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NGLs Week is PetroChem Wire's comprehensive summary of price trends, upstream and downstream costs, operations news and supply/demand forecasts. The report contains everything you'll need to understand what's happening in the NGL markets.

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US implements "second tranche" of tariffs on Chinese goods, including plastics

HOUSTON, August 23, 2018 (PCW) -- The US government imposed additional 25% tariffs on a range of Chinese imports today, and billions of dollars of finished plastic goods and plastic resins are affected.

However, an informal survey of plastics processors indicated that the impact of the new import tariffs was likely to be modest.

Of greater concern was the impact of the Chinese retaliatory tariffs, which also took effect today and include HDPE and LLDPE commodity resins. China is a major market for US PE exports, and the retaliatory tariffs are creating uncertainty and dislocation of trade flows for US PE producers.

US tariffs target finished plastic goods

Ranked by 2017 dollar value of imports, the biggest target for today's new US tariffs among plastics and plastic goods is the HS category 392190. Chinese imports in this category were valued at $221 million in 2017. Some examples of this "Nonadhesive plates, sheets, film, foil and strip" category include PVC-coated pool covers, PVC-coated fabrics for display signs and PE or PP wrappings for lumber products.

The second-ranking plastics category, with Chinese imports of $166 million in 2017, is HS 391990, which includes self-adhesive reflective sheeting, filament reinforced tape and electrical tape.

Following closely with a 2017 import value of $150 million is HS category 392010, which includes non-reinforced PE sheets and film. A primary example of this category is rolls of PE stretch film.

For the top three plastics (Chapter 39) HS codes targeted with tariffs, Chinese suppliers represented 18%, 25% and 10% of total US imports by 2017 value. -- David Barry

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