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Polyethylene Market Size, Share & Industry Analysis, By Type (HDPE/MDPE, LDPE, and LLDPE), By End-use Industry (Packaging, Automotive, Infrastructure & Construction, Consumer Goods/Lifestyle, Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals, Electrical & Electronics, Agriculture, and Others), and Regional Forecast, 2024-2032

Last Updated: July 08, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI101584

 

KEY MARKET INSIGHTS

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The global polyethylene market size was valued at USD 110.23 billion in 2023 and is projected to grow from USD 114.89 billion in 2024 to USD 158.49 billion by 2032, exhibiting a CAGR of 4.1% during the forecast period. Asia Pacific dominated the polyethylene market with a market share of 47.98% in 2022.


The properties of polyethylene (PE) make it popular in industries such as packaging and construction. This polymer offers reduced weight, high ductility, good electrical treeing resistance, excellent chemical resistance, and increased impact strength for the products at lower cost. It is majorly used in the form of products such as food wraps, shopping bags, detergent bottles, and automobile fuel tanks, across the globe. For instance, A-Pac Manufacturing Co., Inc. produces bags and Merck KGaA produces BRAND wide-mouth bottles made from this polymer. Moreover, the growing industrialization and rapid growth of the packaging industry are expected to surge market growth during the forecast period.       


During the period of COVID-19 pandemic, the polyethylene supply was affected as the demand from industries, such as automotive, electrical & electronics, and consumer goods, declined. Crude oil prices were reduced due to a collapse in demand and excess supply. This resulted in declined product prices and affected the market growth. However, PE experienced high demand from the healthcare and packaging industries. The increasing demand for single-use plastic products, sampling containers, saline bottles, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and curtains propelled the polyethylene market growth.


Polyethylene Market Trends


High Demand for Packaging from Food & Beverages and Consumer Goods Industries to Propel Market Progress


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


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Polyethylene Market Growth Factors


Rising Demand from Various End-use Industries to Drive Market Growth


The demand for products 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 packaging automotive and electrical spare parts. In the automotive industry, manufacturers focus on increasing vehicles' efficiency by reducing their weight. PE is preferred as it is light in weight and 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. Manufacturers prefer effective packaging to reduce the possibility of food contamination and loss of quality. Polyethylene 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 materials from this industry.


The use of product in fashion apparel, toys, and sports goods is increasing due to ability of the product to resist physical stresses, provide flexibility & durability in packaging, and allow easy molding. In agriculture industry, the application of the product is growing owing to the increasing demand for drippers, microtubes, nozzles, and emitting pipes in irrigation fields.


Rising Product Demand from Infrastrcuture & Construction, Healthcare, and Pharmaceuticals Industries to Fuel Market Growth


The rising demand for polyethylene in infrastructure & construction and healthcare & pharmaceuticals industries is primarily fueled by its versatility, cost-effectiveness, and durability. In infrastructure and construction, polyethylene is used in various applications, such as pipes, fittings, insulation, and geomembranes due to its resistance to corrosion, chemicals, and moisture, contributing to the longevity and sustainability of projects. In healthcare and pharmaceuticals, polyethylene is essential for packaging materials, medical devices, and drug delivery systems due to its inertness, flexibility, and compatibility with the sterilization process. As global investment in infrastructure development and healthcare infrastructure continues to increase, the demand for polyethylene is expected to grow steadily. Furthermore, ongoing innovations in polyethylene technology, such as enhanced performance grades and recycling capabilities will further drive the product’s use across these sectors.


RESTRAINING FACTORS


Availability of Substitutes Including PU and PET Products to Limit Product Adoption Globally


The availability of substitute products, such as polypropylene and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) poses a threat to the market growth. These types of plastics portray properties similar to polyethylene such as flexibility, impact resistance, chemical resistance, moldability, and low cost, which may hinder the market growth. In addition, the fluctuating prices of raw materials may negatively affect the market growth by affecting the final product's cost structure, thereby restraining the market.


Polyethylene Market Segmentation Analysis


By Type Analysis


HDPE Segment to Hold Highest Revenue Share Stoked by Low Manufacturing Cost


By type, the market is segmented into High-density Polyethylene (HDPE)/Medium-density Polyethylene (MDPE), Low-density Polyethylene (LDPE), and Linear Low-density Polyethylene (LLDPE). Amongst these, the HDPE segment holds the largest polyethylene market 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 bottle caps, ballistic plates, food storage containers, boats, chemical-resistant piping, and others.


LDPE is mainly used for packaging due to its chemical resistance, flexibility, and softness. It is majorly used in the food industry for the packaging industry. The rising demand for lightweight packaging in electronics, healthcare, and food & beverages is further surging the demand for LDPE in the market.


LLDPE is produced by copolymerizing ethylene with butene and small amounts of hexene and octene, using Ziegler-Natta catalyst, and has a structure similar to that of LDPE. The former is used to produce a wide range of products. It is usually processed unaccompanied or 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 packaging, agriculture, healthcare, and construction industries.


By End-use Industry Analysis


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


Based on end-use industry, the market is categorized into packaging, automotive, infrastructure & construction, consumer goods/lifestyle, healthcare & pharmaceuticals, electrical & electronics, agriculture, and others. Amongst these, the packaging segment dominates the product market and is the fastest growing segment throughout the forecast period owing to its increasing in the manufacturing of several packaging solutions for 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 the second most prominent segment in the end-use industry. The increasing use of the product in manufacturing 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 in this industry.


Similarly, the consumer goods/lifestyle industry is expected to enhance PE sales during the forecast period due to increased demand for fashion apparel, housewares, ice boxes, sports goods, and toys from various regions. Properties, such as high durability, easy moldability, and flexibility, will support manufacturing the above-mentioned products. 


