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US plastic scrap exports down 29.4% through May; down by 92% to China

HOUSTON, July 13, 2018 (PCW) -- US exports of plastic scrap totaled 569,907 metric tons in Jan-May 2018, down by 237,758 mt or 29.4% from Jan-May 2017, the latest US Commerce Department data shows.

This includes the five plastic scrap categories listed by the US government for tracking imports and exports: PE, PS, PVC, PET and unsorted 'other'.

The biggest drop was to China and Hong Kong, the result of China's ban on imports of various scrap and rubbish, its 'Operation Sword' program launched last fall. Hong Kong is a major destination for exports bound for mainland China.

China and Hong Kong together accounted for 68.8% of all US plastic scrap in Jan-May 2017; this dropped to 13.6% of the total in the first five months of 2018. US plastic scrap exports to China in Jan-May 2018 totaled 26,928 mt, down by 303,106 mt or 92%, and to Hong Kong the total was 50,459 mt, down 175,041 mt or 77% from Jan-May 2017. -- Xavier A Cronin

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