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September US Polypropylene imports touch a 30-month high

HOUSTON, November 6, 2018 (PCW) -- US September PP imports including propylene copolymers totaled 124 million pounds, up 5 million pounds (4%) from the prior month, according to the latest Commerce Department data released this week.

It was the highest level of imports since March 2016.

PP import volumes have been climbing since June in response to rising PP costs and tight domestic supplies. However, that trend is likely to reverse in 4Q as domestic propylene and PP prices fall and imports become less attractive from a pricing standpoint.

Imports of PP homopolymers, defined as having greather than 95% propylene content, were down 6 million pounds in September, at 60 million pounds, but this was more than offset by an 11 million pound increase in propylene copolymer imports to 64 million pounds.

PP imports averaged 71 million pounds in 2017 and are averaging 98 million pounds so far in 2018.

US PP exports were at 260 million pounds in September 2018, down 32 million pounds from 292 million pounds in the prior month. Exports to Canada and Mexico fell 37 million pounds to 214 million pounds, representing 82% of all US PP exports. -- David Barry

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