China Petrochemicals Q4 2018
A mounting trade war between the US and China is affecting chemicals trade between the two countries as well asmanufactured products that use petrochemicals. US President Donald Trump claimed 'illicit trade practices − ignored for years byWashington − have destroyed thousands of American factories and millions of American jobs.' Some 18% of all China’s exports go tothe US and in 2017 the US reported a USD347bn trade deficit with China. While petrochemicals are not affected significantly underthe first two tariff rounds, the trade war is having an effect on manufacturing exports that will be felt through the value chain,ultimately affecting basic chemicals. Already, we have observed a significant slowdown in primary and finished plasticoutput. China's petrochemicals industry slowed in January-July with ethylene output falling 0.4% y-o-y to 10.4mn tonnes, whileprimary plastics production declined 2.9% to 48.6mn tonnes and plastic products fell 7.9% to 42.2mn tonnes.
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