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China imports lower volumes of US plastics scrap

Asia – Latest figures from the Census Bureau and International Trade Commission reveal a continuation of the trend towards US plastic scrap exporters leaning less heavily on the Chinese market than in the past.

American shipments to China tumbled 27% from 200 098 tonnes in January-March 2015 to 146 915 tonnes in the first quarter of the current year. This decrease was far steeper than for US shipments to all overseas destinations which fell 6% from 452 616 tonnes to 423 739 tonnes.

Among those countries helping to offset the decline in demand from China were Canada and India whose imports of plastics scrap from the USA increased by, respectively, 20% to 59 583 tonnes and 33% to 29 075 tonnes in the opening three months of this year.

Vietnam also upped its order by 27% to 9393 tonnes while demand from Malaysia and Mexico climbed by, in turn, 44% and 15% to approaching 7000 tonnes in both cases. On the downside, US deliveries were lower to Indonesia (-39% to 7784 tonnes) and to Taiwan (-24% to 6900 tonnes) when comparing the first quarter of this year with the same period in 2015.

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