THE BIG PE exporters to China saw their sales to country decline by a further $1bn year-on-year in January-July 2023 versus January-June 2023.
Asian Chemical Connections
NINE OUT OF CHINA’S top 10 high density polyethylene (HDPE) import partners saw their sales to China fall by an estimated total of $1.8bn in January-July 2023 versus the same period last year. Meanwhile, the remaining member of the top 10, the US, saw its sales increase by $233m.
SEE ABOVE estimated LLDPE H1 2023 sales in China versus average H1 1999-2022 sales. Total estimated losses amounted to $594m among some of the big global producers.
As China’s overall high density PE (HDPE) imports fell to 2m tonnes in January-May 2023 from 2.5m tonnes during the same period last year, the US’s share of China’s import market jumped to 13% from 3%. Year-on-year imports from the US rose by 335% to 268,892 tonnes.
CHINA’S imports from the US surge by 220% in January-May 2023 as local production falls by 11% and as imports decline from Singapore, South Korea and Thailand.
Saudi Arabia and South Korea must find alternative HDPE markets to China, as China’s demand weakens and it becomes more self-sufficient
BECAUSE the old certainties of strong demand growth in China and elsewhere are over, sustainability must be at the core of new petrochemicals growth models.
A SCENARIO-BASED approach is essential to understand US PE exports in 2023, based on non-plant economic factors
The strength of China’s post zero-COVID recovery in 2023 will be crucial, as will local operating rates as self-sufficiency further increases.
Another important factor: European gas supply next winter and the effect on local PE production.
Companies behind the crackers due on-stream over the next four years emphasise the low-carbon output. The planned new plant also have excellent economies of scale