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.
German polyamide exports may reach a new record in 2021, rebounding after two years of decline. In the first half of this year, Germany exported 424K tonnes of polyamides worth $1.55B against 348K or $1.12B in the same period in 2020. Germany remains the world’s largest polyamide supplier, accounting for 19% of global exports. Italy, Belgium and France are the key importers of polyamides from Germany. Turkey recorded the highest spike in imports from Germany. In 2020, the average polyamide export price amounted to $3,205 per tonne, down by -7.7% y-o-y.
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.
American exports of organic surface-active agent exports increased by +5.6% y-o-y to $3.5B in 2020. In physical terms, exports grew by +3.7% y-o-y to 1.4M tonnes. Canada remains the largest importer of organic surface-active agents from the U.S., comprising a 55% share of American exports. Mexico and China follow Canada in this ranking. Last year, all three countries recorded moderate growth in imports of the product from America. In 2020, the U.S. average price for organic surface-active agents exportgrew by +1.8% y-o-y to $2,584 per tonne.
In 2020, Chinese exports of soap in different forms increased twofold, reaching 779K tonnes in physical terms or $1.4B in value terms. The U.S. remains the largest importer of soap from China, accounting for 43% of the Chinese exports. Australia and Japan follow the U.S. with a combined 16%-share of total exports. Among the leading importers, the U.S. featured the most intensive growth of soap purchases from China. The average export price for soap from China stood at $1,772 per tonne in 2020.
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.
Global disinfectant imports skyrocketed to $6B in 2020, rising more than twofold over the last year. In physical terms imports grew from 0.9M tonnes to 1.9M tonnes. In 2020, the U.S., Canada and Japan featured the largest figures of purchases from abroad in value terms. America saw the highest growth rate of imports, increasing the volume of supplies ninefold. Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, the UK, Germany, Canada and France followed the U.S. in terms of import growth per year. Germany, the U.S. and the UK constituted 39% of global export value last year.