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Stats: Turkey’s H1 polymer imports defy pandemic, hit all-time high

by Merve Madakbaşı -
  • 30/07/2020 (04:12)
Turkey’s overall polymer imports totaled 2,634,000 tons in the first 6 months of 2020, an 8.7% increase from the same period of last year. The volume pointed to the highest level for this particular period since ChemOrbis started to compile statistics data in 2000.

This was remarkable considering the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on trading in March and April when polymer markets were hit hard by the hardships of virus-led curfews.

Turkey’s economy started to recover in May right before a normalization process kicked off on June 1. Signals of an improvement were also mirrored by positive economic data from manufacturing, capacity utilization as well as bouncing sales in white goods, auto and construction industries back in the last couple of months.

Top 5 polymer suppliers were Saudi Arabia (534,326 tons), South Korea (261,048 tons), the USA (210,070 tons), Belgium (132,962 tons) and Russia (121,490 tons) during the first half of the year.

PP imports in H1 up 11% year-on-year

According to ChemOrbis Statistics, Turkey’s homo-PP imports neared 950,000 tons in the January-June period, up 11.2% from the first half of 2019. This represented the highest volume in 2 decades.

In the first 6 months of this year, Saudi Arabia was Turkey’s top supplier with over 290,000 tons of PPH imports in total, followed by South Korea (almost 88,000 tons) and Russia (83,000 tons).

Similarly, PP copolymer imports reached the highest H1 volume in 7 years to stand at 170,000 tons, as per ChemOrbis data. The figure was up by 11.1% from H1 2019.

PVC imports neared 310,000 tons, France remained on the throne

Turkey’s cumulative S-PVC imports edged up by around 2% year-on-year to 308,000 tons in H1 2020. France continued to take the lead with more than 60,000 tons of PVC exports to Turkey, followed by Spain (31,425 tons) and Mexico (28,293 tons). The US ranked the fourth largest supplier with slightly less than 20,000 tons of exports.

PE imports surged for all grades, HDPE took the lead

In the first half of the year, LDPE imports soared approximately 19% year over year to near 165,000 tons. Saudi Arabia was the largest supplier with almost 28,000 tons of exports to Turkey, followed by Germany (15,722 tons) and France (14,211 tons).

LLDPE imports climbed 24% to almost 340,000 tons in January-June when compared to the first half of last year. The US was the top supplier by a long way as Turkey imported more than 110,000 tons of LLDPE from the country. Saudi Arabia also aimed for the top with 105,000 tons of exports to Turkey.

Iran ranked the third largest supplier with 20,000 tons amid the virus-disrupted flow from the country back in March-May.

As for HDPE, imports reached a 4-year high of above 360,000 tons in the first half, up 31% from H1 2019. Saudi Arabia, the US and South Korea were top three suppliers with rough volumes of 80,000 tons, 50,000 tons and 40,000 tons, respectively.

Data revealed that Turkey imported almost 41,000 tons of HDPE from Iran in total during January-June, putting the country to the fourth place. This was owing to imports that stood between 11,000-15,000 in January, February and June. In fact, Turkey imported less than 1000 tons from the country during March, April and May amid suspended deliveries.
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