South Korean exports point to weakening regional petchem demand
South Korean exports drop 24% YoY in May
South Korean exports fell 24% YoY in May. These shipments are among the first monthly figures to be released globally, and reveal that trade flows are continuing to contract in Q2. Both increasing friction in US-China commercial ties and the potential resurgence of COVID-19 cases as economies reopen are factors that could continue to hobble overseas shipments. As long as Asian exports are weak, factory utilization rates will be down and regional demand for petchem feedstocks will also probably be depressed. Demand for tonnage is unlikely to recover until the global economy enters a sustainable recovery later in the year.