Polyethylene (PE) is a major type of thermoplastic polymers which is produced by the polymerization of ethylene. It consists of a long chain of carbon atoms with two hydrogen atoms attached to each carbon atom. It is the most widely used plastic globally, application ranging from food packaging to automotive fuel tanks.
In recent years, the high consumption of polyethylene in various industries is creating a valuable opportunity for the market to grow. Industries such as automotive, manufacturing, oil & gas, healthcare, power, mining, electrical and electronics, and others are highly using polyethylene to innovate their products according to the current standards and regulations.
Currently, film & sheet application holds more than 50% of total polyethylene demand globally as the major demand is coming from packaging industry. Growing packaging industry, especially in APAC region, is expected to fuel the demand of polyethylene in coming years.
HDPE is the major type of polyethylene, accounting for almost half of the total PE demand. Also, LLDPE will continue to gain market share over LDPE going forward, as LLDPE is the primary beneficiary of metallocene catalyst technology, which improves resin performance. The major applications of polymers are diverse in different regions.
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Geographically, in 2018, North East Asia accounted for nearly 35% of the overall polyethylene demand and this is anticipated to reach nearly 37% by 2023. The North East Asia region, especially China, has been the pioneer in innovation, manufacture, and export of PE for wide variety of applications. Following the rapid expansion of the Asian economy in the last decade, the demand for polyethylene has risen sharply. The relatively strong Asian automotive and construction sectors are propelling the demand for polyethylene in the region. The FMCG sector in the region, especially in China is driving the growth of packaging sector, and thereby propelling the growth of polyethylene.
Polyethylene is widely used by almost every sector and industries, the new technologies and innovations leads to a better growth of polyethylene in the upcoming years. Chemical industries are investing more in R&D to introduce new applications and technology.
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