The number of molders in the Benelux region (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg) has dropped by 4% from three years ago. A new survey from Applied Marketing Information (AMI) counts 369 molders now, compared with 383 in 2001. Separating the countries a bit, AMI finds a decline of 19 molders in the Netherlands, while Belgium actually increased from 147 to 150. AMI says the reasons for the overall decline within the Benelux include consolidation, plus some companies have closed molding plants and are moving the work to lower cost Central European locations. There has been a decline in startups as well.
However, molding is still significant in the Benelux, with 750,000 metric tons of resin molded there in 2003. Packaging is the dominant market, accounting for nearly a quarter of all resin, followed by the markets for household (16%) and electrical (11%) goods. AMI forecasts the market to grow at about 2% per annum, slightly ahead of projected GDP growth in the region. The full report, AMI’s Guide to the Injection Molding Industry in the Benelux ($280), is available at www.amiplastics.com.