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Stats: Türkiye’s overall polymer imports down slightly in H1 2023

by Merve Madakbaşı -
  • 04/08/2023 (02:08)
According to ChemOrbis Import Statistics, overall polymer imports in January-June edged down by around 1% to 3.1 million tons from the same period in 2022. Saudi Arabia (724,276 tons), South Korea (346,347 tons), Russia (321,768 tons), the United States (304,991 tons) and Egypt (172,609 tons) were the primary polymer suppliers during this time.

Imports barely change amid inflationary pressures, sliding shipping costs

Indeed, supply chain issues have faded to a large extent and freight rates have steadily eroded to near pre-pandemic levels amid a slowdown in global trading. Nonetheless, inflationary pressures, weak local currency and macroeconomic woes kept the cumulative volume almost flat compared to H1 2022.

In a product-based breakdown, HDPE, PVC, ABS, PS and EPS imports posted yearly increases, with imports for other products seeing only marginal gains or decreases.

H1 PP imports at lowest since 2020

Türkiye imported around 1 million tons of PPH in the first half of 2023 while the figure eroded by 7.9% compared to the same period in 2022. This volume was the lowest since 2020 when the country’s H1 imports stood at around 985,000 tons. Saudi Arabia was the top supplier with nearly 395,000 tons and a 39% market share, followed by Russia (168,000 tons) and South Korea (113,000 tons).

PP copolymer imports totalled 213,000 tons in January-June this year, which indicated a 5.7% loss year-on-year. Like in the case of PPH, this was the lowest volume in three years. Saudi Arabia was the number one supplier with 59,000 tons, followed by South Korea (36,000 tons) and Spain (around 26,000 tons).

LDPE imports near 180,000 tons with a slight gain on year

LDPE imports at 177,000 tons pointed to a yearly increase of 4% in the first half of this year, reaching the highest volume since H1 2021, when Türkiye imported 183,000 tons of material. Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan and the USA were the main LDPE sellers with respective volumes and market shares of 28,000 tons (16%), 18,000 tons (10%) and 17,000 tons (9.5%).

HDPE shines out as imports surge by 16.5% compared to H1 2022

Cumulative HDPE imports stood at 599,000 tons in H1 2023, up by 16.5% from the same period last year, according to ChemOrbis Import Statistics. Iran, Saudi Arabia and Russia were Türkiye’s largest suppliers, with 113,000 tons, 106,000 tons and 74,000 tons, respectively.

LLDPE imports almost unchanged on year

Nonetheless, Türkiye’s H1 LLDPE imports barely changed at 362,000 tons, the yearly comparison suggested. Saudi Arabia was the biggest supplier with 122,000 tons, followed by the USA (99,000 tons) and Iran (32,000 tons).

Imports of mLLDPE edged up by 1% in the period to stand at 78,000 tons. The USA, Russia and South Korea were the top suppliers with respective amounts of 25,000 tons, 22,000 tons and 5,000 tons.

Türkiye imports nearly 8% more PVC than last year

Despite macroeconomic woes and muted domestic derivatives, PVC achieved an increase of 7.7% in imports during January-June. Türkiye’s largest PVC source was the USA with about 110,000 tons of imports from the country. It was followed by Egypt (76,000 tons) and South Korea (42,000 tons).

H1 PS and EPS imports hit multi-year highs

PS imports stood at 80,000 tons in the first half of the year, indicating a 5% hike on the year. The volume was also the largest figure since 2019, when imports slightly moved above this threshold.

Looking at EPS, imports climbed by 54.5% in the period to reach 17,000 tons. This is to say, Türkiye’s EPS imports hit a 5-year high with the largest volume since H1 imports at 47,000 tons recorded in 2018.

H1 ABS imports reach the 90,000 tons mark

In January-June, cumulative ABS imports rose by 20% year over year to hit 90,000 tons. This quantity appears to be outstanding considering the total 2022 volume of 133,000 tons.

The top three supply sources were South Korea, Taiwan and Saudi Arabia. Imports from these countries respectively stood at around 50,000 tons, 13,000 tons and 8,000 tons.

PET imports fall by a half amid rising domestic supply

PET bottle imports plunged by 49% in H1 2023 to 49,000 tons from last year. Türkiye’s largest suppliers were China (32,000 tons), Malaysia (6,000 tons) and India (3,000 tons) over the period. PET textile imports slumped by 54% to 41,000 tons. China has the lions’ share with around 23,000 tons of exports to Türkiye, followed by Malaysia (9,000 tons) and South Korea (2,000 tons).

The steep declines in imports consumption partially stemmed from the newly launched capacities on the side of some Turkish producers during the last couple of years, let alone the adverse impact of rampant inflation on consumption.
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