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Karen Laird

April 13, 2016

2 Min Read
New directory projects European compounding industry growth will pull ahead of polymer demand

Applied Market Information, a UK-based market research company specialized in the plastics industry, has released a new directory offering an up-to-date overview of the masterbatch and compounding industries in Europe.

According to this report, these industries are both looking strong, with as main drivers in recent years for the compounding market the growth in technical polyolefin and engineering compounds replacing metals and other traditional materials in automotive and electrical applications. The masterbatch industry has profited from the increasing use of masterbatches, that are fast replacing the traditional color compounds used in packaging and household goods applications.

These factors are also expected to drive growth into the future: the directory forecasts that the industry will develop slightly ahead of general economic and polymer market trends. In particular, the European masterbatch market is projected to record growth slightly ahead of polymer demand overall, at 2%/year to 2019, resulting in production of around 1.2 million metric tons.

 As may be expected the distribution of compound production across Europe follows the pattern of polymer demand with Germany having the largest market share. The only exception is the Benelux region, which has a reasonably large volume of production in comparison with the overall size of its polymer market, mainly because many major polymer producers and large masterbatch and additive groups, such as Clariant, Cabot and Ampacet, have production facilities in the region.

 The leading integrated compounders (by volume) of polyolefins, stryrenics and engineering polymers are all resin producers, and it is expected that the market share of the integrated compounders will grow in all sectors. The leading companies all produce in excess of 100,000 metric tons of compounds per year and include LyondellBasell, Borealis and Sabic in PP compounds, Ineos Polyolefins and Total in polyolefin compounds, Styrolution in styrenics, Sabic Innovative Plastics in engineering resin compounds.

Germany and Benelux have the largest volume of compound and masterbatch production reflecting the importance of polymer production in these countries.

AMI's Directory of Compounders and Masterbatch Producers in Europe lists 700 sites producing compounds and masterbatch; 65 are new sites, which have been added since the 2014 edition of this directory. Available as a database and in book format, the report provides address and contact information, parent company, polymers compounded, compounds and masterbatches produced (color, glass-filled, mineral-filled, etc.) and technology used (twin screw).

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