China’s total polymer imports in May 2011 dipped marginally both on a monthly and yearly basis, according to Chinese Customs Agency as per ChemOrbis. Although the total imports were down from April to May, they were still above the 1.04 mln tons of February (the lowest import figure reported in 2011). The country imported 1,124,000 tons of plastics in May 2011, which represents a decrease of 59,000 tons when compared to April 2011.
The largest stake of overall imports during May 2011 again belonged to South Korea, with 213,298 tons which was followed by Taiwan with 176,124 tons and by Saudi Arabia with 140,895 tons, although imports from these countries moved down from April to May across the board. Thailand and Singapore were the other countries having the largest polymer exports to China, exporting 76,134 tons and 72,938 tons respectively, both raising their exports to China on a monthly basis. Qatar, Russia, Iran, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Brazil were amongst the other countries which raised their export volumes to China in May. In comparison with April, imports from European countries including Belgium, Finland, Germany, Italy, Norway and the UK were also up. Imports from the US, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Oman, the Philippines, South Africa, Egypt and Mexico, on the other hand, were down with the largest monthly decrease seen in imports from the US which fell from the 81,697 tons in April to 68,382 tons in May.
On a product by product basis, imports of homo-PP were slightly down from April to 247,000 tons. The top three homo PP exporters to China in May were South Korea with more than 64,000 tons, Saudi Arabia with more than 40,000 tons and Taiwan with 35,870 tons. In the PVC market, China imported 59,000 tons of PVC in May, which represents a drop month over month. Imports from the largest three exporters were down significantly from April to May, with imports being reduced to 22,275 tons from Taiwan, 17,174 tons from the US and 13,396 tons from Japan on a monthly basis. In the PE market, China imported 113,000 tons of LDPE, 254,000 tons of HDPE and 179,000 tons of LLDPE in May 2011. The country’s LDPE imports rose on a monthly basis while they moved down for HDPE and LLDPE. In the LDPE market, imports from Russia and Saudi Arabia posted a noticeable jump with Russia doubling its LDPE exports to China in May. The total LDPE imports from Russia reached 10,550 tons and imports from Saudi Arabia reached 11,841 tons.
For HDPE, the largest three exporters were South Korea with 47,252 tons, Saudi Arabia with 38,073 tons and Iran with 36,338 tons. Imports from South Korea and Iran were down while imports from Saudi Arabia were up from April to May. The largest monthly decrease was seen in HDPE imports from the US, which exported 5,717 tons in May as opposed to the 14,078 tons in April. For LLDPE, the largest exporters were Saudi Arabia with 47,132 tons, Singapore with 30,473 tons and Thailand with 21,139 tons. Imports from Saudi Arabia and Thailand were down while imports from Singapore were down month over month. Looking at the PS market, China imported 77,000 tons of PS in May 2011, which shows a downward trend on a monthly basis. The top three PS exporters to China over this period were Taiwan with 24,036 tons, Hong Kong with more than 18,668 tons and South Korea with 16,738 tons. In a monthly comparison, China imported less PS from Taiwan and Hong Kong while it slightly raised its PS imports from South Korea.