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Stats: Turkey’s polymer imports hit a new record in first 3 quarters

by Manolya Tufan - mtufan@chemorbis.com
  • 31/10/2022 (08:46)
According to ChemOrbis Import Statistics, Turkey’s overall polymer imports in January-September hit a fresh record-high with around 4.3 million tons, staging an increase of 7% from the same period of 2021. Even though the growth in Q3 imports lost some speed on a quarterly basis, they are still above the same period of last year.

Saudi Arabia took the lion’s share with almost 1.1 million tons in the first three quarters of 2022, followed by South Korea, Russia, China and the United States.

October polymer imports are likely to be limited considering shutdowns, run rate cuts and more importantly anemic demand. Although purchasing power will likely remain depressed in the rest of the last quarter, cumulative imports may at least match the record-setting year of 2021, if not breach it. Turkey imported a total of 5.5 million tons of polymers last year despite supply chain disruptions.


Imports – Turkey – Statistics – 2022– Polymers

Q3 imports notably fall from Q2, styrenics take the lead

After logging the highest quarterly volume on ChemOrbis records in Q1 2022, Turkey’s total polymer imports receded gradually in the following quarters. Overall Q3 imports saw a notable drop of 13% from the second quarter to hit slightly above 1.3 million tons. Despite slumping freight rates, output cuts intended to rebalance weakening demand across the board played a key role in reducing import supplies.

Despite the quarterly drop, Q3 imports stood 4% above the same period of last year.

Product breakdown showed that the latest quarterly figures posted more visible drops for styrenics. Overall PS and ABS imports saw respective drops of around 40% and 30% from Q2 2022. Both PET and PVC imports declined by 15% quarter on quarter in Q3.

Meanwhile, cumulative PP and PE imports witnessed relatively smaller drops of 9% and 11% during this time.

PPH imports hit 1.5 million tons in first 3 quarters

PPH imports in the January-September period reached 1.5 million tons, up by more than 1% from the same period of last year. Copolymer imports were also marginally up on the year at 267,280 tons during the same period.

In the first 9 months of 2022, Turkey’s top PPH suppliers were Saudi Arabia, Russia and South Korea with respective volumes of 671,364 tons, 180,330 tons and 123,790 tons. As for copolymers, Saudi Arabia became Turkey’s top supplier with 80,606 tons, followed by South Korea (63,595 tons) and the United Arab Emirates (22,710 tons) during the same period.

On a quarterly basis, PPH and copolymer imports fell by 10% and 3% in Q3, respectively.

HDPE imports fall the most in Q3

LDPE imports in three quarters reached 236,140 tons, down by 8% from the same period of 2021. LLDPE and HDPE imports rose by more than 2% and 8%, respectively, to be reported at 529,710 tons and 600,960 tons.

The main LDPE exporters into Turkey were Saudi Arabia (48,081 tons), Azerbaijan (24,516 tons) and Qatar (20,401 tons) in the first nine months of 2022. The top three suppliers of LLDPE were Saudi Arabia (182,949 tons), the USA (132,187 tons) and Iran (41,226 tons). As for HDPE, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Russia were on top of the list of the major suppliers with respective volumes of 138,406 tons, 94,547 tons and 69,560 tons.

Quarterly drops of 4% for LDPE, 9% for LLDPE and 21% for HDPE were reported in Q3 2022, according to ChemOrbis Import Statistics.

The US overtakes Russia to rank as second largest PVC supplier

S-PVC imports rose by more than 10% on the year in January-September at 566,450 tons.

China (93,251 tons), the USA (75,706 tons), Russia (70,445 tons), South Korea (57,401 tons) and Mexico (44,139 tons) were Turkey’s top 5 suppliers in January-September 2022.

The USA overtook Russia’s place after boosting exports to Turkey in Q3 as Russia was the second largest supplier in H1 2022.

In Q3, S-PVC imports dropped by 13% from the prior quarter.

PET bottle imports skyrocket in 9 months

In the first 9 months, PET bottle imports surged by 224% from 2021 to stand at 152,810 tons. PET textile imports posted a smaller increase of 37% during the same period at 120,210 tons.

China remained Turkey’s top supplier with 132,793 tons of PET bottle and 51,336 tons of PET textile imports.

Quarterly PET bottle imports rose by more than 17% from Q2, while PET textile imports plunged by more than 44% in Q3.

Waning PET textile demand from derivative markets as inflationary pressures put an added strain on imports for this grade.

Styrenics slump on q-o-q in July-September

GPPS and HIPS imports rose by 2% on year in the January-September period at 97,290 tons. ABS imports fell by 6% to 103,740 tons.

The main PS exporters into Turkey were Belgium (33,060 tons), South Korea (14,150 tons) and Iran (11,440 tons). As for ABS, South Korea (57,268 tons), Saudi Arabia (14,418 tons) and Taiwan (8,160 tons) were Turkey’s top 3 suppliers in January-September 2022.

GPPS and HIPS imports plunged by 47% q-o-q in Q3, while ABS imports fell by 29%.

Sharp drops in import volumes were attributed to the global downtrend and reduced resin requirements as macroeconomic uncertainty hit durable goods consumption the most.
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