New HDPE grades strengthen growth prospects - analyst

26 January 2010 16:54  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Rebounding construction activity and improved grades of high density polyethylene (HDPE) will strengthen the growth prospects for the US extruded HDPE market through 2013, an industry researcher said on Tuesday.

“Bimodal polyethylene is more leak-resistant than metal, concrete and unimodal polyethylene pipe,” said analyst Bill Weizer of the Cleveland-based Freedonia Group, also citing the material’s greater strength, improved resistance to rapid crack propagation and higher pressure and flow capacity.

“Initial uses for bimodal HDPE are in pressure pipe, particularly water distribution,” he said.

US demand for extruded HDPE is forecast to reach 5.58bn lb by 2013, averaging 2.5% growth over 2008-2013, Freedonia said in a new report on US extruded plastics demand.

Overall, US extruded plastics demand is forecast to grow by 2.6%/year to nearly 34bn lb in 2013.

The only sector poised for faster growth is polyvinyl chloride (PVC), with estimated growth of 3.0%, bringing total extruded demand to 10.36bn lb.

Extruded PVC demand, which is closely linked to the fortunes of the residential construction market, could rebound significantly from sharp declines in 2006-2008, Weizer said.

Low density polyethylene (LDPE) and polystyrene (PS) were forecast see smaller growth rates of 2.2%/year and 2.4%/year, respectively, because of mature packaging and disposables end-markets.

Demand for extruded foamed PS would grow fastest in building and other insulation applications, Freedonia said.

Extruded plastics are defined as any resins which are produced via the extrusion process, a technique used to create objects of a fixed cross-sectional profile (e.g., pipe, siding and film).

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By: David Barry
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