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Stronger USD has limited impact on Turkey’s polymer imports in Jan-Oct

  • 03/12/2018 (08:34)
Data from ChemOrbis Import Statistics reveal that Turkey’s cumulative polymer imports in the first ten months of 2018 reached around four million tons. The currency effect lingered on in October, yet it has had a limited impact on the overall import figures as data indicate.

Lira devalued more than 40% in August, gained back 26% since then

The Turkish lira hit all-time lows against the US dollar in August this year, when it lost more than 40% when compared to July while its loss reached more than 80% when compared to the beginning of the year in the face of political and economic tensions. However, it has recovered to some extent since early September, gaining 26% back in the last two months.

Is buying appetite still out there for polymer imports?

Although Turkey’s monthly polymer imports posted sizeable decreases of 30-37% in August, September and October on a yearly basis as an immediate reflection of the currency crisis, cumulative imports in the January-October period indicate a relatively small decrease of 5.6% on a year over year basis.

PP and LDPE imports saw minor declines in Jan-Oct

In the first ten months of this year, PP and LDPE were the products that suffered the least from the currency crisis.

Overall homo-PP imports witnessed a slight decline of 4% on the year while the country’s cumulative imports for PP copolymers were down by 4.6% in the same period.

LDPE imports, meanwhile, were almost flat from the previous year as they posted a yearly decrease of less than 1% in the January-October period.

LLDPE imports hit record high

Moreover, unlike other polymers, data suggest that Turkey’s LLDPE imports increased 9% on the year in the first ten months 2018 and reached around 420,000 tons, the highest January-October figure since ChemOrbis began keeping records in 2000.

HDPE, PVC, PS, ABS suffered the most

On the other hand, HDPE and PVC imports retreated by around 10% from a year earlier while they were more visibly down by 34% and 49%, respectively, on a yearly basis in October.

When it comes to ABS and PS, the cumulative imports recorded decreases of around 13% from the same period of 2017.

How to end 2018?

It is evident that there will be some decrease in the overall polymer imports of Turkey in 2018 once data for November and December are released. Nevertheless, this yearly decrease is not likely to be major considering the import performance in the first 10 months, when the acute and chronic stages of the crisis were anticipated to be over, and the recent recovery of the Turkish lira.
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