China's plastics production for the first nine months of 2014 was 53.4 million metric tons, up 7.7 percent from 49.6 million metric tons in the same period of 2013, the China Plastics Processing Industry Association reports.
For the same period, China exported 166.3 billion RMB in plastic products, up 4.6 percent from the first nine months of 2013. Category leaders were daily-use products, at 36.1 billion RMB, and components, at 23.9 billion RMB.
Long-time heavyweight Zhejiang, just south of Shanghai, led all provinces with 14.2 percent of the total plastics production, followed narrowly by Guangdong at 13.2 percent. Liaoning trailed with 8.4 percent. Jiangsu, Hubei, Henan, Shandong, Sichuan, Fujian and Anhui rounded out the top 10. Production remains clustered in the east and southeast, with only Sichuan in the west.
China continues to export three times as much plastics as it imports. Exports for the July-September period were up 8.2 percent, to $44.5 billion. Imports grew at a slower 1.5 percent to $14.2 billion. Daily use products was the leading export category, followed by plastic sheeting, construction material and packaging. The top imported category was plastic sheeting.
Lower prices continue to drive China's export engine; for example, imported plastic pipe cost 3.6 times as much as exported ones.