European polymer demand could pick up again in 2014

Polymer demand growth in Europe for 2013 is expected to be static compared with 2012, according to Applied Market Information Ltd., which has just published its 2013 European Plastics Industry Report. AMI calculates that the market for thermoplastics in Europe is currently 36.5 million tonnes, a volume that is still nearly 4 million tonnes less than the peak it hit in 2007.

Although during 2010 and into 2011 the industry made a modest recovery from the devastating effects of the global downturn of 2008 and 2009, by the last quarter of 2011 the recovery was beginning to run out of steam in the face of the looming eurozone crisis. Although the drop in demand over 2012 and 2013 has been far less severe than in 2008-2009 - polymer producers and processors alike have been more savvy about managing their inventories and have not got caught out as they did in 2008 - the decline in government spending, manufacturing and consumer confidence still resulted in an overall contraction of polymer demand of just over 1% in 2012, the report stated....

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