The global polyethylene industry experienced strong growth over the last five years and is expected to continue advancing as it reaches approximately $148.1 billion in 2017 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.5% over next five years. Strategies such as new product innovation, processes, and feedstock technologies are expected to help players capture market share.

Lucintel, a global management consulting and market research firm, recently published “Global Polyethylene Industry 2012-2017: Trend, Profit, and Forecast Analysis.” According to the report, the Asia-Pacific region dominates the polyethylene market and represents 41.8% of the global market. A combination of factors such as feedstock price (crude oil and naphtha), feedstock availability, lightweight properties, energy costs, environmental issues, and government regulations are significantly affecting the industry dynamics.

Polyethylene is a consolidated industry and consists of high-density polyethylene (HDPE), linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), and low-density polyethylene (LDPE) as the segments.

Lucintel’s research indicates that in 2011, the industry experienced solid growth over 2010, due in part to increased government stimulus packages in infrastructure developments in the piping sector of pipe industry.

Asia-Pacific is expected to have the highest growth during 2012-2017. Asia-Pacific and the rest of the world both reportedly represent sound market growth potential for the polyethylene industry during the forecast period. China and India are expected to drive the polyethylene industry due to low-cost labor, downstream processing capacity additions, and government-supported subsidy packages. They reportedly present great growth potential in the plastic films and sheet market. The introduction of ultrahigh-molecular-weight polyethylene and sugarcane-based polyethylene are emerging trends that are expected to affect the future growth in the industry.

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