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Polyethylene Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Type (HDPE, LDPE, LLDPE), By End User (Packaging, Automotive, Infrastructure & Construction, Consumer Goods/Lifestyle, Healthcare & Pharmaceutical, Electrical & Electronics, Agriculture, Others), and Regional Forecast, 2020-2027

Region : Global | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI101584



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The global polyethylene market size was USD 107.43 billion in 2019 is projected to reach USD 130.26 billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 3.4% during the forecast period.

The properties of polyethylene make it popular in industries mainly related to packaging and construction. This polymer offers reduced weight, high ductility, excellent chemical resistance, good electrical treeing resistance, and increased impact strength for the products at a lower cost. It is the most widely used polymer in the world, in the form of different products such as shopping bags, food wraps, detergent bottles, and automobile fuel tanks. For instance, A-Pac Manufacturing Co., Inc. produces bags and Merck KGaA produces BRAND wide-mouth bottles made from this polymer.

COVID-19 to Negatively Impact Market Growth Owing to Fluctuating Prices of Crude Oil

Amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the supply of PE will get affected as the demand from industries such as automotive, electrical & electronics, and consumer goods will decline. Prices of crude oil reduced, due to the collapse in demand and excess supply. Additionally, the decreasing production activities in various industries and the increasing restrictions due to lockdown globally reduced the rate of operations. However, polyethylene is set to experience high demand from the healthcare and packaging industries. The increasing demand for single use plastic products, personal protective equipment (PPE), sampling containers, curtains, and saline bottles will lift the market growth.


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High Demand for PE-based Packaging of Food & Beverages and Consumer Goods is a Prominent Trend

Manufacturers prefer PE for packaging applications owing to its properties, such as resistance to moisture, easy customization, and durability. Polythene is an economical material which acts as an advantage for the purpose of packaging. The easy recyclability, resistance to chemicals, and ability to protect the contained product from any external disturbances has made this polymer an ideal material. It is showcasing a propelling demand from the food & beverage and consumer goods industries owing to the above-mentioned factors.


Rising Demand for Polyethylene from Various End-use Industries to Fuel Growth

The demand for PE is gaining momentum in various industries such as automotive, electrical & electronics, food & beverage, and consumer goods. Properties such as high rigidity make it suitable for industrial uses, mainly for the packaging of automotive and electrical spare parts. In the automotive industry, manufacturers are focusing on increasing the efficiency of vehicles by reducing their weight. PE is preferred as it is light in weight, offers easy processability, sealing, and stiffness properties.

In the food & beverage industry, the consumption of the product is growing at a rapid pace due to the rising demand for the production of packaging materials for food & beverages. Manufacturers prefer effective packaging to reduce the possibility of food contamination and loss of quality. Polyethene has a moisture barrier property that protects food & beverages from external, as well as internal environments. This property is expected to fuel the demand for material from this industry.

The use of PE in fashion apparels, sports goods, and toys is growing due to its ability to resist physical stresses, provide durability & flexibility in packaging, and allow easy molding of products. In the agriculture industry, the application of this polymer is growing owing to the increasing demand for drippers, micro tubes, nozzles, and emitting pipes at irrigation fields.


Availability of Substitute Products to Limit Demand Globally

The availability of PE substitute products such as polypropylene, and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) pose a threat to the growth of the market. These types of plastics portray properties similar to PE such as impact resistance, chemical resistance, flexibility, moldability, and low cost which is expected to hinder the growth of the market. In addition, the fluctuating prices of raw material will have a negative effect on the growth of the market by affecting the cost structure of the final product. This would act as a vital market restraint.


By Type Analysis

HDPE Segment to Generate Highest Revenue Stoked by its Low Manufacturing Cost

The market is segmented into HDPE, LDPE, and LLDPE on the basis of type. Amongst these, the HDPE segment holds the largest share owing to its characteristics such as low manufacturing cost, high strength to density ratio, and high-temperature resistance. The physical properties of HDPE vary depending on the molding process that is used to manufacture it. HDPE is highly resistant to various types of solvents and has a wide variety of applications such as ballistic plates, bottles caps, boats, chemical resistant piping, food storage containers, and others.

