Polymer demand in 2008 in four key Central European countries - Poland, Hungary and the Czech and Slovak Republics - reached 4.28m tonnes, according to an estimate from AMI.
The UK research group has released a series of three updated databases of plastic processors in Central Europe. The directories provide information on 1,976 plastic processing sites in the four countries, all significant in the plastics market.
AMI estimates 2008 polymer demand in Poland, the largest Central European market, was 2.33m tonnes. Per capita consumption of 61 kg puts Poland well ahead of the average for Central and Eastern Europe of 45 kg per capita, but it still lags behind the average for Western Europe of 88 kg per capita.
Poland has approximately 1,700 companies involved in plastics processing, with about 70% of them listed in the AMI report. Since Poland joined the EU in 2004, demand has continued to advance at an average of 7% per year, it said.
The largest number of processors is in the injection moulding sector and it is estimated that 52% of all processors carry out injection moulding. The most important processing market in terms of volume of material consumed is film extrusion.
A separate AMI directory covers the plastic processing market in the Czech and Slovak Republics.
The average growth rate of Czech plastics market has been 7% in recent years. In 2007, polymer demand was almost 770,000 tonnes and was estimated by AMI to be 799,000 tonnes in 2008. Per capita consumption is just over 70 kg. It is estimated that there are more than 130 companies involved in thermoplastics processing in the Slovak Republic. Polymer demand has been growing on an average by 9% per year to 375,000 tonnes in 2007 and, according to AMI estimates, it reached 396,000 tonnes in 2008.
Hungary, the subject of the third of AMI`s reports, saw annual average GDP growth slow down in 2007 and was slower again in 2008, forecast to be only 2% for the year. For 2007 AMI said polymer demand growth was just over 5%, increasing volumes past 745,000 tonnes. Demand in 2008 edged up to 760,000 tonnes, AMI estimated.