Packaging driving strong demand growth for US LDPE - Westlake

Author: Zachary Moore

2020/08/06

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Increased demand for packaging is driving strong demand growth for low density polyethylene (LDPE) in the US, Westlake executives said during a Thursday earnings call.

“Demand for LDPE has been up around 7.4% from the same period of last year, whereas we normally expect LDPE demand to grow at around 1-2% per year,” CEO Albert Chao said.

“LDPE exports are down largely because of the strength of domestic demand. Meanwhile, export sales for high density polyethylene (HPDE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) have risen significantly,” Chao stated.

Westlake executives attributed the rise in LDPE demand to increasing demand for packaging products, especially food packaging.

Consumers taking more meals at home rather than at restaurants has boosted demand for food packaging films as food sold in grocery stores requires a larger volume of packaging per unit of food relative to food sold in bulk to restaurants and hotels.

PE is the most widely used plastic in the world, primarily found in packaging including plastic bags, plastic films and geomembranes.

Major US producers of PE include Chevron Phillips Chemical (CP Chem), DowDuPont, LyondellBasell, ExxonMobil, Formosa, INEOS, Total Petrochemicals and Westlake.

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