2010 US polycarbonate imports fall 92% from 2009 - ITC

11 February 2011 20:39  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Strong demand from Asia for polycarbonate (PC) resins turned the US into a net exporter in 2010 compared with a net importer in 2009, according to data released on Friday by the US International Trade Commission (ITC).

US imports of PC resins in 2010 fell 92%, to 56,353 tonnes from 739,996 tonnes in 2009. Meanwhile, exports increased by 44% to 378,863 tonnes in 2010 from 262,361 tonnes a year earlier.

Improved demand in Asia was the main reason for the shift in US trade dynamics. US exports to China increased by 50% in 2010. Likewise, exports to Singapore increased by 109% and to South Korea by 90%.

Sources also said that despite typically higher domestic prices for PC resins, US buyers and distributors did not want to deal with shipping hassles for material.

ITC data for the month of December 2010 reflected overall trends for the year. Compared with December 2009, imports fell to 3,201 tonnes from 47,846 tonnes a year ago, a decrease of 93%.

Exports increased by 104% to 35,782 tonnes in December 2010 from 17,534 tonnes a year ago.

PC prices are assessed by ICIS at 156-175 cents/lb ($3,461-3,882/tonne, €2,545-2,855/tonne) for moulding- or extrusion-grade material FOB (free on board) in the US Gulf.

Major US producers of PC are Bayer MaterialScience, SABIC Innovative Plastics and Styron.

($1 = €0.74)

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By: John Dietrich

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