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03-03-2008

AMI: Study on Europe’s Largest Technical Compounders

New research from Applied Market Information Ltd (AMI) has identified the 50 largest independent technical compounders in Europe. In its report, "Corporate Performance and Ownership among technical compounders – A Review of Europe’s 50 Largest Players", AMI identifies Ravago, Belgium, as the clear leader in the independent compounding sector (i.e. compounders not owned by polymer producers) with output more than 100,000 tonnes higher than the second largest producer MPB, Italy. This relates to compounds based on prime resin rather than recycled materials. As third ranks the German Polymer Chemie and the fourth place is held by A. Schulman, Germany.

More than 5.5 million tonnes of technical compounds were produced in 2007 and the leading companies profiled in this report are estimated by AMI to account for nearly a quarter of this output. The largest sector is colour compounds, which accounted for 2.2 million tonnes of the market in 2007.

The markets for compounded engineering and technical polyolefin materials are both of a similar size, at around 1.7 million tonnes each. In both cases these markets refer to materials, either polyolefins or engineering polymers, which have been filled or reinforced with glass fiber or minerals or modified with additives such as flame retardants, UV stabilizers etc.

Demand for these types of compounds has been growing strongly at around 5 % per year for the past five years driven largely by the continuing penetration of high performance plastics in automotive and appliance applications.

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