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U.S. plastic film demand to grow to 2012: report

Demand for plastic film in the U.S. will grow at an annual rate of 2.6 per cent up to 2012, according to research f...


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July 28, 2008 by Canadian Plastics

Demand for plastic film in the U.S. will grow at an annual rate of 2.6 per cent up to 2012, according to research firm The Freedonia Group.

By that year, the consumption of polymer will be 16.1 billion pounds (7.3 million tons), valued at US$13.4 billion, and when additives and processing and other costs are included the market will reach nearly US$32 billion, it said.

“Advances will reflect film’s cost, performance and source reduction advantages over rigid packaging, as well as opportunities in film products such as pouches and modified atmosphere packaging,” the report concluded.

Low density polyethylene (LDPE) will remain the leading film in the U.S. market, Freedonia said, accounting for almost two-thirds of the total in 2012. Demand for LDPE film is forecast to increase 2.9% yearly to 10.5 billion pounds in 2012. LDPE film will continue to benefit from its competitive cost structure, versatility and opportunities in areas such as produce and snack packaging, stretch and shrink wrap, and trash bags.

HDPE film demand, by contrast, will grow at the below average rate of 1.4 per cent to 2.1 billion pounds in 2012 as a result of slow retail bag advances.

Freedonia said polypropylene (PP) film demand in the US will expand 3.4 per cent annually, driven by produce, grain mill, dairy product and other food packaging applications. In 2012, PP demand value is expected to be 1.5 billion pounds.

PET film demand will continue to decline as remaining applications in photographic film and magnetic tape diminish, according to Freedonia, but good opportunities are anticipated for PET film in food packaging applications such as snack foods, confections and frozen food, due to needs for higher barrier properties.

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