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Russia: Improvement in polymers market expected in 2010

Prospects for the Russian polymers market have improved considerably since the start of last year but consumption levels for 2010 are expected to remain below 2008 levels. Demand from the automotive industry and other customer sectors declined severely as a result of the global economic downturn last year, although there were gradual signs of improvement in the second half of the year, says Andrew Sparshott, Russian and central and eastern Europe petrochemical specialist at UK consultancy Cirec (www.cirec.net).

Further stability is expected this year, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has predicted that Russian GDP will grow by 3.6% in 2010 following a 9% drop in 2009. Based on the IMF forecast, plastic resins consumption could rise by up to 5% this year, Sparshott suggests.

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