Plastics are indispensable in our everyday life. "In 2016, the global plastics market reached a volume of more than 263 million tonnes," says Oliver Kutsch, CEO of Ceresana. For the first time, the market research institute Ceresana analyzed the whole world market for all commercially important plastics in one big study, from standard products up to high-performance engineering materials.

Asia-Pacific is Major Consumer

According to the demand volume and price development Ceresana expects revenues generated with plastics to rise to about US dollar 560 billion until 2024. The data regarding quantities and revenues do not include synthetic fibers, paints and varnishes, adhesives or sealants. Synthetic resins such as epoxy, phenolic, melamine, and urea formaldehyde resins as well as silicones are not analyzed either. With a market share of over 51%, Asia-Pacific is the region with the largest plastics demand; North America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and South America follow. China and the USA are the major consumers of plastics worldwide. In this market report, Ceresana analyzes the development of every individual product type and application area in several regions and countries.

Films Wrap up the World

In 2016, the plastics sales markets flexible packaging, construction products, and rigid packaging dominated: These three segments account for about 65% of the total demand for plastics. The sales markets with the highest growth rates of more than 3% per year are, however, the segments transportation and electrical and electronics.
Flexible packaging such as bags and sacks as well as shrink and stretch films are mainly used for food packaging, but also as a secondary and tertiary packaging, for example for transportation. Plastic films may be used as shopping bags, trash can liners, mailing bags or as large bags for industrial and agricultural goods. Worldwide, about 60.8 million tonnes of plastics were utilized in flexible packaging in 2016.
In civil engineering and building construction, plastics are mainly used for films, cables, pipes, profiles and covers, sheets, fastening elements such as dowels and screws, glazing, coatings, and membranes. 54.8 million tonnes of plastics were utilized for building applications in 2016. The Asia-Pacific region is by far the largest consumer.
The sales market rigid packaging includes containers such as cans, cups, trays, bottles, boxes, and caps. Plastics replace the more traditional materials such as aluminum or glass. In order to minimize use of resources and transport cost, the industry manufactures increasingly lighter containers and uses more and more plastic bags as alternatives. Worldwide, about 54.0 million tonnes of plastics were processed into rigid packaging in the previous year.

Polypropylene is the Top Seller

PVC and PET might be more famous. However, the top-selling product of 2016 was polypropylene (PP): 23.4% market share. Polypropylene is a semi-crystalline thermoplastic polymer that is compatible with many processing technologies and used in a wide variety of applications. HDPE and LLDPE also belong to the types of plastics that were most frequently used. High density polyethylene (HDPE) is solid and hard. It is processed into films but also into rigid containers, pipes, and a variety of everyday household goods such as flacons, clothes pegs, and handles of dishwashing brushes. Both flexible as well as rigid products are made of linear low density polyethylene, oftentimes in blends with LDPE or HDPE. Like this, it can be used for example for thinner films. Furthermore, LLDPE is processed into multilayered packaging.

The Study in Brief:

Chapter 1 provides a thorough presentation and analysis of the market for plastics — including forecasts up to 2024: Demand development as well as revenues and production volumes are analyzed for each individual region.
Chapter 2 looks at 25 individual countries, from Germany up to South Africa. Data on demand and production split by types of plastics as well as revenues, import, and export are provided for each country. Furthermore, demand split by individual application areas is analyzed.
Chapter 3 deals with the applications of plastics in detail, including flexible packaging, rigid packaging, construction, transportation, electrical and electronics, industrial products as well as other applications. This chapter examines the demand per country split by the respective sales market.
Chapter 4 looks at the several types of plastics: polyethylene (LDPE), polyethylene (LLDPE), polyethylene (HDPE), polypropylene (PP), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polystyrene (PS), expandable polystyrene (EPS), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polyurethane (PUR), and other engineering plastics. Demand development of the individual plastics per country are examined.
Chapter 5 provides useful company profiles of the largest producers of plastics, clearly arranged according to contact details, turnover, profit, product range, production sites, capacities, and profile summary. Extensive profiles of 85 manufacturers are given, including BASF SE, Exxon Mobil Corp., The Dow Chemical Company, Total S.A., DuPont (E.I.) De Nemours, Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC), China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), Braskem S.A., LG Chem Ltd., and Sibur Holding PAO.

Further information:

About Ceresana
Ceresana is an internationally leading market research and consulting company for the industry. For 15 years, Ceresana has been supplying several thousand customers from 60 countries with up-to-date market intelligence. Extensive market knowledge creates new prospects for strategic and operational decisions. Ceresana's clients profit from implementation-oriented consulting services, tailor-made single-client studies and more than 100 independent multi-client market studies. Ceresana's analysts are experts on the following markets: chemicals, plastics, industrial goods, and packaging.
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