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‘Shake-up’ of global PE film market

Worldwide – Shale gas developments in the USA will significantly impact growth in polyethylene (PE) film usage as well as global trade in finished film, according to a new study from AMI Consulting. ‘This will lead to major reduction in the cost of PE resin in addition to reducing the energy cost of subsequent film production.’ it notes.

It is ′highly probable′ that North America will have a polymer cost base on a par with that in the Middle East, leading to PE film exports from North America overtaking those of the Middle East, says AMI. Looking beyond 2018, this projected cost advantage, when combined with the technological expertise of US polyethylene film producers, will ensure that they become ′truly global players′. This represents a ′shake-up′ of the worldwide PE film market, AMI argues. ′Within the global marketplace, there will be real winners and losers,′ it adds.

Other factors that will impact growth in PE film production include the continuing investment in export-oriented regions such as the Middle East and South East Asia, and growth of the middle classes in less developed regions. ′In 2013, North East Asia – including China – was the highest producer region with one-third of global production of PE film,′ AMI points out.

Meanwhile, Western Europe accounted for 15% of global production and will continue to grow in terms of tonnage ′only because it remains one of the cradles of technical development of PE films′.

In terms of individual resin types, low-density polyethylene (LDPE) will continue to lose market share as processors adopt ′more sophisticated′ linear resins in similarly complex formulations.

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