AMI Issues Study of Polymer Demand in NAFTA

BRISTOL, UK | Applied Market Information (AMI) announces Polymer Demand in NAFTA, the most recent edition in the company’s Polymer Demand series. The report, said to provide a comprehensive analysis of the polymer markets across the US, Canada, and Mexico, covers the third largest regional polymer market in the world and includes the world’s second largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity. Home to some of the industry’s leading polymer producers with pioneering production capabilities, the technological prowess in the US has enabled development across the entire plastics supply chain. 

Recent developments in shale gas extraction have stimulated the polymer market in NAFTA through provision of cheap polymer feedstock and facilitated an increase in domestic manufacturing productivity by virtue of low energy and operation costs. A 58% increase in natural gas extraction is forecast between 2017 and 2040, which suggests that the US will have a raw material and electric power cost base that is on a par with that in the Middle East.

In the context of the growing degree of globalization, market maturity, elevated environmental awareness, the success in the automotive industry combined with a growing penetration of plastic in flexible packaging and a resurgence in construction activity, the plastics industry has been enabled to prosper in the North American market, the study says. Polyethylene, in particular linear low-density grades, have been spearheading the rise in film demand for flexible consumer and industrial packaging, largely due to its enhanced mechanical properties enabling downgauged, adds the report.

The emerging economy of Mexico has played an important role in driving the plastics industry forwards and has witnessed growth above that of the regional average. A growing middle class with more expendable income, a large export economy that competes at a global level, and legislative reforms geared towards developing the Mexican economy have been instrumental in the nation’s polymer demand increase above 3%/yr in the five years leading up to 2017.

The ongoing NAFTA negotiations cast a degree of uncertainty on multiple industries as trade tariffs may come into effect therefore impacting the supply chain. However, efforts are being made to support general development across the region through protectionist policies and fiscal stimulus, which is expected to catalyze growth in the plastics industry.

Overall, growth of the North American polymer market is forecast to be 2.7%/yr through to 2022, with a moderate variation between the slowest growing market of Canada and the fastest growing of Mexico.

The report provides detailed statistical data on the demand and end uses for all major thermoplastic materials on a country-by-country basis with forecasts until 2022. It reportedly overs all the issues affecting the industry and is designed to assist the reader in anticipating change within this broadly diverse continent.

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