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China rediscovers appetite for US plastics scrap

Asia – Back in 2013, implementation of China’s ‘Green Fence’ import quality controls led to a decline in incoming volumes of plastics scrap from America. However, latest statistics from the US Commerce Department reveal a marked recovery in these flows last year.

In total, America′s plastic scrap exports to China and Hong Kong exceeded 1.5 million tonnes across the opening 11 months of 2014, thereby capturing 76% of all US overseas shipments. Volumes dispatched to China climbed 9% year on year while the increase for Hong Kong was 32%.

In 2013, the stricter ′Green Fence′ controls in China had precipitated an upturn in plastics scrap flows to alternative markets in Asia such as Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, and US exports to these three markets also showed year-on-year increases in the first 11 months of 2014.

Overall, US exports of plastics scrap climbed some 15% to more than 2 million tonnes in January-November last year, carrying a value of approaching US$ 880 million. Its overseas shipments of PET scrap recorded the largest year-on-year increase of 35%.

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