World-wide LLDPE capacity grows strongly

Nov 21, 1996 01:00 AM

World-wide linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) capacity is estimated to reach 22 mmtpy in 2000, growing more than 11%/year from 1990. This compared with growth rates of 4.4.% for high-density PE (HDPE) and only 1.7% for low-density PE (LDPE). LLDPE capacity was already the largest of all PE types by 1987 in Middle East/Africa and by 1989 in North America, says MBS. It will become the largest grade in capacity this year in the Pacific, excluding Japan, and by next year in Central and South America. US PE prices have been stable in second-half 1996, but they are lower in Europe and Asia. One of the main attractions of LLDPE is flexibility. Future plants will be swing capacity to make LLDPE or HDPE, depending on market conditions. About 16.5% of current capacity is swing. Most of it uses gas-phase technology.

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