The U.S. imported 19,553 shipping containers of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic in January-August, up 22.8% on year, the latest U.S. Census Bureau data show.
The 2022 imports totaled 1,029,188 mt -- the container volume was calculated using a 19 mt/container -- with a U.S. Customs value of $1.5 billion, up from $910.9 million, or 64.7%, in the 2021 period.
PET is the world's most heavily used plastic, and the U.S. is one the world's largest consumers. It is used to produce single-use bottles for water, carbonated beverages and other drinks, packaging like clamshell takeout containers, and carpeting/flooring products.
"Domestic supply through June was limited and costs to import [PET] dropped quite a bit making imports more attractive," said a U.S.-based distributor of PET resin.
PET is produced in the U.S. at plants owned by Mexico's Alpek (Dak Americas), Thailand-based Indorama Ventures, and Taiwan's Far Eastern New Century Corp.
The top PET import source in the first eight months of 2022 was Mexico at 209,975 mt or 20.4% of the total, followed by Oman (166,961 mt), Taiwan (162,961), South Korea (116,139 mt) and Vietnam (102,740 mt).