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Global Styrene Trade Continues to Decline, with Exports Estimated at $11.5B in 2018


Global Styrene Trade Continues to Decline, with Exports Estimated at $11.5B in 2018

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘World – Styrene – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends And Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

Global Styrene Trade 2013-2018

In 2018, approx. 9.4M tonnes of styrene were exported worldwide; a decrease of -8.6% against the previous year. In general, styrene exports continue to indicate a significant decline. Over the period under review, global styrene exports reached their maximum at 11M tonnes in 2013; however, from 2014 to 2018, exports remained at a lower figure.

In value terms, styrene exports amounted to $11.5B (IndexBox estimates) in 2018. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2017 with an increase of 17% against the previous year.

Exports by Country

In 2018, the U.S. (1.8M tonnes) and the Netherlands (1.8M tonnes) were the major exporters of styrene across the globe, together recording near 38% of total exports. Saudi Arabia (1,073K tonnes) took an 11% share (based on tonnes) of total exports, which put it in second place, followed by South Korea (9%), Canada (6.9%), Singapore (6.8%), Japan (6%) and Taiwan, Chinese (5.7%).

From 2013 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of exports, amongst the main exporting countries, was attained by Canada, while exports for the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, the largest styrene supplying countries worldwide were the Netherlands ($2.2B), the U.S. ($2.1B) and Saudi Arabia ($1.2B), together comprising 48% of global exports. These countries were followed by South Korea, Singapore, Japan, Canada and Taiwan, Chinese, which together accounted for a further 35%.

Export Prices by Country

The average styrene export price stood at $1,227 per tonne in 2018, surging by 2.7% against the previous year.

Average prices varied noticeably amongst the major exporting countries. In 2018, major exporting countries recorded the following prices: in Singapore ($1,312 per tonne) and South Korea ($1,304 per tonne), while Canada ($1,117 per tonne) and the U.S. ($1,128 per tonne) were amongst the lowest.

From 2013 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by Japan, while the other global leaders experienced a decline in the export price figures.

Source: IndexBox AI Platform

food supply chain

Reusable Plastics: The Unsung Heroes Of The Food Supply Chain

When you think of plastic, you probably think of piles of landfill products that don’t decompose organically, and as a result, end up languishing in the ground leaching toxic chemicals into the soil.

Modern technology has meant that plastics are more than just the straws you put in your milkshake or the wrapper on your lunchtime snack. Today’s plastics come in all shapes and sizes, including reusable, durable products used across the food supply chain market.

These products make food supply chain management more cost and time-efficient, allowing consumers to enjoy fresh, delicious produce and products quickly, and at a price they can afford.

Growing And Harvesting

In the early stages of food production, agricultural reusable plastic containers are used to grow fruits and vegetables in a safe and sanitary environment. Plastic trays are used to grow seedlings, and these are often watered using reusable plastic irrigation systems. Greenhouse covers, also made from reusable plastic, make growing plants that need climate-controlled housing, such as tomatoes or citrus fruits, safe and hygienic.

When it comes to harvesting product, plastic containers make it easier for farmers to store and transport their crops safely. Cardboard or wooden pallets can be hard to sanitize and are prone to absorbing moisture, while plastic is non-porous and can easily be cleaned after each use.

Processing and Distributing

Processing fresh produce, including fruits, vegetables and other crops, involves sorting them ready to be shipped off for use in various products such as ready meals, sauces and canned goods. Some will be sold whole, but the majority will meet customers in various different forms, so they are sorted and stored in a selection of reusable plastic food handling containers, such as IBCs, prior to being distributed to factories and stores.

Distribution is the part of the supply chain where single-use plastics get involved. The products can be transported on plastic pallets and crates, which are reusable, but they are delivered to customers in single-use packaging. As DeMaso of Lipman Family Farms explains:

“Single-use plastic is hard to get rid of when sending to consumers in the produce industry. We need to make sure food safety and sanitation are on-point, so we’re not trading contaminants. Disposable plastic is a problem, [so] it’s a matter of making sure we are using as little as possible.”

Making the Food Supply Chain More Sustainable

As this article highlights, the main issue the food supply chain faces when it comes to sustainability is its reliance at the end of the process on single-use plastic packaging. Justin Bean, the Business Development and Sales Manager at Reusable Transport Packaging, believes that reusable food packaging is the future, and that food producers should embrace it throughout their supply chain. This approach will help to reduce the food supply chain’s reliance on single-use plastics.

“Farmers still spend a lot of money on single-use corrugated and or single-use plastics for distribution to retailers. Our pay per use or milkman model allows users to cut out single-use packaging waste, save money, and use a better RTP (Reusable Transport Package).”

A move towards reusable plastic packaging throughout the food supply chain will allow the market to reduce its impact on the environment and still keep food fresh and affordable. It’s safe to say that these revolutionary products are the future of the food supply chain.


Reusable Transport Packaging is a re-seller, master distributor, and custom manufacturer of the broadest range of returnable and reusable plastic packaging available today. We carry thousands of products and boast an inventory that is readily available, with national and international coverage.

ExxonMobil-SABIC JV

Savage Selected as Partner for ExxonMobil-SABIC JV Rail Project

San Patricio County, Texas can expect to see the completed ExxonMobil-SABIC JV Rail Project facility as early as 2021, according to information released this week confirming global partner Savage, as the partner of choice behind the design, development, and operations of the facility.

The rail facility is the product of the joint venture, Gulf Coast Growth Ventures (GCGV), between ExxonMobil and SABIC and will handle railcars transporting plastic polymer, polyethylene. The facility will be completed in San Patricio County, Texas, next to the GCGV facility.

“We’re excited to partner with GCGV on rail infrastructure and operations to support what will be a world-class petrochemical facility,” said Savage’s Energy and Chemical Sector President, Brad Crist. “Our nearly two decades of handling plastics and working with major industry producers, coupled with our extensive rail experience, enable us to design this rail facility from an operator’s perspective to ensure it functions safely, efficiently and reliably without impact on the surrounding environment.”

Savage currently boasts a network of 50+ rail terminals currently under its operation. The company provide support with services including rail switching and indexing, railcar washing and loading, railcar repairs and facility maintenance in addition to designing and building the ExxonMobil-SABIC JV rail facility.

“This project is an example of how we can bring our diverse rail, logistics, engineering and facility operations capabilities together to create value for our Customers,” said Kirk Aubry, Savage President and CEO. “It’s the quality of our people, our solutions and our consistency delivering results that truly makes us distinctive in the markets we serve.”