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Weaker dollar boosts polymer imports into Europe in 2017

by ChemOrbis Editorial Team -
  • 23/02/2018 (08:04)
The data from Eurostat reveal that overall polymer imports into the European Union in 2017 hit a record high since 2001, according to ChemOrbis Stats Wizard. The EU’s cumulative polymer imports reached more than 6.7 million tons last year, up by 5.5% on a year over year basis.

The record high level of imports was mostly attributed to the appreciation of euro against the US dollar particularly in the second half of 2017. The euro/dollar parity reached around 1.25 in around mid-February, the highest level since November 2014.

One of the largest contributions to Europe’s record high polymer imports in 2017 came from PE, which posted a yearly increase of 6.8% to reach more than 3.5 million tons. In product-based breakdown, total LLDPE and LDPE imports to the region reached an all-time high. LLDPE imports were 1.4% higher from a year earlier to around 1.2 million tons in 2017. This yearly increase came despite the fact that LLDPE metallocene imports started to be categorized under a different HS code with more than 300,000 tons last year. Meanwhile, LDPE imports climbed more considerably by 6.4% to reach around 700,000 tons. As for HDPE, however, cumulative imports were down by 10% on the year to almost 1.3 million tons.

The region’s overall PET imports, including bottle and textile grades, increased 13% from a year earlier to reach slightly above 1 million tons in 2017, moving above this threshold for the first time since 2009. The production problems throughout last year appear to have attracted more PET imports to the region.

The visible gains of PE and PET were followed by a relatively smaller increase of 3.3% in total PP imports which were almost at 1.4 million tons, the highest level on record.
In the meantime, overall imports of PVC and ABS did not witness any major changes in 2017 when compared to the previous year while PS imports into the region were down by around 22%.

To track yearly, quarterly and monthly statistics of all polymers and compare different countries and products in the same chart for the EU-28, China, Turkey and Italy, please visit ChemOrbis Stats Wizards
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