The European plastics and rubber industry is ranked 2nd behind China and ahead of the United States and Canada. European federations such as PlasticsEurope are implementing strategies to remain competitive to deal with Asia’s surging demand.
Record global output – on a global level, the plastics and rubber industries chalked up record output levels in 2013. The 2014 PlasticsEurope report claims that output of plastic rose by 4% year-on-year to almost 300 million tonnes in 2013, with particularly outstanding growth in thermoplastics segment. Likewise the French Rubber and Polymers Industry Association (SNCP) in its 2014 “Intelligence caoutchouc” update noted that in 2013 a new global record was set for rubber production (27 million tonnes) and consumption.
Europe runner-up to China – the main beneficiary of this upturn is Asia, which is currently on track to produce a quarter of the world’s plastic. PlasticsEurope’s figures demonstrate that Asia established a clear lead in global plastics production in 2013 with a 46% share (25% of which in China). Europe, with 5 major producer countries – Germany, Italy, France, UK and Spain – came next (with 20%), followed by the North American NAFTA countries (with 19%). The same applies to rubber where the European industry with 4 leading countries (Germany, France, Spain and Italy) is number two in the global rankings behind Asia, but this time ahead of the United States and Canada. This highlights the expedience of finding partners in China for both these sectors. Look at the Europages map of search flows from China in these sectors.
A manifesto for the 60 000 European plastics companies – the European plastics industry has a significant role to play in Europe’s economy, for it employs 1.45 million people working in 60 000 companies (primarily SMEs) that had a combine turnover of 320 billion euros in 2013. PlasticsEurope has published a Manifesto in which the association makes a spirited appeal to its members to innovate and supply high value-added products so that they remain competitive and cope with the surging Asian demand.