Global polyolefins market did not manage to avoid the influence of the crisis, broken down in the second half of 2008. The polyolefins markets (low density polyethylene (LDPE), linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE), high density polyethylene (HDPE), polypropylene (PP)) that demonstrated impressive growth in previous years showed signs of decline in H2-2008 as per a report by Merchant Research & Consulting Ltd. World polyolefins market went down by 1.6% in general by the end of 2008. PP demand decreased 1% in comparison with 2007, HDPE market declined 1.6% and LDPE consumption dropped by 1.5%.
Polyolefins markets capacities grew in Asia; the growth eased up in North America and Europe. Capacity utilization rates were rather high in PP market (the most extensively used polyolefin) due to supply shortage; HDPE and LDPE capacity efficiency went down along of market overcapacity. The future trends coincide for the markets. Most capacity introductions will occur in the Asian region, mainly the Middle East, turning the latter in the world leading exporter of polyolefins. Thus, the major export flows will tend from Middle East to Asia, Europe and North America. The demand for all polyolefins will soon recover, Asia will strengthen its position as a largest consuming market. Growth rates in PP and LDPE markets will be slow, while HDPE will show better rates.