Following the clear decrease in German waste plastics exports in 2013 and the subsequent 10 per cent increase in 2014, trading intensity fell significantly once again in 2015. According to preliminary data from the German Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), exports of "waste, parings and scrap of plastics" last year amounted to 1.34 million tonnes valued at €478m, down 7.8 per cent from 2014's 1.45 million tonnes worth €546m. Especially direct exports to the People's Republic of China were on the decline.
575,500 tonnes or 42 per cent of Germany's total waste plastics exports were shipped to the People's Republic last year, as indicated by Destatis figures. An additional 198,000 tonnes were exported to the Chinese Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong. Compared with the year before, delivery volumes to both Chinese markets dropped 11 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively. Exports to the Netherlands also sank significantly, dropping 13 per cent to 97,500 tonnes. How much of these volumes remained within the Netherlands or were sent on to other countries by intermediary traders was not detailed by the statistical office, however.
Polyethylene (PE) made up nearly 65 per cent of total German waste plastics exports, reaching 870,900 tonnes worth about €330m. Polypropylene (PP) waste accounted for just under 4.2 percent of exports at 56,000 tonnes and a value of €18.2m, while polystyrene (PS) waste stood at 44,800 tonnes worth €15m. In addition, 22,700 tonnes of PVC wastes valued at of €4.5m were shipped from Germany last year.
German imports of waste plastics are comparatively low in light of the export figures. In 2015, deliveries to Germany were a good 3 per cent under the imports of the year before, totalling 486,700 tonnes with a value of €165m, compared to 501,600 tonnes worth €177m in 2014.