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05-11-2011

AMI: Series of Reports on Compounders

The effects of the global recession on the thermoplastics compounding industry around the world is documented in a series of reports just published by plastics industry consultants, Applied Market Information Ltd. (AMI), Bristol, U.K.. While the industry continues to surge ahead in Asia and Latin America, the European market has been through a period of shrinking demand that has seen compounders reorganize their operations.

A 5% drop in the number of compounders listed in AMI’s guide to the thermoplastics compounding industry in Europe illustrates some of the effects of the recession on compounders in Europe. With the market having shrunk by 1 million t between 2006 and 2009 it is perhaps surprising that the decline in numbers was not even greater. According to AMI production of compounds recovered in 2010 and amounted to nearly 7.6 million t.

Asia presents a different picture in terms of how the global recession affected the industry. In the previous edition of AMI’s guide to the thermoplastic compounding industry in Asia published just before the downturn, 841 sites were listed. For the new edition just out, nearly 25% more compounding sites (over 1,000) are listed. While market growth in Asia stuttered as the financial crisis hit in 2008, the industry continued to expand through 2009, albeit modestly but grew very strongly during 2010. Output of compounds is believed to have been close to 11 million t for 2010.

Compounding demand has also been growing strongly in Latin America, which is the latest world region to get the AMI treatment with a brand new report just out: AMI’s guide to the thermoplastics compounding industry in South America. This shows that demand in 2010 grew by nearly 7% for the 100 plus companies listed. However, the size of the industry is much smaller compared to Europe and Asia at just over 1.2 million t of production for 2010.

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