According to statistics from Chinese Customs, polymer imports declined for the third consecutive month in June after spiking to a new record high in March, as per Chemorbis. Players attributed the reduction in imports to slackening economic growth in the country, resulting in weaker demand for polymers, as well as start-up of large new capacities in China that has led to sourcing of a greater share from the local market. China imported a total of 1,170,615 tons of polymers in June, a decrease of 6.1% from the May figures, and of 31.2% from March. The largest declines were recorded for PE, with June imports slipping 21.5% for LDPE, 8.3% for HDPE and 6.8% for LLDPE when compared with the May import figures. When compared with March, LDPE imports are down by 59.7%, while HDPE imports are down 33.1% and LLDPE imports are down by 44.6%. PS offers also witnessed declines in June, with June imports standing 6.4% below the May import figures and 10.7% below the March import numbers.
In contrast, June imports for PP and PVC posted slight increases from May, with PVC imports rising 17.2% from May and homo-PP imports increasing by 3.6% on a month over month basis. However, imports for these two products still show declines when compared with the March figures, with June PVC imports standing 22.4% below the March import numbers and June homo-PP imports standing 18.8% below the March import figures.
Following three consecutive months of reduced imports, Chinese buyers have been left with relatively limited stocks of imported cargoes. Over the past two weeks, strong upward movements in crude oil and feedstock markets have tempted many buyers to return to the market, thereby sparking a resurgence of interest in import materials. Mainstream Asian PVC producers reported that they had no difficulties in concluding their August business over the past two weeks, with some major producers commenting that their allocations for August were slightly higher than normal. Elsewhere, PP and PE producers in Southeast Asia report that they have reduced their availability to their own local markets as they have taken advantage of strong demand in China to divert a larger than normal portion of their August allocations to the Chinese market.