Global Polyethylene Market (2010-2025)

Global Polyethylene Market (2010-2025)

The global combined demand of all Polyethylene (HDPE, LLDPE and LDPE) in 2018 was estimated to be around 100496 kilo tons, with high density polyethylene (HDPE) leading the consumption with more than 47% market share.Linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) followed with 32.5% market share, while the low density polyethylene (LDPE) resin trailed with 20.1% share in global PE market.

The growth of the global polyethylene consumption will strongly depend on the economic growth as well as substitution of HDPE for other traditional materials. The growth rate will be dramatically different in major regions of the world. It is forecast that mature economies like Western Europe and Japan will witness lower to marginal growth and countries in Asia-Pacific region including China and India will witness higher than global average growth during the forecast period till 2025. The HDPE growth in the mature economies to an extent will depend on the future improvements and advancements expected in the polyethylene process and catalyst technologies. It is expected that any technology developments for producing broad range of products and different grades will increase the product consumption in the market. Though polyethylene like HDPE face a strong competition from other thermoplastics and emerging polymers like metallocene catalyst, it is still believed that HDPE will grow at higher CAGR in comparison to the historical years. Products like LLDPE are substituting LDPE. Though LLDPE is growing in the overall polyethylene scenario, the decline in growth of LDPE consumption is a restraint in the over polyethylene industry.

Global Polyethylene Demand-Supply Analysis (2010-2025)

Global Polyethylene Demand-Supply Analysis (2010-2025)

The global market can be segmented into two principal product groups:

  • The low density market, comprising LDPE (low density polyethylene) and LLDPE (linear low density polyethylene). This accounts for around 53% of the global market, with demand for low density polymers dominated by the film applications.
  • HDPE (high density polyethylene) accounts for more than 47% of the market. HDPE has important applications in blow moulding, injection moulding, film and pipe.

HDPE is expected to continue to be the dominant polyethylene type, and will grow in market share from around 48.3% in 2018 to around 47.9% by 2025. Overall global polyethylene consumption is expected to be over 131372 kilo tons by 2025. LLDPE is currently the fastest polyethylene growth sector and it will increase its market share from 32.5% in 2018 to 35.1%in 2025. In the long-term forecast LLDPE is expected to continue witnessing the fastest growth in comparison to HDPE and LDPE.

LLDPE has been gaining some market share of LDPE. LDPE is either replaced or been blended with LLDPE. The reason for LLDPE increasing market share is owing to its higher strength properties that allow down-gauging and other properties that help save material and reduce the overall cost of production. One of the restraints for the LDPE growth in the forecast period is down-guaging that will act as a restraint for global LDPE growth. LLDPE has grown to account for 61.8% of the combined LDPE-LLDPE market in 2018 from 57.6%in 2010.

The market penetration of LLDPE’s into the LDPE market is slow in the mature economies like USA, Canada, Western Europe and Japan. In developing economies the traditional applications of LDPE are being replaced by LLDPE and further penetration is expected to continue in countries like China where LLDPE is replacing LDPE in some of the major applications. It also supported by the low tariffs on LLDPE in comparison to LDPE. Some share of LDPE can also be lost to the metallocene-based LLDPE that offers improved clarity and processing properties.

Polymer growth is closely related to GDP growth as consumption of the commodity polymers is directly correlated to the economic growth. On a global level, the combined growth of all polyethylene taken together has mostly been higher than the global GDP except for 2008 – 2009,economic recession. During the forecast period, HDPE and LLDPE are expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.1%and 5.0% with increasing importance of developing economies and availability of low-feed stock; however, the demand growth of LDPE is expected to 1.4%, making it one of the lowest growing thermoplastics.

The total global HDPE capacities additions from 2019 to 2025 is believed to be around 14426 kilo tons most of these capacities are likely to be added in USA and China. In terms of market share of new capacity additions, North America, mostly USA will account for 33.6%. New investment in HDPE projects in Canada and Mexico has also been announced.Asia-Pacific will lead the new capacity additions as China is expected to add more than 5066 kilo tons. Total capacity additions in the Middle East will account for around 17.7% of the global HDPE capacity additions. The total additions in Central & Eastern Europe will 3.5% of the total additions.

HDPE Capacity Addition

HDPE Capacity Additions (2010-2025)

Total LLDPE capacity of 11503 kilo tons is expected to be added during the forecast period 2025. Most of the capacity will be added in Asia-Pacific closely followed by North America. While LDP capacities of 1445 kilo tons, equally distributed in North America and Asia-Pacific.

LDPE Capacity Additions

LDPE Capacity Additions (2010-2025)

Historically, the Western European region has witnessed some capacity closures and there may be small closure during the forecast period.

LLDPE Capacity Additions

LLDPE Capacity Additions (2010-2025)

The abundant low-cost feed stocks will continue to create opportunities for export-oriented plants and influence global polyethylene trade patterns. Most of new announced polyethylene capacities in USA are destined for China as China is now the biggest polyethylene consuming country in the world. It is estimated that almost over 50 per cent of the new capacity production in USA will be for China. However, with new tariffs imposed in August 2018 on trade, the cost-burden is shifting direct US-China trade on to other regional markets, displacing current product flows and potentially threatening the profitability of regional players in the Asia-Pacific region.The effect of the new tariffs on the polyethylene goods and end-use industries is yet to clearly understood in the long-term. The demand growth in the Chinese polyethylene end-use market will drive the global polyethylene market and any imbalance caused in its imports and exports will have a significant impact in the global polyethylene market, especially USA who is building huge capacities.

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