 record

by Merve Madakbaşı - mmadakbasi@chemorbis.com
  • 04/01/2021 (04:02)
According to ChemOrbis Import Statistics, Turkey’s overall polymer imports surged 10% in November compared to the same month of 2019. Looking at cumulative imports January-November, the volume is readying to surpass 5 million tons for the whole year.

The overall polymer imports had broken a record in 2017 as the cumulative volume hit an all-time high of 5,003,000 tons during that year.

Cumulative imports shrugged off COVID-19

The cumulative data suggested that the total imports in January-November have already hit an all-time high of 4.854,000 tons while they pointed to a 10% increase year-over-year.

Apparently, the country’s cumulative polymer imports will move above the 5-million-ton threshold for the whole of 2020, even if the growth rate of overall volumes moderates in December.

Turkey – Import Statistics

It would not be wrong to say that Turkey’s polymer consumption was indifferent to the pandemic. Also, it was fueled by the rising demand for several finished goods. The ongoing disease led to booming online sales, supermarket shopping, hygiene products, and packaging consumption.

Among industries, tourism was hit by the infection the hardest, while real estate and automotive industries shone out triggered by disrupted supply chains, low-interest loans, and government subsidies.

Almost all products contributed to the gain in November

In a product-based breakdown, imports of PP, PVC, PE, PS, ABS and PET textile all posted yearly increases during November.PS (70%), ABS (50%), HDPE (29.5%), and PVC (25.5%) recorded the most sizable increases. PET textile, PP copolymer, and LLDPE showed relatively modest increases ranging from 12% to 17%. Volumes of homo-PP and LDPE increased slightly less than 10% on the year in November, meanwhile.

In the meantime, EPS and PET bottle imports in November were down by 15% and 22%, respectively compared to the same month of 2019.

Data reflected the ongoing economic recovery in Turkey

Growing raw material imports were in line with a gradual recovery in the Turkish economy since May. After a currency crisis back in mid-2018, the economy was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic this time. The economy suffered from a contraction in Q2 when GDP fell by 9.9% year-on-year before rebounding 6.7% in Q3.

The country’s capacity utilization steadily rose during the period of May-November before inching down in December. Also, manufacturing started to recover by July and has retained an upward trend since then following sharp drops in March-May.
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