According to data announced by Chinese Customs, China’s polymer imports were down slightly from December 2010 to January 2011, although the January 2011 figures are considerably higher when compared with import figures of January 2010 as per Chemorbis.
China imported 1,513,000 tons of polymers in January of 2011, a slight decline of 1% when compared with the December 2010 import figures of 1,529,000 tons. Although China’s imports were down month over month, the country’s January import total was nevertheless an all-time record for January as well as an increase of 2.3% when compared with country’s import totals for January 2010.
In the PE market, China’s January import figures showed that the country increased its imports of HDPE in January while LDPE imports remained mostly unchanged and LLDPE imports posted month over month declines. China’s imports of HDPE rose 9.9% month over month in January to reach 332,000 tons, while the January 2011 import figures for HDPE represented a decline of 8.5% from January 2010, thereby marking the movements in HDPE imports as standing in stark contrast to the general movements taking place in other polymer markets. By contrast, January imports of LLDPE declined 14.1% from December to January to reach 213,000 tons, while the January 2011 numbers also represented a 5.3% decrease from January 2010. Meanwhile, China’s imports of LDPE posted a slight increase of 1.9% on a month over month basis to reach 106,000 tons in January 2011, although this figure represented a steep decrease of 30.3% when compared with January 2010. Imports of homo-PP declined 2.5% month over month in January to reach 386,000 tons, with this figure nevertheless representing an all-time high for the month of January as well as increase of 14.5% when compared with the import figures reported in January 2010. Meanwhile, China’s imports of PP-copolymer jumped 22.8% from December to reach 97,000 tons in January. The January import figures for PP-copolymer also represented an increase of 26% from January 2010 as well as setting a new record for PP-copolymer imports for a single month, eclipsing the previous record figure of 89,000 tons recorded in June 2008.
China’s PVC imports decreased 2.9% in January of 2011 to reach 135,000 tons, although this figure was 45.2% higher when compared with the import figures from January 2010. The January import figure of 135,000 tons of PVC was the highest import figure for January since January 2004, when the country imported 154,000 tons of PVC. PS imports into China also moved mostly in line with general market trends in January, with PS imports posting a modest decline of 4.3% month over month to reach 89,000 tons. Although this figure represented a decrease from December, PS imports rose by 12.7% from January 2010 to January 2011.