MOSCOW (MRC) -- US polypropylene (PP) exports reached 516,389 mt in the first four months of 2021, down by 12.9% from 593,327 mt a year earlier, reported S&P Global with reference to ITC data.
In January-April 2019, the US exported 553,460 mt of PP, up by 7% from 516,389 mt in the same period of 2021, but down by 6.7% from 593,327 mt in the January-April period of 2020, the date showed.
PP demand crashed amid the height of pandemic-related shutdowns in April 2020, but began rebounding as shutdowns eased and demand rose for durable goods like vehicles, homes and appliances.
Market sources said spot PP export volume availability has been largely nil for months, which was exacerbated by freeze-related shutdowns in February that prompted many force majeures by US producers that largely remain in effect.
PP exports are much more regional than those of other US-origin resins, with most outflows going to Mexico and Canada for use in producing vehicle parts and other durable plastics.
As MRC informed earlier, in May 2021, three leading resin makers established a USD100-million investment fund to help finance recovery and recycling of polyethylene (PE) and PP in Canada and the U.S. Nova, Dow Inc. and LyondellBasell Industries are contributing a total of USD25 million to start the Closed Loop Circular Plastics Fund, which they said they hope to grow to USD100 million with money from other corporate and financial investors. The fund is being managed by New York-based investment firm Closed Loop Partners.
PP is used to make durable plastics, such as dashboards and door panels in cars, plastic linings in appliances and carpet backing. It also is used to make non-woven fabrics for medical masks and gowns.
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's overall PP production grew in the first four months of 2021 by 16% year on year to 693,900 tonnes. All Russian producers increased their output, with Nizhnekamskneftekhim and Ufaorgsintez being the exception.