Stretch and shrink film demand in USA is projected to increase 4.7% pa to US$4.7 bln in 2011, amounting to 3.2 bln pounds of resin.
Demand growth for films will be stimulated by healthy expansion in the manufacturing sector and growing requirements for product packaging and the bundling and protection of goods during warehousing and distribution. Other factors affecting growth are popularity of mass retailers offering a range of bulk-packaged products.
Stretch film will remain dominant, accounting for 58% of the total in 2011, with slightly better growth anticipated for shrink film. Demand for stretch film is projected to rise by 4.7% pa to US$2.7 billion in 2011. Material improvements in terms of strength and stretch percentages will stimulate gains as greater stretchability lowers costs by enabling pallets and other products to be wrapped with less film. Stretch hoods will exhibit the fastest growth of all products due to their significantly higher throughput compared to other pallet unitization methods.
Shrink film demand will be driven by the continued popularity of bulk purchasing and its rising use in multipacks for mass retailers. Shrink film provides a better seal and moisture barrier than stretch film, and is frequently used in tandem with corrugated trays as a case overwrap -- which provides increased product visibility as well as cost savings over corrugated boxes.
Linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) will account for 63% of all stretch and shrink film in 2011 due to its high impact strength, elongation properties and down gauging potential. Conventional low density polyethylene dominates shrink film uses due to its better clarity and drawdown capabilities. Best opportunities for polyvinyl chloride stretch and shrink film are expected in areas such as labels and sleeves for foods and beverages. Other stretch and shrink film resins include polypropylene, high density polyethylene and polyethylene terephthalate.