South America is one of the fastest growing and most dynamic markets for pallet stretch film in the world as per a report from industry consultants, AMI Consulting. In spite of the global financial crisis and recession, demand for pallet stretch film continued to power ahead in the region between 2004 and 2009 by over 10% per year and is forecast to grow by almost 8% per year to 2014. Within the South American market Brazil accounts for 50% of the regional demand. In Brazil pallet stretch film production has grown over the past five years by 30% per annum and is forecast to grow by 15% per annum to 2014, i.e. doubling between 2009 and 2014. During the same period, it is forecast that Brazil’s imports of pallet stretch film will reduce to virtually zero. Argentina is the next largest South American market in terms of demand, but at approximately 23,000 tonnes accounts for only 11% of the regional consumption.
In comparison, the more mature markets of North America and Europe will see lower levels of tonnage growth to 2014. Demand is forecast to increase by less than 2% per year in the United States and Canada as, even with economic recovery, there is significant emphasis being put on downgauging of films, not only hand films but also machine films, resulting in tonnage growth that does not mirror the increase in number of pallets wrapped. In Western Europe we see a similar situation to that seen in the United States, with emphasis on downgauging, particularly in the hand film sector, and the increasing use of pre-stretched films which significantly reduces the weight of film used to wrap a pallet. Growth in Central Europe, which is less well developed, is forecast at 5% per year while growth in Eastern Europe is forecast at 6% per year, giving a European total growth rate close to 3% per year to 2014.