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Stats: Türkiye’s polymer imports hit highest quarterly level in Q3

by Merve Madakbaşı -
  • 03/11/2023 (01:51)
Overall polymer imports stood at around 1.7 million tons in the July-September period, marking the largest volume on record. According to ChemOrbis Import Statistics, the Q3 figure indicated a 10% increase from the prior quarter, while the yearly comparison pointed to almost a 24% hike.

PP, PVC and PE imports contributed to the yearly rise largely, while imports of styrenics also recorded notable gains. In the meantime, PET grades faced reduced imports in the third quarter of this year as plentiful local supply curbed demand.

The growth in imports of Türkiye came despite economic headwinds amid inflationary pressures that took their toll on consumption. Robust buying activity right before the presidential elections underpinned resin consumption in late H1 of 2023. The rise of FX rates in stages rather than a spike might have also supported import activity to a certain extent.

Turkey-Import Statistics – Quarterly - Polymers

Total PP imports mark highest level since Q1 2022

In Q3, total PP imports stood slightly above 705,000 tons, while the volume was up by 9% from Q2 and by 13% compared to the corresponding period last year. Moreover, the figure pointed to the largest volume in a quarter since Q1 last year.

Türkiye imported approximately 570,700 tons of homo-PP in the third quarter, almost 5% higher than the previous quarter. The figure also soared by 24% year-on-year.

As for PP copolymer, Q3 imports almost reached 135,000 tons, with a 32% increase from the previous quarter and a 23% surge from the same period last year. ChemOrbis data further suggested that this was the highest quarterly figure on record.

Overall PE imports near Q1 high

Overall, PE imports neared 635,000 tons in the July-September period, a 10% increase from the April-June period. The volume indicated a gain of about 25%, while it was the highest figure since Q1.

In a product breakdown, LDPE imports in Q3 posted increases of 25% and 20.6%, respectively q-o-q and year-on-year to stand at 98,500 tons. LLDPE imports stood slightly above 195,000 tons in Q3, showing an 18% increase from the previous quarter and almost a 15% rise from the corresponding period last year. HDPE imports gained 3.4% in Q3 on a quarterly basis, while the volume at around 298,000 tons pointed to a sharper gain of 42% from Q3 2022.

Q3 PVC imports climb by 50% over year

According to ChemOrbis Import Statistics, Türkiye imported about 275,000 tons of PVC (including suspension and emulsion grades) in the July-September period. The figure climbed by 36% from Q2 this year and the surge was even larger at 50% compared to Q3 2022.
This was the largest volume in a quarter since Q1 2013, when Türkiye’s PVC imports set a record with 276,500 tons.

PS, ABS and EPS imports show solid increases from Q3 2022

PS imports came in slightly below 42,000 tons in the third quarter, indicating a 3% fall from the prior quarter. However, the figure spiked by almost 100% from Q3 2022.

Türkiye’s ABS imports totaled about 41,000 tons, with a quarterly drop of 17% in Q3. Nonetheless, the yearly comparison suggested a 45% jump in imports.

Similarly, EPS imports soared by 37% quarter over quarter and neared 11,000 tons. The volume even pointed to a steeper increase of 67% compared to Q3 last year, when Türkiye imported less than 6,500 tons of EPS.

PET bottle imports dive amid rising domestic supply

According to ChemOrbis data, Q3 PET bottle imports broke below the 6,500 tons threshold with a sharp drop of 79% from Q2. The yearly comparison also pointed to an 89% decline from the same period of last year. Long domestic supply clearly dragged Türkiye’s PET bottle imports down, let alone the adverse impact of sticky inflation on consumption. The latest volume indicated the lowest imports in a quarter in two decades.

As for PET textile, imports in the July-September period stood at around 23,600 tons. The figure was down by 5% from Q2 and slid by 21% year-on-year. More textile manufacturers have shifted from PP fibre to polyesters recently, as players put it, which may have kept the size of drops in PET textile imports modest.
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