China’s PE imports from Iran surge in September – one of the OPEC problems of quota control

Chinese polyethylene (PE) imports from Iran surged to 257,000t in September, up by 160pc from August, after falling for five consecutive months since April.

Imports of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) from Iran increased the most among all PE grades to 158,000t in September, up by 180pc from August and a 6pc rise from the same period in 2019.

Imports of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) from Iran moved up to 85,000t in September from 32,000t in August. Purchases of linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) from Iran reached 13,500t last month, up by 60pc from August.

China imported more Iran-origin cargoes in September to make up for a shortage caused by higher-than-expected domestic demand during the peak season in September.

Supplies of Iran-origin HDPE and LDPE dropped during June-August because US sanctions prevented some Iranian vessels from entering Chinese ports for customs clearance.

By contrast, China’s HDPE imports from the US fell by 29pc from August to 81,000t last month, while LLDPE purchases dropped by 12pc from August to 58,000t. Supplies from the US were reduced following recent hurricanes. But LDPE imports from the US increased to 22,000t, a rise of 43pc from August, which was attributed to robust import demand in China.

China’s PE imports reached a total of 1.82mn t in September, up by 17pc from August and by 36pc on the year. Its HDPE imports climbed to 938,000t, 16pc higher from August, while LLDPE purchases rose by 10pc on the month to 550,000t and LDPE imports increased by 33pc from August to 330,000t.


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