High density polyethylene (HDPE) is a major polyethylene product consumed globally. These products are used in a broad range of applications across the globe. Commercially available high density polyethylene products include blow molding, pipe and extrusion, film and sheet, injection molding, and others. In terms of volume, blow molding accounted for the largest share of over 28% of the high density polyethylene market in 2014. Film and sheet was the second-largest product segment of the high density polyethylene market followed by pipe and extrusion in 2014. The high density polyethylene market exhibits high degree of backward integration, as major producers are engaged in upstream activities. This backward integration provides market players with distinct competitive advantage in terms of steady raw material supply.
Demand for high density polyethylene is primarily fueled by growth in plastic packaging, agriculture films and pipes industries globally. Rise in demand for plastic packaging, especially in Asia Pacific, has boosted demand for high density polyethylene in the region. High density polyethylene is extensively used in rigid and flexible packaging applications. Rigid packaging applications of high density polyethylene include containers, bottles, bins, etc. High density polyethylene is extensively used across the globe in milk packaging as well as automotive products, household chemicals and industrial chemicals. High density polyethylene films finds usage as carryout bags in retail and grocery purchases, cereal box liners, etc. Furthermore, growing usage of plastic packaging particularly in Asia Pacific is likely to increase demand for high density polyethylene in the next few years.
Packaging was the largest end-user of high density polyethylene followed by agriculture and building and construction. High density polyethylene is widely used in the packaging industry as a material of choice for packaging, food, chemicals, detergents, etc. High density polyethylene is extensively used in packaging food products due to its strong chemical resistance and high moisture-resistant properties. High density polyethylene meets the U.S. FDA standards imperative for food packaging. Additionally, growth in the agriculture industry, especially in Asia Pacific, is projected to be one of the key factors driving the high density polyethylene market during the forecast period.
Asia Pacific and Europe were major markets for high density polyethylene in 2014. Asia Pacific was the largest regional market for high density polyethylene in 2014 with over 40% share of total consumption. Leading manufacturers of high density polyethylene focus on capacity expansion in Asia Pacific in order to cater to rising demand for high density polyethylene across the globe. Recent growth in the agriculture and packaging industries is a major factor that is anticipated to fuel demand for high density polyethylene in the region. Moreover, growth in the construction activities in countries such as China, India, Indonesia, etc. The growth in the building and construction industry in this region is expected to further augment the demand for HDPE over the next few years. Moreover, high density polyethylene pipes are also employed in the oil and gas industry across the globe. Thus, growth in the global packaging, agriculture and building and construction industries in emerging as well as developed economies is likely to boost demand for high density polyethylene in the next few years.
Recently, there has been growing impetus towards customer retention and providing quality products. New market opportunities are available for high density polyethylene products, particularly in Asia Pacific. Thus, companies are keen to establish themselves in the market. Key players operating in the high density polyethylene market include Chevron Phillips Chemical Company, Exxon Mobil Industries, LyondellBasell Industries N.V., INEOS Olefins and Polymers, and The Dow Chemical Company.