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US PET imports skyrocket, up 48% through October

HOUSTON, December 10, 2018 (PCW) -- US imports of PET resin totaled 799,692 metric tons in Jan-Oct 2018, up by 258,401 mt or 48% from Jan-Oct 2017, the latest USA Trade Online data show.

The 2018 imports were valued at $1.1 billion, up from $514 million in the 2017 period.

The US remains an attractive market for PET resin due to strong demand from the bottle and packaging sectors, a price that's higher than in other parts of the world, and typically timely payments from buyers, market sources said.

PET resin in the US in Dec has been in a general range of 65-75 cpp, with the lower end for railcar contract business tied to monthly feedstock price indexes, and the higher end for spot truckload business.

Imports in the first 10 months of 2018 came from 42 countries. The chart below shows the top 14 countries in volume. Mexico, the top source, accounted for 33% of all imports in the 2018 period.

South Africa emerged at number 10 on the list at 27,867 mt, compared to none in all of 2017.

PET resin imports are designated by the US government as having a viscosity of 78 ml/gram or higher. -- Xavier A Cronin

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