Vietnam, India to lead Asia-Pac PE demand growth – Stavian Chemical chair

Izham Ahmad

10-Nov-2023

HO CHI MINH CITY (ICIS)–The Asia-Pacific region will continue to drive growth in demand for polyethylene (PE) despite recent economic headwinds, with Vietnam and India seen as bright spots in the industry, the chairman of Vietnamese polyolefin distributor Stavian Chemical said.

In an exclusive interview at the sidelines of the 8th ICIS Asian Polyolefins Conference, Stavian Chemical chair Tony Dinh also highlighted that despite the changed dynamics which appeared since the COVID-19 pandemic, China and southeast Asia markets are still witnessing increased demand for plastic resins and plastic products.

“Despite being in different economic growth phases, these markets remain in a favorable condition to increase polymer and plastic consumption demand, not only in the consumer goods sector but also in engineering, healthcare, entertainment, and green lifestyle,” Dinh said.

Against that broader backdrop, Vietnam’s role as a low-cost manufacturing hub is also expected to grow strongly, helped by further expansion of existing major industry sectors, notably textiles, and electronics, as well as development of new industry sectors such as automobiles and petrochemicals.

“Vietnam is one of the biggest markets  [in southeast Asia] and [an] important manufacturing hub. And in consumption of petrochemical and polyolefins, it has become more and more internationally integrated,” Dinh said.

Vietnam is also set to benefit from Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), particularly in the petrochemicals and plastics sectors.

The EVFTA entered into force on 1 August 2020. As of the end of October 2023, 16 EU member states had ratified it.

Dinh said events such as the ICIS Asian Polyolefins Conference, which was held in Vietnam for the first time ever this year, would help bring market participants “closer to the market,” given Vietnam’s position as a major manufacturing hub in southeast Asia.

“I hope ICIS and other international institutions can arrange more and different conferences here. I believe it will help a lot of the local industries and support the economy,” he added.

Stavian Chemical was the host partner of the event, which took place on 7-8 November in Ho Chi Minh City.

Polyolefins are the most commonly used plastic in the world.

In terms of PE, Vietnam is currently the largest market in southeast Asia in terms of consumption, according to ICIS Supply and Demand Database.

The country is a duty-free import destination for PE of all-origins, making it one of the most competitive markets in southeast Asia.

Aside from Vietnam, India is another major market that Stavian Chemical expects to see significant growth in the polyolefins industry in coming years and support trade diversification away from mainland China, where demand has been struggling to recover in the post-pandemic era.

To leverage on the growth of India, Stavian Chemical has invested heavily in its business there. It opened an office in New Delhi in 2018 followed by another office in Mumbai in 2022.

“Additionally, we are conducting feasibility studies of downstream and recycling facilities to seize the huge market opportunities in the upcoming time,” Dinh said.

Stavian Chemical has been trading and distributing plastic resins since 2009 and is considered as one of the biggest polyolefins distributors in Vietnam.

“Being located in the dynamic market of the plastic and resin industry in Asia, we have witnessed a strong potential for growth in plastic consumption in various regions, especially in India and the sub-continental market,” he added.

Interview article by Izham Ahmad

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