The pace of recovery has been uneven across plastic industry sectors since the second half of 2010. Production of plastics and plastics products grew until the beginning of 2011, but has slowed down since March 2011. On the other hand, demand for plastics machinery continues to grow in 2011.
The upward trend in plastics consumption in the electrical machinery industry and automotive sector continues. After months of decreasing demand for plastics in the construction industry in 2010, growth resumed at the beginning of 2011 and has now levelled out. Demand from the more stable food and beverages sector remained on a constant level.
Export of plastics has increased since the second half of 2010 and has reached its peak at the end of 2010.
Latest figures for plastics products show stabilising export quantities and increasing import quantities, hence the trade surplus is expected to decrease from 2010. Also recycled material is increasingly exported to the extent that European recyclers struggle to find feedstock.
After the strong growth in demand for both plastics and plastics products in the beginning of 2011, we now see signs of a reversing trend. Given the very uncertain economic outlook the situation for the rest of 2011 is very difficult to forecast.