Injection moulding polymer demand by country 2014
The the value of the European plastics injection moulding industry in 2014 was 11 percent higher than its pre-crisis value: although the volume of polymer processed was still about seven percent lower than in 2007, according to the latest report from AMI Consulting.
In its findings, the report, which studies Europe’s injection moulding sector in detail since the global recession in 2008, says much of the value increase is associated with higher raw material costs but the industry has striven to “maximise the potential of new and added value opportunities”.
The report quantifies the industry in terms of its value and the volume of polymer processed by country, together with a detailed assessment for each of the major markets served.
The packaging sector remains by far the largest injection moulding market in terms of polymer volume consumed, particularly because it includes demand for PET preforms. The packaging sector is almost equally important across every country because it typically serves local consumer demand. By comparison the automotive market is the most valuable injection moulding sector and its demand is increasingly being focussed in countries retaining or attracting vehicle assembly. Within Europe the shift of moulded volume from Western to Central and Eastern Europe has largely been a result of following the investment by customers, particularly the automotive and electrical appliance manufacturers. However, the economic development of these regions has also created a larger consumer market to the benefit of the whole moulding sector.
The global recession accelerated the process of rationalisation of the European injection moulding industry that had been underway for several years, particularly in Western Europe. The report highlights structural changes within the industry, thought to involve more than 8,500 companies across Europe, ranging from small, family owned businesses to large multinationals.
Western Europe has continued to experience most contraction with more than 2,000 moulding sites closing since 2007. In Central and Eastern Europe closures have been more than offset by new entrants: the region continues to attract a high level of new investment. The overall rate of decline in moulding sites is forecast to slow down but AMI forecasts that Europe will lose a further two percent of its injection moulding sites by 2018. However, polymer demand and industry value for injection-moulded products is forecast to grow across almost every market sector. A smaller, yet more cost effective, strategically located supplier base will therefore meet the higher demand.