Plastic films and sheets have been commercialized and used in packaging of food products, pharmaceutical and medical products, consumer products and industrial products. Films and sheets are also used in non-packaging purposes in agriculture, construction, health care and others. Plastic films and sheets market is estimated to reach 70.9 mln m tons by 2018, as per marketsandmarkets. The increasing demand for packaged food and pharmaceutical products in growing economies such as China, India, Turkey, Poland, Brazil and Mexico is driving the global market for Plastic Films and Sheets. Food industry is the largest consumer of Plastic Films and Sheets in packaging sector, followed by pharmaceutical and medical packaging. However, pharmaceutical and medical packaging applications are expected to offer the highest growth during the next five years. The demand for Plastic Films and Sheets is increasing in non-packaging applications due to its increased uses in the agriculture industry. The global plastic films and sheets market is fragmented and regions such as North America and Europe are in matured stage. However, Asia-Pacific market shows huge potential to grow in this market. The rising disposable income of the middle-class in India and China is expected to drive this market in the coming decade. The top companies in the plastic films and sheets business include AEP Industries (U.S.), Amcor Ltd. (Australia), Bemis Company (U.S.), DuPont Teijin Films (U.S.), Jindal Poly Films (India), and Sealed Air Corporation (U.S.). This industry is going through consolidation activities and inorganic expansion was the preferred growth strategy adopted by the leading players. Polyethylene is identified as the key material for flexible plastic films and sheets production. However, biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) is gaining popularity as raw material. Materials such as EVOH, PLA, PVDC, PHOV and Polyamide are used to manufacture specialty films. In matured markets such as North America and Europe, specialty plastic films demand is growing at a faster rate than conventional resin-based films. With rising global population and disposable income, plastic films and sheets are finding increasing applications in packaging. The plastic films and sheets market consumption will grow from an estimated 59.9 mln MT in 2013 to 70.9 mln MT by 2018, with a CAGR of 3.4% from 2013 to 2018. Asia-Pacific is the key market for plastic films and sheets with more than 30% of global market share. Rising middle class in China and India is the major driving force for the industry. However, developed regions such as North America and Europe are experiencing slow growth in the sector.
As per Research and Markets, the global food and beverage plastic packaging industry is expected to reach US$149.8 bln by 2018. The industry's competitive rivalry seems to be moderate because of high fixed cost, significant exit barriers, and a moderate industry growth rate. Environmental regulations, fluctuating resin costs, and energy and transportation expenses all affect the industry. Food packaging is the key application area for the plastic films and sheets sales in food packaging market is expected to grow at 5.2% from 2013 to 2018. The global market was estimated at US$112.4 bln in 2012, and expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.4% from 2013 to 2018.
Agricultural films are protective films that are placed over soil, wrapped around fodder or covered over greenhouses. Agricultural films offer several advantages such as reducing soil compaction and erosion, increasing soil temperature, providing nutrients, suppressing the growth of weeds, supporting seed germination, and protecting against UV rays. Agricultural films can be classified based on their applications as: greenhouse film, mulch film, and silage film. They are generally manufactured using polyethylene (PE), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and ethylene vinyl alcohol polymer (EVOH) among other materials. Linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) and low density polyethylene (LDPE) dominate the overall agricultural films market. Due to capacity additions of PE in the Middle East and Asia Pacific, the prices of these films have relatively reduced. Linear Low Density Polyethylene (LLDPE) is expected to be the fastest growing film type growing at a CAGR of 5.9% from 2013 to 2019. LLDPE and LDPE together accounted for more than 78% of the total demand in 2012. LDPE film is expected to reach nearly US$2059 mln by 2019. Reclaimed films are widely used in developed countries due to environmental regulations regarding use of plastics. The consumption of reclaimed film is expected to reach nearly 315,000 tons by 2019. The other film types such as PVC, EVOH, etc. are expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.5% between 2013 and 2019. HDPE films find limited applications as they are known for their rigid characteristics, and accounted for more than 7% of the total market in 2012. Agricultural films are predominantly used in greenhouse and mulching applications. Greenhouse and mulching applications together accounted for more than 85% of the overall market in 2012. Greenhouse application is expected to reach more than 2768,000 tons by 2019. Mulching and silage application is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.7% and 5.4% respectively, from 2013 to 2019. The growing demand for vegetables and fruits such as tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, etc. is expected to drive the market for greenhouse films especially in Asia Pacific. It is expected to be fastest growing application during the forecast period, expected to reach US$4145 mln by 2019. In terms of revenue, silage films are expected to grow at an estimated CAGR of 7.9% between 2013 and 2019. The consumption of agricultural film in North America was nearly 196,000 tons in 2012. The European market is highly saturated due to decreasing arable land and shift towards organic farming, with demand expected to reach 826,000 tons by 2019. China is expected to be fastest growing market growing at an estimated CAGR of 6% from 2013 to 2019.