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Mixed picture for US plastics scrap exports

United States – US plastics scrap exports were a shade lower across the first eight months of this year as a result of steep drops in some of the leading polymer segments.

US overseas shipments of PET scrap tumbled almost 17% from 250 323 tonnes in January-August 2014 to 208 044 tonnes in this year’s corresponding period while styrenes slumped 15.9% to 16 323 tonnes.

Vinyl chloride scrap suffered an even sharper drop of 21.4% to 136 362 tonnes whereas ethylene scrap exports edged just 1.3% lower to 485 192 tonnes, according to latest figures from the US Census Bureau and US International Trade Commission.

On the upside, the ‘other plastics’ category witnessed an increase in exports of 16.1% to 584 235 tonnes, with the result that US overseas shipments of all forms of plastics scrap slipped just 0.6% overall to 1.43 million tonnes from almost 1.44 million tonnes in the opening eight months of 2014.

Compared to that same period last year, the value of US plastics scrap exports fell 8% in January-August 2015 to US$ 574 million.

There was a slump in US export sales to mainland China (-21%), Indonesia (-41%) and South Korea (-33%) while the drop for shipments to India was 9%. Conversely, business increases were recorded with Hong Kong (+17%), Vietnam (+22%) and Canada (+4%).

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