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US PET scrap exports plunge 62% in 1Q on China ban

HOUSTON, May 15, 2018 (PCW) -- US exports of plastic scrap totaled 31,197 metric tons in 1Q, down by 50,143 mt or 62% from 1Q 2017, the latest US Commerce Department data show.

These exports in 1Q 2018 were valued at $51.8 million, down from $79.9 million in 1Q 2017.

The main reason was a plunge in exports to China and Hong Kong, which collectively were on the receiving end of 86% of these exports in 1Q 2017. Exports to China totaled 2,657 mt in 1Q 2018, down from 39,958 mt in 1Q 2017; imports to Hong Kong were at 7,094 mt and 29,750 mt in the respective periods.

The sharp drop was the result of China's Operation Sword rubbish and scrap import ban that went into effect last summer.

Picking up the slack to some degree was Turkey, which was on the receiving end of 5,101 mt of US PET scrap exports in 1Q, up from 172 mt in 1Q 2017. Exports to Thailand were also sharply higher, at 2,760 mt in 1Q 2018 and 227 mt in 1Q 2017. -- Xavier A Cronin

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