Turkey Ranks As the Largest Market for Imported Polyethylene in the Middle East, with $1B in 2018 - Global Trade Magazine
  June 18th, 2020 | Written by

Turkey Ranks As the Largest Market for Imported Polyethylene in the Middle East, with $1B in 2018

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  • The polyethylene import price in the Middle East stood at $1,315 per tonne in 2018, waning by -2.9%.
  • From 2013 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by Saudi Arabia.

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

Polyethylene Exports in the Middle East

The exports totaled 7.8M tonnes in 2018, rising by 27% against the previous year. The total export volume increased at an average annual rate of +7.3% from 2013 to 2018; however, the trend pattern indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded over the period under review.

In value terms, polyethylene exports amounted to $8.8B (IndexBox estimates) in 2018.

Exports by Country

Saudi Arabia was the key exporter of polyethylene in the Middle East, with the volume of exports recording 4.8M tonnes, which was approx. 61% of total exports in 2018. Iran (1,086K tonnes) ranks second in terms of the total exports with a 14% share, followed by Qatar (13%) and the United Arab Emirates (8.1%). Kuwait (167K tonnes) took a relatively small share of total exports.

Exports from Saudi Arabia increased at an average annual rate of +8.4% from 2013 to 2018. At the same time, the United Arab Emirates (+20.0%) and Iran (+13.6%) displayed outstripping paces of growth. Moreover, the United Arab Emirates emerged as the fastest-growing exporter exported in the Middle East, with a CAGR of +20.0% from 2013-2018. Qatar experienced a relatively flat trend pattern. By contrast, Kuwait (-8.9%) illustrated a downward trend over the same period. While the share of Saudi Arabia (+20 p.p.), Iran (+6.6 p.p.) and the United Arab Emirates (+4.8 p.p.) increased significantly, the shares of the other countries remained relatively stable throughout the analyzed period.

In value terms, Saudi Arabia ($5.2B) remains the largest polyethylene supplier in the Middle East, comprising 59% of total polyethylene exports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Iran ($1.2B), with a 14% share of total exports. It was followed by Qatar, with a 14% share.

In Saudi Arabia, polyethylene exports expanded at an average annual rate of +5.1% over the period from 2013-2018. The remaining exporting countries recorded the following average annual rates of exports growth: Iran (+7.9% per year) and Qatar (-5.1% per year).

Export Prices by Country

In 2018, the polyethylene export price in the Middle East amounted to $1,128 per tonne, waning by -9.6% against the previous year. Overall, the polyethylene export price continues to indicate a perceptible shrinkage. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2017 when the export price increased by 16% year-to-year. The level of export price peaked at $1,431 per tonne in 2014; however, from 2015 to 2018, export prices stood at a somewhat lower figure.

Average prices varied noticeably amongst the major exporting countries. In 2018, major exporting countries recorded the following prices: in the United Arab Emirates ($1,245 per tonne) and Qatar ($1,227 per tonne), while Saudi Arabia ($1,080 per tonne) and Kuwait ($1,144 per tonne) were amongst the lowest.

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

Polyethylene Imports in the Middle East

In 2018, the amount of polyethylene imported in the Middle East totaled 1.6M tonnes, jumping by 11% against the previous year. Over the period under review, polyethylene imports, however, continue to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern.

In value terms, polyethylene imports totaled $2.1B (IndexBox estimates) in 2018.

Imports by Country

Turkey was the main importer of polyethylene in the Middle East, with the volume of imports accounting for 803K tonnes, which was approx. 51% of total imports in 2018. The United Arab Emirates (271K tonnes) ranks second in terms of the total imports with a 17% share, followed by Jordan (7%), Israel (6.3%) and Lebanon (4.8%). The following importers – Saudi Arabia (63K tonnes) and Yemen (43K tonnes) – together made up 6.7% of total imports.

Imports into Turkey increased at an average annual rate of +5.3% from 2013 to 2018. At the same time, Jordan (+8.1%), Lebanon (+2.6%) and Yemen (+2.4%) displayed positive paces of growth. Moreover, Jordan emerged as the fastest-growing importer imported in the Middle East, with a CAGR of +8.1% from 2013-2018. By contrast, Israel (-3.0%), the United Arab Emirates (-6.7%) and Saudi Arabia (-11.7%) illustrated a downward trend over the same period. While the share of Turkey (+12 p.p.) and Jordan (+2.2 p.p.) increased significantly in terms of the total imports from 2013-2018, the share of Saudi Arabia (-3.4 p.p.) and the United Arab Emirates (-7.1 p.p.) displayed negative dynamics. The shares of the other countries remained relatively stable throughout the analyzed period.

In value terms, Turkey ($1B) constitutes the largest market for imported polyethylene in the Middle East, comprising 49% of total polyethylene imports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by the United Arab Emirates ($362M), with a 17% share of total imports. It was followed by Israel, with a 6.8% share.

Import Prices by Country

The polyethylene import price in the Middle East stood at $1,315 per tonne in 2018, waning by -2.9% against the previous year.

Average prices varied somewhat amongst the major importing countries. In 2018, major importing countries recorded the following prices: in Saudi Arabia ($1,736 per tonne) and Israel ($1,412 per tonne), while Lebanon ($1,167 per tonne) and Jordan ($1,222 per tonne) were amongst the lowest.

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

Source: IndexBox AI Platform