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Stats: Turkey’s H1 2021 polymer imports set a new record high

by Esra Ersöz -
  • 06/08/2021 (03:08)
Turkey’s polymer market size continues to grow despite all challenges. According to ChemOrbis Import Statistics, overall polymer imports in the first half of 2021 saw a new all-time high, expanding 7% on a yearly basis to more than 2.8 million tons.

The growth in polymer imports faltered back in 2018 and 2019, standing slightly below 5 million tons after years of consistent increase in imports. Turkey ended 2020 with a record high imports, however, climbing well above the 5 million ton-threshold. The performance of H1 2021 has followed the footsteps of last year so far regardless of supply hurdles, logistic and shipping problems.

Homo-PP imports breach 1 million threshold in H1

Homo-PP imports have not taken a break from their tenecious growth since 2000. Apart from a record-high, this year has been the first time that cumulative imports passed the 1 million threshold in the first half, displaying an increase of 7% compared to the same period of last year.

Copolymer imports also rose by around 11% yearly in H1. Although this was not a record, it is the highest amount since 2012, when some adjustments were made in the description of the related tariff code.

PE imports also sit at a record high, but fail to make it 1 million for H1

The overall import PE market size has increased by around 5% on year during H1, which represents a new high for PE imports. However, the total of LDPE, HDPE, LLDPE and mLLPE imports failed to pass 1 million, standing at 971,000 tons. This also affirms the growth of Turkey’s import PE market size lags behind PP, since homo PP alone has been having a larger market share than three main PE products.

On a product-breakdown basis, LDPE imports rose approximately by 7% to 175,000 tons.
HDPE imports also rose by 5% to more than 380,000 tons and LLDPE by almost 3% to 348,000 tons in H1 on a yearly basis. mLLDPE imports notched a more visible gain of 40% at 63,000 tons in the same timeframe.

Shortage from Europe upends the notion of regular PVC suppliers

Despite the enduring supply problems in the PVC market, a yearly increase of 15% was achieved in PVC imports in the first half of 2021 at more than 350,000 tons. This was also the highest volume since 2018.

The PVC market has been gripped by supply shortages particularly from Europe for a sustained period. This, in return, has upended the notion of regular and major PVC suppliers in Turkey. Although France maintained its status as the top PVC supplier in H1 2021, it lost a market share of 22% on a yearly comparison. Having been the third largest supplier last year, Spain fell to the 7th place with a 25% decrease.

Russia, Egypt, Iran, and South Korea fill the absence of Europe

The absence of these two major supplying countries was filled by a variety of alternative sources. For instance, Russia, which stood on the 5th place last year, moved to the second in the list by raising its shares 55% in H1 on year. Egypt raised its PVC exports to Turkey by 128% to be the 4th largest supplier while Iran tripled its exports to move up in the list to the 6th place. South Korea followed in the list, raising its shares by three times on year as well.

ABS imports shine out, PS perks up

Following the overall trend, ABS imports set a new record with more than 77,000 tons in H1. They also showed a yearly rise of 20%.

Cumulative PS imports, meanwhile, showed an increase of 16% on a yearly comparison to hit more than 73,000 tons in the same time period. This yearly gain is pivotal since the overall PS imports shrank considerably last year by around 40%.
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