China’s import volume of ethers jumped from 1.2M tonnes in 2019 to 2M tonnes in 2020. In value terms, imports reached $1.3B. Saudi Arabia, Taiwan and Qatar dominate the Chinese imports, supplying 55% of the total volume. Last year, all these three countries ramped up their ether exports to China significantly. The average ether import price stood at $664 per tonne in 2020, dropping by -31.3% y-o-y.
In the past decade, India doubled acetic acid imports in physical terms. In 2020, they grew by +7.7% y-o-y to 953K tonnes. Malaysia, Singapore and China constitute the most significant suppliers, accounting for 70% of India's acetic acid imports. Taiwan featured the highest growth rate of exports to India in 2020. Last year, the average acetic acid import price dropped by -22.9% y-o-y to $349 per tonne.
China strengthens its leadership in global isocyanate exports. In 2020, Chinese supplies abroad grew by +20.4% y-o-y to $716M with rising purchases from Brazil, Russia, Peru, Viet Nam and India. In physical terms, Chinese exports rose by +38% y-o-y to 376K tonnes. Brazil, Viet Nam and Taiwan constitute the largest importers of isocyanates from China. Among the leading importing countries, Brazil featured the highest spike in purchases of Chinese isocyanates, boosting the imports by $45M. The average export price for isocyanates from China decreased by -13% y-o-y to $1,905 per tonne in 2020.
In the past decade, global glycerol exports saw a twofold increase both in physical and value terms. In 2020, glycerol exports grew by +2.3% y-o-y to $1.3B. In physical terms, exports soared by +8.5% y-o-y to 1.9M tonnes last year. Indonesia, Germany and Malaysia constitute the largest glycerol exporters worldwide. China, the U.S. and the Netherlands feature among the largest markets for imported glycerol. In 2020, South Korea recorded the highest import growth rate, while India, China, the Netherlands, Italy, France, the UK, Spain and the Czech Republic also boosted glycerol purchases abroad.
In 2020, American acrylonitrile exports rose by +49% y-o-y, reaching 524K tonnes. The U.S. has substantially increased the supplies to its main trade partners, South Korea, Turkey and Taiwan. Boosting Turkish purchases provided the most increment of American exports. Among other importers, the Netherlands, Peru and Mexico featured a notable growth of acrylonitrile shipments from the U.S. The average export price for American acrylonitrile dropped by -31% to $1,051 per tonne in 2020.
Indian exports of primary polypropylene skyrocketed from 518K tonnes in 2019 to 794K tonnes in 2020 due to robust supplies to China, Turkey and Viet Nam. In value terms, exports reached $673M, rising by +22.5% y-o-y in 2020. China remains the largest importer, accounting for 44% of total polypropylene exports from India. Turkey and Viet Nam were distantly following China. Last year, China boosted its purchases from 130K tonnes in 2019 to 352K tonnes in 2020, while Turkey saw a 12%-growth. Viet Nam has also significantly increased the imports from India. In 2020, the average export price for primary polypropylene from India amounted to $847 per tonne, dropping by -20.1% y-o-y.
In 2020, China boosted its phenol imports by +20% y-o-y to 1.5M tonnes. In value terms, they exceeded $1.7B. South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand constitute the key phenol suppliers to China, with a combined 58%-share of the total imports. Taiwan, the U.S., Thailand and Japan expanded their exports to China, while shipments from South Korea dropped in 2020.
In 2020, calcium ammonium nitrate exports in the EU peaked at 9.1M tonnes, reaching the highest point over the past decade. In value terms, they reduced from $1.7B in 2019 to $1.6B due to a decline in export prices. Last year, the calcium ammonium nitrate export price in the EU dropped by -10% compared with figures of 2019. The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Slovakia, Hungary and Lithuania supply 82% of total European exports of calcium ammonium nitrate in physical terms.
Global exports of polyurethanes in primary forms dropped from $7B in 2019 to $6.3B in 2020. Germany, China, Italy and the U.S. constitute the largest polyurethane exporters worldwide, providing more than half of the total shipments. In 2020, all the key supplying countries experienced a reduction in polyurethane exports. The average polyurethane export price fell by -2.3% against the previous year. China, Viet Nam and Germany remain the leading importers of polyurethane in primary forms.