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Stats: Turkey’s PE, PP imports largely weaker in January

by Başak Ceylan - bceylan@chemorbis.com
  • 01/03/2022 (09:55)
Despite logging the highest January volume on ChemOrbis records, Turkey’s total polymer imports in January decreased by nearly 6% on the month to 484,000 tons. Product breakdown showed that the latest monthly figures for PE and PP were largely lower on both monthly and yearly terms at the start of 2022.

Last year’s PP and PE import volume shattered all records in Turkey. At 1,943,074 tons, the cumulative PE imports were at their highest since ChemOrbis started compiling data in 2001. PPH imports rose to a fresh record at 1,997,410 tons in 2021, upping the previous record set in 2020 by 2%.

Following a new record in 2021, Turkey started 2022 with less PP and PE imports. This decrease can be attributed to the fact that Turkish buyers shied away from engaging in so many new import deals in December given the currency crisis in place at that time. Plus, import PP and PE prices were both extending their slump in December, which kept buyers away from the market. These factors - naturally - resulted in lower imports in January statistics.

Turkey’s monthly PE imports were around 145,270 tons in January 2021, marking the lowest volume since July 2021. Demand was stronger for LLDPE at the start of the year as compared to the other two main PE grades.

Turkey’s LLDPE imports slumped by 19% on a yearly basis while it increased by 18% on a monthly basis to 59,450 tons in January. Saudi Arabia accounted for more than 40% of Turkey’s LLDPE imports during the month with 24,943 tons. Turkey’s January mLLDPE imports were down by 27% on the month and 2% on the year at 10,373 tons. Top supplier was the US with 2,862 tons, closely followed by Russia with 2,624 tons.

January marked the lowest volume of LDPE imports in seven months. Imports of LDPE decreased 22% on the month and by 29% on the year to stand at 24,163 tons. Saudi Arabia was the top supplier with 5,896 tons while Iran slid down the list with a mere 288 tons of exports in January.

Turkey’s HDPE imports in January were also down by 14% on the month and 28% on the year to around 51,282 tons. Saudi Arabia was the largest supplier with 15,245 tons, almost doubling the next biggest importer, Iran.

In January 2022, Turkey’s homo-PP imports increased marginally by 1% to 189,450 tons as compared to 187,732 tons imported in December 2021. Saudi Arabia topped the ranking at 94,159 tons, followed by South Korea with 19,681 tons and Egypt with 13,128 tons. Russia—the third largest PPH exporter in 2021—was in fifth place with 10,812 tons in January.

PP accounts for 30% of Russia’s overall polymer exports and a key destination is Turkey with almost a 23% share in average PP exports. Although market players largely agreed that Russia could maintain or even increase their market share in Turkey, the recent financial sanctions on Russian banks and the ensuing uncertainty over possible transactions clouded the outlook for Russian imports.

PP copolymer imports increased by 14% on the year but decreased by 4% on the month to around 35,000 tons in January. South Korea was Turkey’s top copolymer supplier for a second month with 11,819 tons, followed closely by Saudi Arabia with 10,977 tons.

Given the fact that PP and PE prices reversed their slump in January, more buyers were anticipated to have secured cargoes in the import market. Therefore, February and March statistics may show increases on a monthly basis for Turkey.
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