China Sept MEG, styrene imports record high - trade publication

28 October 2009 04:05  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--China’s monoethylene glycol (MEG), ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), polyacetal, polycarbonate (PC) and styrene imports hit all-time highs in September, the US-based International Trader Publications Inc (ITP) said on Wednesday.

MEG imports were 551,000 tonnes in September and styrene at 363,300 tonnes, added the chemicals and polymer trade data and analysis service.

China had imported 502,994 tonnes of MEG and 287,387 tonnes of styrene in August.

The year-to-date imports of all commodity polymers tracked by ITP rose by 31-133%. These include all the major homo and co-polymer grades of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and EVA.

“Some of the surges in September, following somewhat slower trade in July and August, probably anticipated the week-long national holiday early in October,” said Jean Sudol, president of ITP.

“We expect to see lower volumes show up in China's October statistics but what is likely for November is less predictable and hinges on how much is real demand growth, both domestically and as translated into growing exports, versus stockpiling along the product chain. This depends partly on government policy.

“What is apparent is that government policies to date in China have resulted in unprecedented import volumes of many products for several months, some since the beginning of the year, in spite of months of rising prices. The duration of this trend is striking.”

During the last global economic recession, there was also a surge in imports into China at the beginning of 2002, as prices bottomed, she added.

But this lasted only 2-3 months, as prices moved up, and did not involve the breadth of products being recorded now.

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By: John Richardson
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