KONSTANZ, Germany – According to a new study released by Ceresana Research, global demand for HDPE is primarily influenced by rapidly growing sectors such as the packaging and construction industries. The study reports that although North America and Western Europe accounted for approximately 44 percent of worldwide consumption during 2007, the Asia-Pacific region leads worldwide growth and, for the most part, will drive future HDPE revenue increases. Currently, Eastern Europe is also profiting from significant growth rates and has reached a market volume of 2.5 million tons.

Asia Pacific’s portion of worldwide consumption of HDPE has risen from 31 percent in 2000, to more than 35 percent in 2007. Manufacturers in this region are benefiting from Asia’s rapidly growing markets and increased export possibilities to North America and Western Europe. The HDPE manufacturing industry is migrating from previously established regions to the continuously growing and cost-effective countries in Asia.

In the oil-rich countries of the Middle East, not only is demand for plastics increasing steadily, but so is production. Since 2000, HDPE production in the region has increased an average of 20 percent per year, and Saudi Arabia accounts for a large portion of this. There is no end in sight for this rapid development. Until 2013, projects with a total capacity of 6.7 million tons are planned throughout the Middle East, which is expected to make this region the most important supplier of HDPE.

Only marginal capacity increases will take place in Western Europe and North America, and expansions will primarily come through the modernization of old production facilities.