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Vietnam imported 1.043 million mt of polyethylene in 2014, with growth of 15-18% likely in 2016, according to Dinh Thuy Nhien, the head of the trade promotion and investment information department at the Vietnam Plastics Association.

“PP [polypropylene] may be slightly less, at around 8%,” she added.

Nhien was speaking on the sidelines of the Plastics Vietnam conference, which is being held in Ho Chi Minh July 23-26.

She attributed the projected growth mostly to increasing middle class spending, buoyant exports of finished plastic goods, and no import taxation.

Vietnam has a per capita consumption of 45 kg of polymers, she said. According to Platts calculations, the major PE market of China has a per capita consumption of 15 kg, while India has 3 kg.

Vietnam imported 3.4 million mt/year of plastics in 2014. The three largest plastics raw material imports are PE, PP and PVC. E accounted for around 30% of imports at 1.043 million mt, while PP imports totalled 851,959 mt and 205,867 mt in 2014, according to Vietnam Plastics Association.

Vietnam does not have any import taxation for polymers, making it one of the few countries in Southeast Asia without any import duty.