According to data released by the Chinese Customs Agency, China's total polymer imports in December 2010 rose both on a monthly and yearly basis. The country imported 1.53 million tons of plastics in December, an increase of just 81,000 tons compared to November 2010. China's plastics imports in December 2010 were the highest import totals for the month since December 2000.
Plastics pricing information supplier ChemOrbis shared the import statistics with us. The largest share of overall imports during 2010 arrived in China from South Korea, with 3.24 million tons for the year, was followed by Taiwan with 2.62 million tons and by Saudi Arabia with 1.9 million tons. The U.S. and Japan also exported significant tonnage to China in December 2010 with 1.24 million tons and 1.16 million tons, respectively.
Breaking down those December import figures, 396,000 tons of homopolymer polypropylene was imported in December, with the material supplied from South Korea (91,655 tons), Saudi Arabia (88,772 tons) and Taiwan (53,433 tons).
China's PVC imports were 139,000 tons in December 2010. The largest share of PVC imports were from the U.S. with 46,159 tons, which was followed by Japan and Taiwan with more than 36,000 tons and 27,665 tons, respectively.
In the polyethylene market, China imported 104,000 tons of LDPE, 302,000 tons of HDPE and 248,000 tons of LLDPE in December 2010, with the country's total imports indicating a slight improvement on a monthly basis for all PE products. The largest exporters were Qatar with 12,600 tons of LDPE, South Korea with 59,444 tons of HDPE and Saudi Arabia with 65,843 tons of LLDPE imports to China.
China imported 93,000 tons of polystyrene in December 2010. The three largest PS exporters to China over this period were Taiwan with 31,398 tons, Hong Kong with 24,270 tons and South Korea with 15,194 tons.