US, Saudi Arabia and Iran compete for Turkey’s imports in April

Turkey’s total polymer imports, which had been the highest ever in March 2011 since 2000, shows a decline in April while it still stands above the figures reported for the first two months of the year per ChemOrbis. According to the data released by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK), Turkey imported 370,000 tons of plastics in April 2011. Although the country’s April imports are down on a monthly basis, they indicate an upward movement compared to April 2010 when Turkey’s total polymer imports were 318,000 tons. The main supply source, Saudi Arabia, again had the largest stake of imports with 72,270 tons. The US, which almost doubled its total polymer imports to Turkey in April, was the closest follower with 33,501 tons while Iran came next with 25,155 tons. In comparison with March, imports from European countries including France, Belgium, Holland, Norway, Poland and Spain, were down across the board. This can be attributed to the high euro/USD parity rate which affected the competitiveness of these origins against other USD based prices. Of the total polymer imports in April 2011, origins which are subject to customs duties accounted for 242,000 tons, indicating a monthly increase, while duty-free origins accounted for a smaller quantity of 128,000 tons, showing a decline compared to the March figure which also confirms that European countries were not preferred. Total homo PP imports were 87,000 tons, 45,283 tons of which was from Saudi Arabia. Turkey imported 6,726 tons from Greece and 6,178 tons from India, with exports from all of these countries decreasing from March to April. PP imports from other countries were all below 4,000 tons. In the S-PVC market, Turkey imported 69,000 tons of material in March. Imports from America showed a rapid increase month over month, with imports from the country rising to 24,336 tons from the 14,384 of March. Mexico and Czech Republic were the other exporters with 6,778 tons and 5,053 tons respectively. Imports from these countries also improved compared to March. Looking at the LDPE market, it is seen that Turkish players turned to irregular supply sources amidst higher LDPE prices from mainstream producers. Imports from Croatia and South Korea were up slightly while the country imported material albeit in small quantities from Mexico and Hungary for the first time since the start of this year. The main exporter was Iran with 5,014 tons, although the country imported less material compared to March. As for HDPE, imports from main supply sources, Saudi Arabia and Iran, were down on a monthly basis while imports from the US were up significantly at 8,589 tons as opposed to 3,435 tons in March. LLDPE imports from Saudi Arabia were also down month over month while imports from Iran were up dramatically from 749 tons to 2,737 tons. The largest PS exporter in April was Belgium with 9,483 tons while Thailand and Germany were the other followers with 3,080 tons and 2,020 tons respectively. Irregular origins namely Iranian, Mexican, Romanian and Swedish, which had been absent in March, also showed up in Turkey’s import market in April. The country’s total PS imports were 23,000 tons in April 2011.
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