Changes in global polyolefin market in response to fast pace of industrialization in emerging markets

The global polyolefin market is changing dramatically in response to the fast advancing industrialization process in the emerging markets, as well as improvements in global communications and trade liberalization. As per a report by CMAI, investments are increasingly concentrated in feedstock cost-advantaged or high demand growth areas, such as the Middle East and the Asia Pacific region. The same trend, in the more mature regions of West Europe and North America, is driving industry consolidation and moves toward the production of higher value, performance products. Polyolefin production thus is projected to expand at a rate of around five percent per year from 2009 to 2014. Growth in polyolefin consumption will be mainly driven by the rapid economic development of numerous transition countries in the Asia Pacific region, Central Europe, the Middle East and South America. As these regions move toward more consumer based economies, plastics usage in general will increase. Investments in export-oriented plastics converting capacities in many of these countries will also help fuel polyolefin demand growth. Trade flows, consequently, will increase, particularly from the Middle East, where producers enjoy a competitive cost advantage, especially for polyethylene. The main destinations of Middle Eastern exports include China, Europe, and Turkey; as well as numerous other countries within Asia, Africa and the CIS region. Intra-regional trade flows in these areas are expected to decrease as a result.
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