Packaging application is widely required in several end-use industries in the US. From construction to food & beverage, all these sectors require high end packaging applications which drive the demand for plastic raw materials such as polypropylene, low-density polyethylene, and poly vinyl chloride. The food & beverage sector is one of the most important markets that require high packaging applications. The food & beverage sector is exhibiting terrific growth, increasing the demand for higher packaging application and this, in turn, is driving the demand for plastic raw materials in the country. According to the December 2021 statistics by census.gov, alcoholic beverages (excluding wine) exports accounted for US$168 million in October 2021 which was US$146 million in September 2021.
The US has the presence of almost every popular plastic raw material that is available globally. Plastic raw materials are such as polypropylene, polycarbonate, low-density polyethylene, poly vinyl chloride, and polystyrene are found in large quantities in the country. Among these, low density polyethylene is the raw material with the highest demand in the market. This plastic raw material comes with excellent properties such as good chemical resistance, robust toughness, corrosion resistance and ease of processing. Low density polyethylene is broadly used in the food & beverage sector for the manufacturing of trays, foils, plastic bags, and bottles, which are later used for packing numerous food items. Other plastic raw materials like polystyrene also witness high demand in the food & beverage sector where it is utilized in plates, beverage cups, food containers, and several other components.
No. of Product Launches by Segment in the US 2016-2020 (%)
The US is one of the largest food and beverage markets on the global level, driving the higher requirement for packaging application, which, in turn, is influencing the demand for plastic raw materials. Food and beverage packaging involves several plastic containers, bottles, wraps, trays, pouches, and multiple other components for packing numerous food products. The food & beverage sector influenced the demand for packaging application during the 2016-2020 period with high production and sales of food items, ultimately increasing the demand for several plastic raw materials such as polypropylene, polystyrene, and low-density polyethylene. According to the report by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the combined sales of alcoholic beverages in the United States and Canada stood at USD 309.1 billion in 2019, out of which retail sales were valued at USD 260.2 billion in the US. The food and beverage sector is exhibiting robust growth in the country in the current times as well, increasing the demand for packaging application and this is projected to further increase the demand for plastic raw material. For instance, as per the stats by the US Economic Research Service, expenditure in the food at home segment surged in 2020, touching USD 1800 billion dollars. Such high growth in the country’s food and beverage sector is projected to increase the demand for plastic raw materials in the forthcoming years.
The COVID-19 influenced the packaging sector. The people in the US have developed a habit of eating ready-to-meals and snacks to cope with the social turmoil unleashed by the COVID-19. The demand for snack foods is increasing in the US as people are indulging more in snacking. According to the April 2021 report by Packaging Corporation of America, the appetite of consumers has changed in the US and people are inclining towards snacking a lot more post the pandemic. The pandemic also stimulated the transactions regarding online food and grocery shopping amid the pandemic.
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Plastic Raw Material Market in US Drivers:
Increasing food spending by consumers is driving the plastic raw materials demand
The US has a reputation for high spending when it comes to food item purchases and consumption. The stable economy, fast-paced lifestyle, and rising disposable income of consumers increase the food spending in the country, increasing the high requirement of food packaging application through plastic bottles, plastic drums, containers, and pouches and this in, turn, is driving the demand for plastic raw materials in the market. For instance, according to the stats by the United States Department of Agriculture, the food-at-home spending segment that includes food purchased from supermarkets, convenience stores, supercentres, and other retailers increased reached USD 876.8 billion in 2020 which was USD 808.0 billion in 2019. Such high food spending by the consumers of the US is expected to increase the demand for food packaging applications and in turn, this is projected to drive the demand for plastic raw materials in the country in the coming years.
Product innovation and expansion help in stimulating the market’s growth. The market players in the US gave been constantly increasing their efforts towards the expansion of plastic raw materials in the country. During the period of 2016-2020, the market players launched numerous products, and the same trend is expected to be there in the forthcoming years as well. In January 2022, Braskem America, Inc., announced the successful import of propylene to the United States East Coast. Through this initiative, the company aims to expand its supply of propylene to its polypropylene manufacturing facility located in Pennsylvania.
The Major Players in this Market Include
The major companies in plastic raw material market in US include Exxon Mobil Corporation, BASF Corporation, Braskem America, Inc., SABIC Americans, Inc., LyondellBasell Industries Holdings B.V, LG Chemical America, Inc, INEOS Olefins & Polymers USA, LLC., Indorama Ventures Public Company, Westlake Chemical Corporation, Others.
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