US Polyethylene Export Market Report 2017-2020

Petrochemical Update released a detailed new whitepaper today, the US Polyethylene Export Market Report 2017-2020 – a large 60+ page report detailing the fast-changing US polyethylene market with in-depth market analysis, charts and leading insight and predictions.

To download the full, 60-page complimentary market report, simply visit

The increased production of U.S. ethylene and theassociated investment in new U.S. polyethylenecapacity will increase North American polyethyleneproduction to over 54 billion pounds per year by 2020,up from 44 billion pounds as of the end of 2014.

In addition, industry sources cite the potential additionof another 2 billion pounds of capacity over this timeframe. The significant U.S. ethylene supply and U.S.ethylene feedstock cost advantages will increase U.S.polyethylene production beyond domestic demand andsupport export volumes over the period. Excess NorthAmerican polyethylene production available for exportwill be 6–9 billion pounds within the 2016–2020 timeframe, assuming 75% of the announced polyethyleneprojects are actually built and commissioned by 2020.

Tim Rhoads of the Professional Logistics Group writes “U.S. ethane production is currently outpacing expected U.S. demand growth and the ethane production surplus is projected to reach nearly 700,000 Barrels per Day (BPD) by 2020.”

This, in part, is made up of an extra 650,000 tonnes of polyethyleneanticipated to come online from ExxonMobil’s new Beaumont production unit per year, as well as projects from Dow Chemical and Chevron Phillips Chemical coming online in 2017 and adding to the mix. Increasing export volumes, coupled with current port congestion considerations and growing infrastructural needs, means that the US petrochemical supply chain industry will continue to face challenges ahead.

The purpose of this paper is to explore the economic viability of exporting U.S. polyethylene over the 2017–2020-time horizon. The report focuses on three primary market areas: The U.S., Northwest Europe, and Asia. 

Summary of the Papers Chapters:

Chapter 1 - Introduces petrochemical building block products, the primary feedstocks for those products, and the processes through which ethylene and the associated cracker yield products are produced. The chapter also summarizes current associated export logistics options.

Chapter 2 - U.S. market fundamentals are detailed by product, including supply, demand, pricing, export forecast, and export logistics. In detailing supply and demand conditions, the projected production volumes and the implication of new capacity investments are presented.

Chapter 3 - International Market Fundamentals, Export opportunities and challenges are detailed

Chapter 4 - Presents data related to the competitiveness of U.S. exports. detailing the costs for U.S. supply, export options, and terminals as well as the feedstock trade off costs. The pricing and cost evaluations presented in the previous chapters are combined to develop the U.S. netback and margin calculations and to identify U.S. exports competitiveness opportunities.

Chapter 5 - Details the report conclusions and key messages.

To download the full, 60-page complimentary market report, simply visit

Please contact Karla Sharp using the details below with any questions or feedback. 

Karla Michelle Sharp

Senior Director – Supply Chain
Petrochemical Update
T: +44 (0)20 7422 4321 (UK Office)                            
USA Toll Free: 1800-814-3459 ext. 4321 
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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