Global Polymers Demand Up 4.5% In 2011

Business, China, Company Strategy, Economics, India, Markets, Polyolefins

By Malini Hariharan

Despite challenging market conditions in 2011, the global polymers industry managed to post demand growth of 4.5%, with the largest increase recorded by polyvinyl chloride (PVC) at 6.2% and linear-low density polyethylene (LLDPE) at 5.8%, estimates Fabrizio Galie of the ICIS consulting team.

Global demand for commodity polymers, including PE, polypropylene (PP), PVC, polystrene (PS), but excluding expandable PS (EPS), was 178m tonnes last year with China accounting for 27% of this number.

But demand growth in the country was substantially lower at 5.6%, down from the 11% recorded in 2010, as tight credit availability and the overall economic slowdown dampened consumption.

Other Asian countries, such as India, also posted weak performances. As highlighted by the blog earlier, high interest rates and a slowdown in industrial production affected demand. And the scenario has yet to change so far this year.

The surge in crude oil prices and the start-up of new capacities is likely to put further pressure on the market this year, and it will take time for the situation to stabilise, adds Galie.

“The outlook for commodity polymers in 2012 is one of prolonged volatility as much will depend on the global macroeconomic environment,” he says.

Assuming a quick economic recovery, global polymer consumption is estimated to reach 214m tonnes by 2015 with PE being the main contributor.

And China will continue to be a large importer even as it brings onstream new plants, he  believes.


India: Muddling Through Won't Do


By John Richardson Indian friends of the blog, many of whom work in the country&...

Learn more

North America's Oil and Gas Potential


By Malini Hariharan The energy landscape in North America is rapidly changing. A...

Learn more
More posts
Surge in US polyethylene exports occurs as China growth slows, Asian margins turn negative

By John Richardson PERHAPS ONE could argue, but I certainly wouldn’t, that in a perfect world the ...

Plastics rubbish and the developing world: Lost petrochemicals demand and the new service-led approach

By John Richardson IT WAS billed as a liberating product, something that brought a little luxury to ...

Little prospects of genuine US and China deal leave US petrochemicals exports very vulnerable

As always, this blog post expresses my own personal views and these are not the views of ICIS. Thank...

The new China and the rise of the Millennials transform the petrochemicals business model

By John Richardson ANYONE who has anything to do with the petrochemicals industry or anything to do ...

Global manufacturing slowdown: Turn to China’s polypropylene market for your explanation

By John Richardson THEY SADLY still don’t get it. All the clamour yesterday was about declinin...

China PE overstocking rises to more than 1m tonnes as exporters continue to flood the market

By John Richardson CHINA is heading for another good year of PE demand growth with estimates from se...

If Strait of Hormuz closed down: Effect on petrochemicals exports

By John Richardson NEITHER SIDE seems to want a war but at febrile times like this miscalculations c...

US petrochemicals export exposure grows at the wrong time in history

As always, the views in this blog post are my own and do not reflect the views of ICIS. Thank you By...


Market Intelligence

ICIS provides market intelligence that help businesses in the energy, petrochemical and fertilizer industries.

Learn more


Across the globe, ICIS consultants provide detailed analysis and forecasting for the petrochemical, energy and fertilizer markets.

Learn more

Specialist Services

Find out more about how our specialist consulting services, events, conferences and training courses can help your teams.

Learn more

ICIS Insight

From our news service to our thought-leadership content, ICIS experts bring you the latest news and insight, when you need it.

Learn more