LDPE is mainly used for packaging owing to its properties such as chemical resistance, flexibility, and softness. It is majorly used in the food industry for packaging applications. The rising demand for lightweight packaging in industries such as electronics, healthcare, and food & beverages is further driving the demand for LDPE in the polyethene market.

LLDPE produced by copolymerization of ethylene with butene, and small amounts of hexene and octene, using Ziegler-Natta catalyst, has the structure similar to that of LDPE. The former is used to produce a wide range of products. It is usually processed unaccompanied or is blended with LDPE and HDPE. Its properties can be altered by varying the type and amount of chemicals. The properties of LLDPE such as high tensile strength, high impact resistance, and flexibility make it suitable for industries such as packaging, agriculture, building construction, and healthcare.

By End-User Analysis

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Packaging Segment to Lead Backed by Increasing Demand from Food & Beverages Industry

The market is categorized into packaging, automotive, infrastructure & construction, consumer goods/lifestyle, healthcare & pharmaceuticals, electrical & electronics, agriculture, and others, on the basis of end-use industry. Amongst these, the packaging segment accounted for the largest polyethylene market share in 2019 and is expected to remain the largest throughout the forecast period owing to the increasing use of this resin in the manufacturing of various packaging solutions in the food & beverage industry. According to the Flexible Packaging Association, the food & beverage industry accounts for over 60% of the flexible packaging market.

The infrastructure & construction segment is considered to be the second most prominent segment in terms of the end-use industry. The increasing use of PE in the manufacturing of various construction materials such as films and sheets for windows, flooring, countertop, roofing, cover building materials, and seal off rooms is expected to surge its demand from this end-use industry.

Similarly, the consumer goods/lifestyle end-use industry is expected to provide significant growth to the polyethene market sales during the forecast period due to the increased demand for fashion apparels, housewares, ice boxes, sports goods, and toys from various regions. Properties such as high durability, easy moldability, and flexibility will support the manufacturing of the above-mentioned products.


Asia Pacific Polyethylene Market Size, 2019 (USD Billion)

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Asia Pacific accounted for the highest share of the market in 2019 and is expected to remain the largest throughout the forecast period. This is associated with the presence of the leading consuming countries such as China and India in the region. According to Reliance Industries Limited, the demand for PE grew at the rate of 4% from 2017 to 2018. It’s increasing demand from industries such as packaging and infrastructure & construction are driving the market growth in this country.

Europe accounted for the second-largest share in the global market. The increasing demand for this polymer from the automotive industry is expected to contribute to the high market revenue in the region. PE is the most preferred polymer among the numerous others used in Europe due to its properties such as electric insulation, corrosion inhibition, good heat resistance, and low density.

On the other hand, North America is projected to showcase a significant growth in the global market. The U.S. accounted for the largest share due to the high demand for this polymer from healthcare & pharmaceuticals, electrical & electronics, packaging, and automotive industries. Also, the rising demand for consumer goods and the increasing development of electrical & electronics, automotive, and medical industries in this region would augment growth.

In the Middle East & Africa, the increasing demand from the packaging and consumer goods industries is one of the major factors influencing growth. The rising demand for safe and viable packaging, increasing urbanization, and the surging number of packaging companies are some of the factors expected to boost the market growth in this region. Latin America is expected to observe a substantial growth in the market. Brazil is the largest country in this region. Owing to its characteristics such as high strength and durability, the material is used in numerous applications consisting of bottles, plastic bags, and construction materials in the region.


Key Market Players to Strengthen their Positions by Offering Polyethene Solutions to Packaging Industry

The major manufacturers of the polyethene are present throughout the globe. One of the reputed companies named LyondellBasell deals with plastics, chemicals, and refining sectors. It provides a wide variety of PE products. The company has shown dominance around the globe by applying the acquisition strategy. ExxonMobil, on the other hand, is expanding throughout the globe by using strategies such as joint ventures and by providing a diversified range of polymer products. Besides, SABIC has a strong influence in the Middle East & Africa and it provides numerous grades of polymer products. The company adopted the strategy of joint venture to increase its presence in the market.


