Asia-Pacific drives growth in global film and sheet market
The worldwide market for plastic film and sheet is expected to reach 50.7 million tons by 2015, according to a forecast by US research firm Global Industry Analysts (GIA).
Asia-Pacific is projected to be the fastest growing regional market with a compound annual growth rate of 4.0% in the period to 2015. GIA says this growth will be “driven by enormous potential in China and India”, where there is fast economic growth and low per capita consumption of film and sheet. While North America, Japan and Western Europe represent mature markets, GIA says there will also be future growth in the market in the Africa/Middle East, Latin America and Eastern European regions. It adds: “Growing sophistication in the Russian market is paving way for uninterrupted growth in demand for plastic films in the region.” In terms of polymer type, the group says polyethylene film represents the largest segment of global demand. But this is losing market share due to increasing penetration of polypropylene into existing PP applications. Within the polyethylene family of materials, LDPE is losing share to its advanced form, linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) film. The market for HDPE film is also expanding at a consistent rate, though not as dynamically as LLDPE. Biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) film represents the fastest growing segment in volume terms. From a downturn in 2008, the BOPP market bounced back quickly with a 3-4% growth rate in 2009. GIA says that during 2010-2013, worldwide BOPP production capacity is estimated to expand by 2.2-2.4 million tons, with the Middle East accounting for the bulk of the capacity expansion.