All About Plastics: Ceresana Analyzes the European Plastics Market

Lightweight, versatile and individually shapeable: Plastics continue to be of triumphant success. They are still replacing more conventional materials such as aluminum, tin plate or glass. The market research institute Ceresana analyzes the European plastics market in its recent market study. The comprehensive report is the first to give a detailed overview of all significant plastics from standard products such as polyethylene, polypropylene or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) to engineering plastics such as ABS or fluoropolymers to bioplastics.

Market Study Plastics Europe

A Market Worth Billions

"In total, the European plastics market reached a volume of more than 53 million tonnes in 2014," says Oliver Kutsch, CEO of Ceresana. "Over the next eight years, we expect revenues to rise further at an average rate of 2.9% p.a. In 2022, they will amount to about EUR 104 billion." These figures do not include synthetic fibers, paints, adhesives.

Having a market share of almost 24%, Germany is the largest manufacturer of plastics in Europe. Belgium ranks second, followed by France, Russia, the Netherlands, and Spain. The most important application areas for plastics in 2014 were flexible packaging, rigid packaging and the construction industry. Those three areas are currently representing about 70% of the total demand for plastics in Europe. Other sales markets, however, are recording the highest growth rates of more than 2% p.a. These are transportation and the electrics and electronics industry.

Focus on Packaging and Construction Industry

Flexible packaging such as packaging films, bags and sacks as well as shrink and stretch films are mainly used for food packaging, but also as secondary and tertiary packaging, for example for transportation. These application areas are dominated by the polyethylene types LDPE and LLDPE that account for almost 53%, followed by polypropylene and the High Density Polyethylene (HDPE).

The amount of rigid packaging products such as cups, trays, bottles, boxes and lids completely made of plastics is rising more and more. In Europe, mainly PET is used in the manufacturing process, followed by polypropylene and HDPE. As the weight reduction of materials has reached its limits, more and more plastic bags are used in the area of beverages as an alternative to rigid packaging.

The sales market construction industry includes all plastic products for building construction and civil engineering, such as films, cables, tubes, profiles and coverings, sheets and pipes, dowels, screws, glazing, mounting elements, coatings, and membranes. In 2014, the largest demand in this area was recorded for PVC. The construction sector consumed more than 5.5 million tonnes of PVC. HDPE was in second place, followed by polystyrene and EPS.

The Study With 700 Pages in Brief:

Chapter 1 presents an analysis of the European market for plastics including the forecasts for the period up to 2022. The development of revenues, production, capacities and trade as well as the total demand split by product types and applications will be explained for 23 countries.
Chapter 2 analyzes the different application areas of plastics in detail, including flexible packaging, rigid packaging, construction industry, transportation, electrics and electronics, industrial products as well as other applications. Detailed information will be given for each country’s demand as well as the application of individual plastic types in the respective sales markets.
Chapter 3 depicts the different plastic types individually: polyethylene (LDPE, LLDPE and HDPE), polypropylene (PP), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polystyrene (PS), expandable polystyrene (EPS), polyurethane (PUR), polyamide (PA), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polycarbonate (PC), polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), polyoxymethylene (POM), SAN & PBT, and bioplastics. The revenues as well as the demand development will be analyzed for each application area and country.
Chapter 4 provides useful company profiles of the largest producers of plastics in Europe, clearly arranged according to contact details, turnover, profit, product range, production sites, capacities and profile summary. In-depth profiles of 116 producers are given, including BASF SE, Borealis AG, Bayer AG, Braskem S.A., DuPont (E.I.) De Nemours, ExxonMobil Corp., LyondellBasell Industries N.V., The Dow Chemical Company, Total S.A., SABIC, and Ineos Group, Ltd.

About Ceresana

Ceresana is a leading international market research and consultancy company for the industrial sector and operates branch offices in Constance, Vienna and Hong Kong. For more than 10 years, Ceresana has been supplying several thousand customers from 55 countries with up-to-date market intelligence. Extensive market knowledge creates new prospects for strategic and operational decisions.

Ceresana's clients profit from implementation-oriented consulting services, tailor-made single-client studies and more than 90 independent multi-client market studies.

Ceresana's analysts are experts in the following markets: Chemicals, plastics, additives, commodities, industrial components, consumer goods, packaging, agriculture, and construction materials.

Learn more about Ceresana at