Growing Turkish plastics market continues to show potential: PLASFED

11 March 2014 15:44 Source:ICIS News

AMSTERDAM (ICIS)--Despite the global economic crisis, the Turkish plastics industry has continued to flourish, showing potential for further growth and a bright future, Barbaros Demirci, secretary general of the country's plastics industrialists federation (PLASFED), said on Tuesday.

The plastics industry in Turkey has more than doubled over the last 10 years, pushing it to second place in Europe and to seventh place globally, said Demirci in his speech at the European ICIS conference, PET Value Chain: Navigating an Era of Change.

Packaging and construction make up over 60% of industries in Turkey, spurring €800m of investment in machinery for the plastics industry over the past three years, he said.

Domestic consumption of plastic end products is increasing dramatically, but at 80kg per capita it is below saturation point compared with other developed countries, making Turkey a prime candidate for demand growth, he said.

Demirci said a forecast issued by the Turkish government gives plastics and rubber exports a 51% share of the $50bn worth of chemical exports by 2023.

In 2013, 59% of the total domestic polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resin consumption was realised by imports, which mainly emanated from Pakistan, Iran and Taiwan. Meanwhile, 25% of Turkish production was exported and Germany, Italy and Poland became the top three destinations in 2013, he added.

Of the plastics raw materials in Tukey, PET, with a 26% share in 2013, is second to low density polyethylene (LDPE), he said.

Recent and upcoming new capacities in Turkey will push production of PET resin to 902,000 tonnes/year by the end of 2016, with bottle grade making up the vast majority.

“…the companies are planning to operate at minimum 70% capacity utilisation rates, to produce 586,000 tonnes and export at least 20% of their production,” Demirci added.

As for feedstocks, a deficit in locally produced primary raw material purified terephthalic acid (PTA) resulted in 84% of domestic demand being imported, mostly from Belgium, Spain, South Korea, Portugal and Poland, while a mere 3% was exported last year, he said. 

Similarly, 70% of PET’s secondary raw material monoethylene glycol (MEG), was imported in 2013. These were dominated by Kuwait, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Spain.

Turkey’s geographical position, with easy, and often rapid access to east and west, its established plastics industry and potential for growth, make it a force to be reckoned with in the PET industry, Demirci concluded.

PLASFED was established in 2011 and represents 1,000 member companies in Turkey.

Pet Value Chain: Navigating an Era of Change is a two-day ICIS event held in Amsterdam.

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By Caroline Murray