Polymer demand returning of growth
A new report from industry consultants Applied Market Information (AMI) has found that polymer demand is slowly returning to growth, after nearly three years of fairly flat market conditions.
In AMI's 2015 European Plastics Industry Report just published, European polymer markets are forecast to grow by 1.3% this year, building on a recovery of less than 1% for 2014. However, even this modest gain is under risk from the region's tight supply for many materials and rapidly rising prices.
In the two years since AMI published its last review, in 2013, demand has barely shifted from just over 36 million tonnes and the volume of polymers consumed in 2014 was still some 10% below that used in 2007 before the recession.
As has been the trend for several years, demand was stronger in Central and Eastern Europe compared with Western Europe. Overall Western Europe showed very little volume growth while Central and Eastern Europe saw increased demand of 2.7% and most of the countries in the East now have a polymer demand well ahead of where they were in 2007, while, with the exception of Germany, nearly every country in Western Europe, has a market demand still 10% or more below their 2007 volume.
Given the cautious outlook for the European economy polymer demand in Europe is expected by AMI to average growth of just over 1% a year, for the five-year period 2014-2019. Given this, European thermoplastic demand in 2019 will still be below the 2007 market peak.