The global market for pallet stretch film is expected to reach 3 mln tons in 2006, growing by 7% pa until 2011, to reach 4 mln tons- as per a new report from Applied Market Information Ltd. (AMI). At these projected rates, this application will constitute 9% of the total polyethylene consumption in 2011.
In the last twenty years, pallet stretch wrap has been one of the success stories of the global plastics industry, with demand continuing to advance globally. Strong demand from transport and end-user industries combined with a competitive advantage against other forms of pallet stabilisation has resulted in sustained growth in the developed regions of the world and accelerating growth in other regions of the world. Currently, Europe accounts for 47% of global production of pallet stretch film and NAFTA for 29%. At a time when the established markets of Europe and NAFTA are experiencing a degree of maturity, the developing regions of the world are seeing major investment and growth in the application of pallet stretch films. The most dramatic rise in production forecast over the next five years is in the Middle East, where two major capacity installations are to take place. Rising investments in film capacity in the Middle East as well as Asia is leading to fragmentation of the supply structure in these regions. This, along with further expansions in Asia, will reduce the combined share of global production of Europe and NAFTA from 76% to 68%. Interestingly, the larger players in Europe and NAFTA are turning towards consolidation. Manuli Stretch - North America 's leading producer has recently enhanced its position in the North American market through its acquisition of Quintec Films. Besides plants in Europe and Latin America, Manuli is also expected to invest in Russia.
Film demand growth is forecast to average 7.3% pa over the next five years: The established markets of Europe and NAFTA will see growth of 5.8% and 4% respectively, while demand growth in Asia, Latin America and the Rest of World is forecast at between 11-14% pa, from a much lower base.
There are significant variations among the regions in terms of the film types used. Currently, hand film usage as a proportion of total pallet stretch film demand is lowest in the NAFTA region, at 42%. European and Latin American usage is slightly higher at 44%; while, hand film demand in Asia accounts for over 70% of the region's total pallet stretch film usage and is forecast to increase marginally over the next five years driven by increasing demand from China.