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AnalysisSSESSMENTS: US Emerges As China's Fifth-Largest High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Supplier


According to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) seen by SSESSMENTS.COM, China imported much less high-density polyethylene (HDPE) in the first quarter of 2023 than in the same period last year. On a year-on-year basis, China’s HDPE imports fell by 20.73% in the first three months of 2023. The imports dropped by 19.78% year on year in January 2023, from 504,054 tons to 404,344 tons. The imports continued to fall in February 2023, by 9.89% to 459,088 tons. Inflows then plummeted further by 30.50% to 427,023 tons in March 2023.

NBS data also reveals the monthly changes in imports. Inflows increased by 22.38% from December 2022 to January 2023 and by 13.54% from January to February 2023. However, the imports decreased by 6.98% from February to March 2023. Total HDPE imports in Q1 2023 were also down 9.35% from 1,423,590 tons in Q4 2022. Market sources told SSESSMENTS.COM that China’s HDPE imports rose in January and February as market participants anticipated better demand after the Lunar New Year Holiday. “Market participants were speculating and buying to prepare for the expected demand.” However, the expected rebound did not happen, and imports retreated in March.

There were no significant changes in China’s HDPE suppliers in Q1 2022 compared to Q1 2023, other than the US emergences as the fifth largest suppliers. Over the period, the US jumped from the tenth to the fifth largest supplier, boosting its sales from 28,568 tons to 154,031 tons and its share from 1.75% to 11.94%. Market sources told SSESSMENTS.COM that US PE cargoes were competitively priced and had better availability, especially compared to Middle Eastern rivals. Arranging shipments were also easier for US cargoes, and the freight cost was also competitive, allowing increased inflows of US HDPE to China.

Despite rising imports from the US, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, South Korea, and Iran remained the top four suppliers of HDPE to China in both quarters. However, their sales and shares dropped in Q1 2023. Saudi Arabia supplied 285,833 tons of HDPE to China, taking 22.15% of the market. In Q1 2022, the kingdom supplied 377,329 tons and had a 23.16% share. The UAE sold 249,601 tons of HDPE to China, taking 19.34% of the market. In Q1 2022, the UAE shipped 339,498 tons and had a 20.84% share. South Korea delivered 165,443 tons of HDPE to China, taking 12.82% of the market. In Q1 2022, South Korea supplied 267,206 tons and had a 16.40% share. Iran sold 154,143 tons of HDPE to China, taking 11.94% of the market. In Q1 2022, Iran sold 266,877 tons and had a 16.38% share.

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Tags: AlwaysFree,Analysis,Asia Pacific,China,English,Iran,Korea,Middle East,NEA,PE,Saudi Arabia,UAE

Published on May 10, 2023 2:56 PM (GMT+8)
Last Updated on May 10, 2023 3:42 PM (GMT+8)