The global Molded Plastics market is projected to reach 157 mln tons by the year 2017 as per GIA. Economic revival, rise in spending power, rapid industrialization, and strong demand from end-use markets of packaging, construction, food & beverage auger well for the Molded Plastics market. Long-term growth will stem from developing markets of Asia, Eastern and Central Europe, and the Middle East.
Molded Plastics represent one of the most ubiquitous raw materials used in a wide gamut of industries ranging from construction, automotives, packaging, electrical & electronics, appliances to medical products. World plastic consumption plummeted to hurting levels during the recession years 2008 through 2010 as a result of unprecedented weakness in most key end-use application markets, which were hit with a general decline in plastic based products. Demand in the post recession period will be driven by resurgence in fundamental growth drivers, such as, recovery in GDP growth, employment rates, incomes levels, discretionary incomes, rise in consumer/business confidence, rebound in manufacturing activity and restoration of health to most end-use markets. Replenishing of depleting inventories in the supply chain as a result of resurging production activities on wings of improving end-user demand will additionally help perk up demand for molded plastics. Growth in the long term will stem from developing Africa/Middle East and Asian countries, particularly in China, South Korea, and Taiwan. Growth in these markets will be driven by rapid industrialization, burgeoning consumer economy, improvements in the standard of living, and strong construction, food and beverage, and consumer packaging sectors.
The global Molded Plastics market is on the threshold of an important dynamic change. Asia is rapidly emerging as the new center of balance in the global market, given the strong levels of industrialization in the region’s major economies like China and India. North America, Japan and Western Europe, the traditional power players are gradually losing steam and plastics producers from these regions are ceding market share to players from Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. The developed countries/region, which have been exporters to the world market are likely to turn net importers in the next few years as older plants are likely to be shut down due to inefficiencies, while most of the new additions are being made in Asia and the Middle East.
Emerging markets in the molded plastics space are concentrating on the expansion of their production capabilities in order to target the export market. The rapid expansion of capacity, particularly in the Asia-Pacific Rim, is causing anxiety among the domestic markets of Western Europe, the US, and Japan by restricting export opportunities. Asia has successfully emanated as a powerful exporter of fabricated plastic products. A large proportion of this production comes from Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Taiwan, but many manufacturers have relocated themselves to low cost countries such as China, Malaysia, and Thailand. Of late, the move is to manufacture many of these products in even lower cost countries such as India, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam. China’s prominent role in the availability of plastics and pricing on a global basis is anticipated to continue and become even more pronounced. Over the last decade, the Middle East has emerged as a serious player in the global molded plastics market owing to the twin benefits of low raw material and feedstock prices and proximity to the highly lucrative Asian market. The Middle East is expected to account for 50% of the new capacity additions during the next five years and would emerge as the world’s leading supplier of polypropylene.