«Polyethylene. Polypropylene 2019»: 16th International Conference
SubjectThe crisis in the Russian plastics industry is in its fifth year now. The forecasts are very different, but the experts unanimously agree that there will not be a quick recovery. Nevertheless, the launch of new capacities may trigger the growth of plastics converting which is a source for certain optimism among the industry players.
The development of polyolefin market largely depends on the volume of local consumption. The plastic producer’s willingness to improve the quality of the feedstock and to expand the grade assortment is also extremely important. 2017 had something to offer in this regard: the feedstock suppliers kept plastics converters actively engaged, and were working on the portfolio of their products; the new grades were introduced, able to compete and to replace the imported analogues.
PE and PP packaging continue to be a steady driver for the development of the plastics industry. The segment remains lucrative as long as Russia’s embargo on food is in place. In addition, the launch of large-scale petrochemical plants will increase demand for industrial packaging multi-fold. The negative trends also exist, related to environmental issues. Unexpected changes in regulation and prohibitions may harm producers of PE bags.
Producers of PE pipelines faced a decline in demand for their products, while the main consumption drivers are large-scale infrastructure projects where only major companies can participate. However, the PP pipes market demonstrates growth. A commitment of PP producers to the grades that are needed by local converters and lower imports of finished pipe products helped the ‘made in Russia’ PP pipes increase their market share.
In cable production and automotive, consumers are ready to cooperate with local component producers, and this is where the demand will probably grow for cable compositions and automotive components produced in Russia.
As in previous years, the pricing issues, the shortage of speciality chemicals and locally produced additives are the topics that require special attention. Provided that the government and regulatory bodies suggest adequate support measures and that the dialogue between all stakeholders is constructive, the plastics industry can find the right development vector and overcome the crisis.
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