Saudi Arabia was the UAE  number one supplier of plastics  ($ 682 million/20 percent of the country total plastics imports) in 2011, followed by China in second place supplying $ 419 million and constituting a 12 percent share, according to a report.
China was in the second position, supplying $ 419 million and constituting a 12 percent share.
An analytical study released by the Ministry of Foreign Trade  also revealed that the UAE exports  of plastics grew by 127 percent ($ 2.2 billion) from H1, 2011 to H1 2012, a figure that is 8 times larger than the growth rate achieved during the whole of 2011.
The study said the UAE foreign trade  of plastics grew by 48 percent in the first six months of 2012 in comparison with the same period in 2011, increasing from $ 2.9 billion to $ 4.4 billion respectively â€” with plastics exports being the main driver of growth during that period.
The study, which was conducted by MoFT economic adviser Abdel Hamid Radwan under the supervision of Mattar Ahmad, director of the analysis and trade  information department at the ministry, pointed out that the UAE came 3rd globally in the re-export of plastics in 2011, re-exporting a total of $ 444 million worth of the product constituting a 3 percent share of the world re-exports of plastics.
During the same year, Hong Kong came in first place globally in this regard, re-exporting 81 percent of the world plastics (worth $ 13.3 billion), most of which headed to China.
Regionally, the study stated that the UAE produces 25 percent of all plastics produced within the Gulf Cooperation Council  (GCC), pointing out that it has over 600 plastics factories spread out across the country seven Emirates, with Borouge being the largest and most advanced plastics company in the country expected to be able to solely produce 2.5 million tons of plastics in 2014 from the current capacity of just over 2 billion tons.
According to the study findings, the UAE enjoys an evenly spread out plastics export structure that doesn suffer the risks usually associated with exporting to specific geographic concentrations.
It pointed out that 41 countries receive UAE exports of plastics worth over $ 10 million each, with India coming in first place in this regard, receiving $ 195 million worth of the product from the UAE (11 percent of the UAE overall plastics exports) followed by China, which received $ 149 million (8 percent).
The study also pointed out that the UAE imports of plastics reached $ 3.4 billion in 2011, up by 17.2 percent from 2010.
The growth in imports increased in 2011 in continuation of the growth rate attained in 2010 (16.9 percent), recuperating from the negative ramifications of 2009.
With regard to re-exports, the study revealed that the UAE re-exports of plastics grew by 8 percent from 2010 to 2011 ($ 444 million) and that it is continuing to witness more growth.
It pointed out that three countries received a third of the UAE re-exports of plastics, with Iran coming in first place ($ 106 million, 24 percent of the UAE total plastics re-exports), followed by Tanzania ($ 21 million, 5 percent) and Afghanistan ($ 19 million, 4 percent).
The study also pointed out that the value of the UAE re-exports to China was only $ 7 million, which is a small amount when compared with the Southeast Asian country total imports of the product, around $ 70 billion last year. which calls for more efforts to be exerted through fairs and during bilateral meetings to increase the country plastics re-exports and exports.
It also revealed that the global trade of plastics exceeded the $ 1 trillion mark in 2011, reaching a total of $ 1.11 trillion, with imports and exports owning around a 50 percent share each.
China alone owns a 10.4 percent share ($ 115.6 billion) of the world plastics trade, followed by Germany ($ 105.6 billion) and the United States ($ 100 billion), with all three combined being responsible for a third of the worldâ€™s plastics trade.