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China slashes its demand for US plastics scrap

Asia – A combination of lower virgin plastics prices, a stronger US dollar and weaker Chinese demand is being blamed for a steep decline in America’€™s plastics scrap export volumes to China.

Latest figures from the US Census Bureau and US International Trade Commission show that China received 502 960 tonnes of plastics scrap from America in the opening eight months of this year compared to 628 176 tonnes in the corresponding period of 2015.

Over the same time frames, US exports of plastics scrap to the rest of the world were also lower although the drop-off was far less severe – from 798 836 tonnes to 777 077 tonnes – than for deliveries to China.

Rolling together these statistics, it emerges that US plastics scrap exports to all destinations slid around 10% year on year from just short of 1.43 million tonnes in the first eight months of last year to a shade over 1.28 million tonnes in the same period of 2016.

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