  • LyondellBasell Industries N.V. (Netherlands)

  • ExxonMobil Chemical (U.S.)

  • China National Petroleum Corporation (China)

  • INEOS (UK)

  • China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (China)

  • SABIC (Saudi Arabia)

  • Ducor Petrochemicals (Netherlands)

  • Reliance Industries Limited (India)

  • Formosa Plastic Group (Taiwan)

  • Braskem (Brazil)

  • Repsol (Spain)

  • Borouge (UAE)

  • Borealis AG (Austria)

  • MOL Group (Hungary)

  • Beaulieu International Group (Belgium)

  • Other Key Players


  • July 2020: Thong Guan and Dow Chemicals collaborated to launch a bio-based polyethylene product series. The PE film will be targeted to meet the increasing demand for plastic film in Asia Pacific.

  • May 2020: UPM Raflatac launched its Forest Film product line. These films are manufactured from post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic for packaging applications. It reduces carbon footprint, thereby providing a competitive edge to the company in the market.


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A growing trend is observed in the penetration of this market across the industries. The polyethylene market report provides qualitative and quantitative insights on the global market and detailed analysis of the size & growth rate for all possible segments in the market. The market is segmented by type, end-use industry, and geography. Based on the type, the market is classified into HDPE, LDPE, and LLDPE. By end-use industry, the PE market is divided into packaging, automotive, infrastructure & construction, consumer goods/lifestyle, healthcare & pharmaceuticals, electrical & electronics, agriculture, and others. Geographically, the global market has been analyzed across five major regions, which are North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa. These regions are further categorized into countries.

An Infographic Representation of Polyethylene (PE) Market

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Along with this, the report provides an elaborative analysis of the global polyethene market dynamics and competitive landscape. Various key insights presented in the report are the price trend analysis, recent industry developments in the global market, the regulatory scenario in crucial countries, macro, and microeconomic factors, SWOT analysis, key polyethylene market trends, competitive landscape, and company profiles.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



  Value (USD Billion) and Volume (Million ton)


  Type, End-user and Geography

By Type


  • High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)

  • Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE)

  • Linear Low Density Polyethylene (LLDPE)

By End-User


  • Packaging

  • Automotive

  • Infrastructure & Construction

  • Consumer Goods/Lifestyle

  • Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals

  • Electrical & Electronics

  • Agriculture

  • Others

By Geography

  • North America

    • By Type

    • By End-User

    • By Country

      • U.S.

      • Canada

  • Europe

    • By Type

    • By End-Use Industry

    • By Country

      • Germany

      • France

      • UK

      • Italy

      • Spain

      • Rest of Europe

  • Asia Pacific

    • By Type

    • By End-User

    • By Country

      • China

      • Japan

      • India

      • South Korea

      • Southeast Asia

      • Rest of Asia Pacific

  • Latin America

    • By Type

    • By End-User

    • By Country

      • Brazil

      • Mexico

      • Rest of Latin America

  • Middle East & Africa

    • By Type

    • By End-User

    • By Country

      • Saudi Arabia

      • UAE

      • Egypt

      • Rest of Middle East & Africa

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global polyethylene market stood at USD 107.43 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 130.26 billion by 2027.

Registering a CAGR of 3.4%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2020-2027).

The packaging segment is expected to be leading in the market during the forecast period.

The rising demand for PE in various industries including packaging, and infrastructure & construction industries will drive the growth of the market.

Asia Pacific is expected to hold the highest share in the market.

The packaging, infrastructure & construction, and consumer goods/lifestyle are the key end-use industries that would drive the adoption of PE.

SABIC and LyondellBasell are the key players in the market. They have adopted strategies such as joint ventures and mergers & acquisitions to increase their global presence in the market.

Rising demand for PE based packaging of food & beverages, construction materials, and consumer goods are the market trends.

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Polyethylene (PE) Market Size, Share and Global Industry Trend Forecast till 2026
  • Sep, 2020
  • 2019
  • 2016-2018
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