|High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) is one of the most widely used plastics in several industrial sectors such as packaging, construction and automotive. These three sectors constitute around 80% of HDPE demand globally, as per GlobalData. HDPE is the world's third largest commodity plastic resin after polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polypropylene (PP). Most of the demand for HDPE comes from China that accounts for more than 28% of global HDPE demand share. The packaging, construction and automotives industry were worst affected by the global economic slowdown but these sectors in China recovered early from recession. China had become the second largest packaging industry in the world in 2010, and rapidly increasing automotive production in the last five years has made China the world's largest automotive market. Rapid growth of these sectors will continue to boost demand for HDPE in China. Bimodal HDPE has emerged as a new source for blow molding applications because of its improved qualities. It can provide high environmental stress crack resistance (ESCR) and top load strength which is not possible with unimodal HDPE resins. Its use is expected to increase in the next five years.
As per GBI Research, the global demand for HDPE increased from 15.5 mln tons in 2000 to 23.1 mln tons in 2009, growing at a CAGR of 4.5% during the period. Packaging and construction industries were the major consumers of HDPE. In 2009, the combined share of both the industries was more than 85% of the demand for HDPE globally. Some of the major markets for HDPE have reached a saturation point which has limited demand for HDPE in those regions. USA and other developed countries in Europe such as Germany and France have reached the saturation level. Demand for HDPE is rising from other developing countries like China, India and Brazil. In the forecasted period from 2009-2020, demand is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.3%. Asia Pacific is expected to emerge as the leading region with a demand of over 60% of the global demand for HDPE. Packaging and construction industries are expected to demand more of HDPE in the forecasted period. In 2009, Asia Pacific emerged as the region with the highest demand for HDPE with a demand share of 46.8%- this increase in demand primarily arose from the developing economies of China and India. North America was the second largest region in terms of demand for HDPE with a share of 23.4%. With a share of 18.2% of the demand for HDPE, Europe was the third largest player. South and Central America had a demand share of 6.9%. Brazil was the prominent developing country in the region with a significant demand share in 2009. Middle East was the region with the least demand, as most of the HDPE produced in the region was exported across the globe. Middle East had a share of 4.8% of the total demand for HDPE. In 2009, North America with a share of 26.8% had the maximum exports of HDPE. Asia Pacific came closely behind North America with a share 26.2% in global exports. Middle East was another major region which had a high share of 23.3%, followed by Europe with a share of 17.9% and South and Central America with 5.7%. The rapidly developing crisis survivor HDPE market in Asia-Pacific is in a position to drive the global market for the material. It is the primary base for exports from the developed countries of Europe and the USA, as the demand here has already reached a standpoint - these markets are resting at the saturation level. As per Merchant Research and Consulting, on the whole it is forecast that the global demand for HDPE will grow at CAGR of 6-7%. Packaging and construction industries remain the primary growth propellers for the global HDPE market. These segments are dashingly developing on the emerging markets. Moreover the discredit of PVC and new technological expansions offer large competitive blank space for HDPE.