Growth in the global LDPE market to return in 2011

07-May-10
Driven by stronger demand in the Asia Pacific region, growth in the global LDPE market will return in 2011 according to Ceresana Research. The primary markets for LDPE (low density polyethylene) include films, carrying bags, and sacks, accounting for roughly 67% of global LDPE demand. Some examples of these applications include agricultural, multi-layer, and shrink films, as well as reinforcements for levees. LDPE, which is soft, ductile, and flexible, is additionally utilized for strong, elastic goods, such as screw caps, lids, and coatings. LDPE exhibits particularly excellent rheological characteristics, it is still favored in many regions of the world- even though it has competition from newer polyethylene grades like HDPE and LLDPE. However, the trend of substituting LDPE with other polymers is declining again throughout industrialized nations. Opportunities for LDPE in Western Europe, the US, and Japan can be seen, for example, in coatings and packaging for medical products. These applications will recover relatively quickly from the financial crisis. LDPE prices have fallen by as much as 30% in certain regions: Western Europe and North America are additionally seeing considerable decreases in demand. Consequently, global revenue has fallen to €15.9 bln (US$22.2 bln). However, growth is expected to start again in 2011. The Asian Pacific will be the most important LDPE market and will be able to increase its share of global consumption to more than 39%. The Middle East is defined by its continued expansion of LDPE production: capacity increases of around 3.5 million tons are planned to take place by 2014. As a result, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Iran will become the world's largest exporter of plastics. LDPE prices fell by up to 30% in certain regions during 2009, and Western Europe and North America exhibited considerable decreases in demand. As a result, global LDPE revenue is estimated to have fallen by €15.9 bln in 2009. But next year Ceresana expects to see growth again with Asia Pacific increasing its share of global consumption to more than 39%. The trend of substituting LDPE with other polymers is declining again throughout the industrialized nations. Opportunities for LDPE can be seen in the application of coatings and packaging for medical products. These applications will recover relatively quickly from the effects of the economical crisis. LDPE production is also on the rise, particularly in the Middle East. Capacity increases of approximately 3.5 mln tons are planned to be implemented by 2014.
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