EU PC imports shrink in H1 due to Middle East shutdown

21 August 2013 16:46  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--EU polycarbonate (PC) imports dropped while exports increased during the first half of the year because a major PC plant in the Middle East was shut down for almost three months, sources said on Wednesday.

The EU imported 17% less PC during the first half of this year than during the same period in 2012, data by statistics agency Eurostat showed this week. Exports rose by 12% over the same period.

The reason behind both movements is understood to be because Saudi Arabia-based producer Saudi Kayan shut its 260,000 tonne/year PC plant in Al-Jubail on 10 February, with the restart only occuring in early May.

During the shutdown period, the Saudi plant could not export as much to the EU as it normally does, while at the same time EU producers stepped in to supply its markets in Asia.

The drop in imports and increase in exports helped European sellers offload surplus material they accumulated during the year, producers said.

According to a major European producer, some of the extra export volume also went to Turkey where demand for plastics is holding up. Underlying stable global demand for speciality PC has also helped improve overseas sales, the producer added.

In June however, PC imports and exports fell year on year. Imports dropped by 44% and exports by 6%.

Eurostat import/export data is subject to revision as more detailed information becomes available.

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By: Janos Gal
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