• Plastics processing machinery is a high technology and dynamic market. Production efficiency of the major plastics processing technologies has almost doubled in the last 20 years, while energy consumption has declined by 30%. The recession fostered the industry’s shift towards complete production systems and highly automated investments. Weak demand in domestic markets compelled manufacturers to look at other international markets, intensifying a price-based competition. The market for plastics processing machinery moved up the recovery ladder rather quickly once the global economies set into a phase of recovery. Read more in Global demand for plastics processing machinery projected to rise 6% pa through 2015
  • Cheap raw materials, especially associated gas from oil production, and a favorable geographical location with accessibility and geographic proximity to both Asia and Europe, helped the Gulf region propel to the position of leading producer and exporter of basic petrochemicals and polymers. Recent constraints on feedstock supplies in the Mideast coupled with the shale gas revolution in the United States and an upsurge in coal-to-chemicals investments in China are presenting challenges. Producers in the Gulf have adopted a dual pronged approach to survive: move downstream into specialty chemicals and consolidate within the GCC. Read more in Will the petrochemical industry in the Gulf rise to face the challenge of competition from US shale gas
  • Although during 2010, and into 2011, the polymer industry in Europe made a modest recovery from the devastating effects of the global downturn of 2008 and 2009, the recovery was beginning to run out of steam by Q4-2011, in the face of the looming Eurozone crisis. This time, polymer producers and processors have consciously managed inventories. While the market has been tough over the past five years, most companies continue to thrive and grow through the use of innovative technologies, material developments and new application gains. The industry is now estimated to have bottomed, with demand expected to pick up again for 2014. Read more in Static polymer demand growth estimated in Europe for 2013
  • Flexible packaging market is a mature sector that has various stake holders such as raw material suppliers, processors, packaging manufacturers and end-user industries. As growth opportunities in these end-use markets saturate in developed markets, players struggle to diversify their product portfolio. The end-use products and their packaging are two interdependent markets. Gains in US have been led by well-established presence of pouches in a number of food and nonfood markets coupled with overall deceleration in raw material price growth. To know which sectors dominated the flexible packaging market, the end use industry with healthy and fast growth, the most potential nations for flexible packaging market, reason for sectors exhibiting strong gains, etc, read Flexible packaging market to reach US$99,621.9 mln by 2018, US demand to rise 3.8% pa through 2015
  • Researchers have devised a way to print highly flexible parts from a rubbery, organic polymer more suitable for implantation in the human body than is silicon. The new polymer is attractive for MEMS because of its high mechanical strength, response to electricity and nontoxicity. Another team has developed a 2 layer, see-through solar film that could be placed on windows, sunroofs, smart phone displays and other surfaces to harvest energy from the sun. The new device is composed of two thin polymer solar cells that collect sunlight and convert it to power. Researchers have made the first battery electrode that heals itself, opening a new and potentially commercially viable path for making the next generation of lithium ion batteries for electric cars, cell phones and other devices. Read more in Polymer phone sensors could meld with human body, polymer to coat smartphone screens with energy-harvesting material
  • Packaging, construction, appliances and consumer electronics industries are the major consumers of polystyrene and expandable polystyrene. Some of the major markets have reached a saturation point, limiting the demand growth. focus of polystyrene demand to continue to shift towards Asia-Pacific, at the expense of saturated industrialized markets in North America and Western Europe. Currently, global demand is rising within developing countries such as China, India, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Brazil. To know about the user industries, regions and applications expected to drive the global demand, read Rise in global demand for polystyrene and expandable polystyrene is led by demand from Asia Pacific