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China's Ban of Imported Plastics Boosts American Chemical Firms

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发表于 12-6-2017 15:22:28 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Jack Kaskey and Ann Koh, China's Blow to Recycling Boosts US's $185 Billion Plastic Bet. Climate Changed (a Bloomberg News brad), Dec 6, 2017
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/a ... billion-plastic-bet

Quote:

summary underneath the title: "Asian nation will stop accepting scrap imports [of both recycled papers and recycled plastics] as of Jan 1

"The world's biggest user of scrap has stopped accepting shiploads of other countries' plastic trash as it phases in a new ban [since its July 2017 notification to WTO]. That's bad news for the recycling industry

"China has begun buying brand new plastic to replace all the recycled scrap -- and that's great news for US chemical makers such as DowDuPont Inc, which are rushing to find markets for millions of tons of new production amid an industry investment binge. US exports of one common plastic [polyethylene] are expected to quintuple by 2020.

"China is undoing decades of effort that built a massive scrap recycling industry -- the cheapest way to produce plastic products for its growing economy. The country accounted for 51 percent of the world’s plastic scrap imports last year, with the biggest contribution coming from the US, according to the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, an international trade group.

"The China ban could shift about 2 percent of global polyethylene plastics supply from recycled to new material, Vincent Andrews, an analyst at Morgan Stanley, said in a Nov 30 report.

"The US is the only country in a position to quickly fill the gap, said Jonas Oxgaard, an analyst at Sanford C Bernstein & Co.  That's because the US has become the cheapest place in the world to make plastic, thanks to a fracking boom that's created a glut of natural gas, the main feedstock for manufacturing. * * * Natural gas prices at $3.50 per million British thermal units would be about $20 a barrel on an oil equivalent basis, Royal Dutch Shell Plc said during an investor briefing on Oct 13.

"Exporting high-value resins to China instead of cheap scrap could help chip away at the US's $250 billion trade deficit with the nation

"About 30 percent of North America's recyclables were historically processed in China, according to Morgan Stanley's Andrews.

"So far, domestic [American] markets for used polyethylene, PET and polypropylene remain healthy, said Brent Bell, vice president for recycling at Waste Management Inc, North America's largest trash hauler. * * * [Still]  Global prices for the waste have already dropped 10 percent, said Aloke Lohia, chairman of Indorama Ventures Pcl, which buys used plastic bottles for its processing plants in Europe, Mexico and Thailand.  The US West Coast appears to be hardest hit.

Evidence: "China's increased appetite for virgin polyethylene, with imports up 19 percent this year as scrap polyethylene imports dropped 11 percent

My comment: The report is quite long. So the quotations above is all you need to know if you do not have time for the entire report.
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