REGIONAL INSIGHTS


Asia Pacific Polyethylene Market Size, 2023 (USD Billion)

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Asia Pacific accounted for the significant share of the global market in 2023 and is expected to grow at the highest growth rate throughout the forecast period due to the region's leading consuming countries such as China and India. According to Plastivision, the demand for product would grow at a rate of 9.0% by 2023 in India. Its increasing demand from industries, such as packaging and infrastructure & construction, coupled with rapid industrialization, is driving the market growth in this country.


Europe accounted for the second-largest share in the global market. The increasing demand for plastic products from the automotive industry is expected to contribute to the high market revenue in the region. Polyethylene is the most preferred polymer among 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 significant growth in the global market. The U.S. accounted for the largest share due to 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 this region's electrical & electronics, automotive, and medical industries would augment market growth.


In the Middle East & Africa, 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 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 plastic bags, bottles, and construction materials in the region.


List of Key Companies in Polyethylene Market


Companies Implemented Business Expansion and Acquisition Strategies to Retain their Market Share


The major companies are present throughout the globe. Among these companies, LyondellBasell deals with the plastics, chemicals, and refining sectors. It offers a wide range of products. The company has adopted acquisition and expansion strategies to increase its presence in the market. ExxonMobil, on the other hand, is expanding throughout the globe by using strategies, such as joint ventures and acquisitions, 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 a joint venture to increase gain competence in the market.


LIST OF KEY COMPANIES PROFILED:



KEY INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENTS:



  • November 2023: NOVA Chemicals Corporation and Amcor announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for mechanically recycled polyethylene. As per the agreement, NOVA Chemicals Corporation, the leading producer of polyethylene, would supply mechanically recycled polyethylene to Amcor, a prominent global packaging solutions manufacturer.

  • February 2023: LyondellBasell and KIRKBI A/S signed an agreement for investing in APK, specialized in a solvent-based recycling technology for LDPE. By signing the agreement, LyondellBasell and KIRKBI A/S became the minority shareholders of APK.

  • April 2022: ExxonMobil launched Exceed S performance PE resins that offer stiffness and toughness properties while being easy to process. The new PE platform will help the company to offer lucrative opportunities to decrease the complexity of film designs and formulations while improving conversion efficiency, film performance, and packaging durability versus current market references.

  • August 2021: Braskem launched HD1954M, a high-density PE, which provides a combination of excellent impact strength, high rigidity, and Environmental Stress Cracking (ESCR), rendering packaging optimization and productivity gains. The launch will help the company to meet the demands from the agrochemical and chemical markets.

  • December 2020: INEOS acquired the remaining 50% interest in the Gemini HDPE joint venture from Sasol Chemicals. The acquisition increased the group’s interest in Gemini to 100%.

  • September 2020: INEOS Olefins & Polymers Europe announced the expansion of the Recycl-IN range of products. Through this partnership, INEOS Olefins & Polymers could develop high-performance polyethylene Recycl-IN resins, which meet the needs of converters, brand owners, and retailers in using more than 60% recycled plastics in demanding applications, such as stretch and lamination films, particularly used in flexible pouches for personal care product and detergents.

  • June 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 films in the Asia Pacific.


REPORT COVERAGE


An Infographic Representation of Polyethylene (PE) Market

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The research report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on crucial aspects such as leading companies, types, end-use industry, and products. Also, it provides quantitative data regarding volume and value, market analysis, research methodology for market data, and insights into industry trends. It highlights vital industry developments and competitive landscape. In addition, the report encompasses various factors that have contributed to the growth of the market in recent years.


Report Scope & Segmentation
















































ATTRIBUTE



DETAILS



Study Period



2019-2032



Base Year



2023



Estimated Year



2024



Forecast Period



2024-2032



Historical Period



2019-2022



Growth Rate 



CAGR of 4.1% from 2024 to 2032



Unit



Value (USD Billion); Volume (Million Ton)



Segmentation



By Type



  • High-density Polyethylene (HDPE)/ Medium-density Polyethylene (MDPE)

  • Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE)

  • Linear Low Density Polyethylene (LLDPE)



By End-use Industry



  • Packaging

  • Automotive

  • Infrastructure & Construction

  • Consumer Goods/Lifestyle

  • Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals

  • Electrical & Electronics

  • Agriculture

  • Others



By Geography



  • North America (By Type, By End-use Industry, By Country)


    • U.S.

    • Canada


  • Europe (By Type, By End-use Industry, By Country)


    • Germany

    • France

    • U.K.

    • Italy

    • Spain

    • Rest of Europe


  • Asia Pacific (By Type, By End-use Industry, By Country)


    • China

    • Japan

    • India 

    • South Korea

    • Southeast Asia 

    • Rest of Asia Pacific


  • Latin America (By Type, By End-use Industry, By Country)


    • Brazil

    • Mexico

    • Rest of Latin America


  • Middle East & Africa (By Type, By End-use Industry, By Country)


    • South Arabia

    • UAE

    • Egypt 

    • Rest of the Middle East & Africa







Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was valued at USD 110.23 billion in 2023 and is projected to reach USD 158.49 billion by 2032.

In 2023, the market value stood at USD 110.23 billion.

Registering a significant CAGR of 4.1%, the market will exhibit considerable growth in the forecast period (2024-2032).

The packaging segment is expected to lead the market during the forecast period.

Rising product demand from various end-use industries, including automotive and electrical & electronics, is expected to fuel the market growth.

China held the highest share in the market in 2023.

LyondellBasell Industries N.V., ExxonMobil Chemical, and China National Petroleum Corporation are the leading players in the market.

The rapid growth in the food & beverages industry and growing technological advancements are anticipated to boost the consumption of the product.

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