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Stats: Turkey’s 2021 polymer imports set a new record at 5.5 million tons

by Merve Madakbaşı -
  • 02/02/2022 (08:45)
According to ChemOrbis Import Statistics, Turkey’s cumulative polymer imports have set a new record at 5,558,000 tons in the whole of 2021. The total figure was up by 3.8% from 2020 when Turkey imported 5,351,000 tons of polymers.

Apparently, Turkey’s polymer consumption continued to grow last year despite a challenging domestic economy, disrupted supply chains amid elevated shipping costs, and the impact of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Imports – Turkey – Statistics – 2021– Polymers

Overall imports from Saudi Arabia near 1.5 million tons

Turkey’s five main suppliers were Saudi Arabia (1,450,617 tons), South Korea (473,691 tons), Iran (460,224 tons), Russia (358,192 tons) and the USA (323,821 tons) last year.

Overall imports from Saudi Arabia, Turkey’s by far the main polymer supplier, spiked 35% in 2021 when compared to the previous year, data suggested.

PPH renews record, PP copolymer imports hit 9-year high

Turkey imported 1,997,410 tons of homo-PP throughout last year, which represented the highest volume since ChemOrbis started to compile data in 2000. The figure was up 2% from 2020. In 2021, Turkey’s top PPH suppliers were Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Russia with respective volumes of 812,354 tons, 206,472 tons, and 184,247 tons.

PP copolymer imports were up 3% on the year to reach a 9-year high of 364,220 tons. Saudi Arabia overtook South Korea’s place to become Turkey’s top supplier with 100,361 tons, followed by South Korea (84,939 tons) and the United Arab Emirates (34,488 tons) in the whole of 2021.

China boosts PP exports to Turkey despite logistic snarls

According to ChemOrbis Import Statistics, China exported nearly 60,000 tons of homo-PP to Turkey last year as compared to less than 2,000 tons in the whole of 2020.

This is to say, Chinese PPH found its way to Turkey despite elevated freight rates and an ongoing container shortage from Asia. This reflects the impact of the addition of new capacities for 2021 in China.

Similarly, South Korea exported around 170,000 tons of PPH to Turkey last year despite challenging logistics, up from around 157,000 tons in 2020. In 2021, around 4 million tons/year capacity was scheduled to start up in South Korea.

S-PVC imports breach 700,000 tons, France counts 13% of total

In 2021, Turkey imported 703,180 tons of suspension PVC (S-PVC), up 4% from 2020. The volume indicated the highest level since 2017 when imports stood at 730,000 tons. France took the lead with almost 92,000 tons, which corresponds to 13% of the total figure. It was followed by Russia (69,817 tons), Mexico (59,923 tons), the USA (56,311 tons), and Ukraine (51,833 tons).

Unlike the past years, some European exporters to Turkey, including the UK, Spain, and Belgium, were left out of the top 5 list amid prolonged supply issues across the region during most of 2021. Central Eastern European origins seem to have toppled European origins from the throne.

Overall PE imports rise 9% to near 2 million tons in 2021

Data from ChemOrbis suggested that the cumulative PE imports shattered all records, standing at 1,943,074 tons in 2021. Including all imports of LDPE, LLDPE, mLLDPE, and HDPE, the volume pointed to a 9% hike from 2020.

In a product breakdown, LDPE imports were at 355,000 tons in total, the highest since ChemOrbis first started to compile data 21 years ago. The figure rose by 11% compared to 2020. The main LDPE exporters into Turkey were Saudi Arabia (67,866 tons), Iran (59,587 tons), and Belgium (32,513 tons).

In 2021, HDPE imports reached 742,000 tons and represented a gain of 2.7% year-on-year. The top three HDPE suppliers were Saudi Arabia (182,271 tons), Iran (142,183 tons), and Uzbekistan (79,302 tons).

Imports of LLDPE climbed 12% in 2021 from the previous year and stood at a new all-time high of 721,800 tons. Saudi Arabia overtook the place of the USA and became Turkey’s largest LLDPE supplier with 247,153 tons. The USA followed with 179,540 tons, while Iran was the third supplier with 103,991 tons.
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