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May 28 2018

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44 The Journal of Commerce | May 28 2018 JOC Top Importers and Exporters exporting to China more challeng- ing. After the blast, which killed 165 people, the Chinese government introduced tougher regulations, the logistics manager said. China is one of several countries hampering the shipping of hazard- ous or dangerous goods, according to a manager at another major chemi- cals exporter. "New, more protective regulations are coming out almost every month," he said, noting that Russia recently suspended the import of chemicals while the World Cup is on in June and July. The US was the world's sec- ond-largest exporter of chemicals in 2016 in value terms, exporting chemicals worth $173 billion, according to the American Chemical Council's 2017 report. The US lagged Germany, with chemical exports of $234.6 billion, but eclipsed China, with $152.4 billion, the report said. The US chemical industry has gotten a boost from the growth in cheap natural gas feedstocks in re- cent years, which have transformed North America from the high-cost to the low-cost global producer of synthetic resins. Yet exports from the sector have yet to take o€. Resin exports declined 8.8 percent, or 57,108 TEU, in 2017, after a 5.6 percent increase in 2016, according to PIERS. The sector's compound annual growth rate since 2013 has been minus 2.1 percent. Nick Vafiadis, vice president of global polyolefins and plastics at IHS Markit, said in February that the expected surge in exports has been held down by a variety of factors, among them Hurricane Harvey, delays in plant construction and pro- duction start-ups, tight supplies of ethane used to produce polyethylene and other derivatives, and strong domestic demand. But that will likely change this year, given that global demand is rising, especially in China, and the US has a strong competitive edge in the sector, he said. The American Chemistry Council told the House Ways and Means Committee on April 12 that the chemicals export sector would be hurt severely if a trade war with China broke out, given the volume of US chemicals exports to the Far Eastern country. JOC email: twitter: HughRMorley_JOC JOC Top 100 Exporters and Importers Ascend Performance Materials BASF North America Chemours Eastman Chemical Evonik ExxonMobil Chemical Shintech Vinmar International E XPORTS ↓ 1.0 % Compound annual growth rate over last five years E XPORTS ↑ 2.1 % from 2016 to 819,887 2017 TEU volume Chemicals 12.3% 8.9% 6.2% 5.2% 5.1% 62.4% China Belgium Japan Brazil South Korea Others Market for US exports of chemicals highly fragmented Source: IHS Markit © 2018 IHS Markit TEU market share of US chemicals exports in 2017 China is one of several countries hampering the shipping of hazardous or dangerous goods.

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