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Polyethylene Market

Polyethylene Market: Information by Grade (Low-Density Polyethylene, High-Density Polyethylene), End-User (Packaging, Consumer Goods), Process, and Region — Forecast till 2030

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Market Overview

The global polyethylene market size was valued at USD 103.5 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow to a value of USD 136.23 billion by 2030, registering a CAGR of 3.1%.

Polyethylene is the world’s most-used plastic, derived from natural gas and crude oil. The plastic is extensively used by several processing industries such as automotive, pharmaceutical, packaging, and electronics. It is considered as a potential source of high-strength and chemical resistant material with flexibility, low moisture absorption ability, and waterproof.  

As recorded by Plastics Europe, the global plastic production increased from 348 million tons to 360 million tons in 2018, of which polyethylene accounted for about 80 million tons. The development of abrasion resistant plastic and its applications in bulletproof vests and artificial joints drives the market growth.  New international trade pacts such as the ASEAN Federation of Plastics Industries (AFPI), Philippines Plastics Industry Association (PPIA), the Thai Plastic Industries Association (TPIA), provides impetus to the market growth.

Market Snapshot

market snapshot
Base Year
: 2021
Study Period
: 2020-2030
: 3.1 %
Fastest Growing Market
: North America
Largest Market
: Asia Pacific
Market Size
: 136.23 billion
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Market Dynamics

Smart Packaging to Drive the Demand for Polyethylene 

Changing consumer preference is surging the demand for on-the-go and safe packaged food across the globe. Polyethylene has gained traction in smart packaging due to its durability, flexibility, and sustainability. It is widely used in manufacturing films for food packaging (frozen, dry goods, etc.) as moisture scavenger, antimicrobial, odour removal, and temperature control.

Use-of-Smart-PackagingLeading market players are adopting aggressive strategies to gain a competitive edge in the international markets and enhance their product portfolio. In June 2019, Amcor — one of the leading producers of packaging for food, beverage, pharmaceutical, medical, home- and personal-care — acquired Bemis Company Inc. to strengthen the company’s market position.

Rising Adoption of Electric Vehicle to Drive the Market

Stringent government regulation guarding the automotive industry has compelled the manufacturers to shift towards electric and hybrid vehicles to curb CO2 emissions. Polyethylene exhibits properties such as high impact resilience, low-density, and solid durability making it ideal for the manufacturing of glass-reinforce car bodies and electrical insulation. The market has been witnessing a significant surge in the demand for lightweight components and auto-parts, especially for electric vehicles. In 2018, around 3.29 million electric vehicles were sold across the globe. Thus, polyethylene is a cost-effective solution for OEMs.

Electric-Car-DeploymentGreen Polyethylene: An Eco-Friendly Approach

Leading market players are channelizing efforts to reduce their carbon footprint. Recently, Braskem, one of the leading polyethylene producers, invested about USD 290 million in the green-ethylene plant. The plant is equipped with advanced technologies that have the potential to produce polyethylene from sugarcane extracts. Today, recyclable polyethylene plastic is extensively used in the end-user industries over conventional polyethylene, further driving the market growth.

Segmental Analysis

Low-Density Polyethylene Segment to Hold the Highest Market Share 

The low-density polyethylene segment is projected to hold the highest market share during the forecast period. They are extensively used in a wide range of products, which include blown and cast film, extrusion and coating, and rotational and injection molding. Additionally, they are commonly used in manufacturing containers, dispensing bottles, tubing, plastic bags for computer components, and various molded laboratory equipment.

High Tensile Strength to Drive the Demand for High-Density Polyethylene

High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is widely used in ropes, fishing and sports nets, industrial, and decorative fabrics for its high tensile strength. In 2016, Asia and North America were the leading producers of high-density polyethylene. As per the Plastic Insight, they held about 36% and 20% share in the global production capacity of polyethylene, respectively, further driving the segment growth.

Rapidly Expanding Electronics Industry to Provide Impetus to the Market Growth

Semiconductors and microchips are used in every electronic device. In the last few years, the global market has been experiencing a significant surge in demand for semiconductors in the B2B market. As stated by the Semiconductor Industry Association, the global semiconductor sales were valued at around USD 468,800 million in 2018, which was USD 360,000 million in 2017.  

Novel Use of Polyethylene in the Pharmaceutical Sector

Globally, the prevalence of chronic diseases has been increasing at a concerning rate. This is further increasing the number of surgeries and the adoption of advanced medical devices across the globe. As per the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), in 2017, North America accounted for about 48.1% of the world’s pharmaceutical sales. The rising demand for pharma products is surging the use of high-density polyethylene for the manufacturing of containers as it possesses transparency and clarity, stiffness, and moisture vapor transmission properties. The below graph depicts the pharmaceutical spending of consumers of the G-7 countries, 2018.


Changing lifestyle and rising pharmaceutical spending is surging the demand for dietary supplements and nutrients across the globe. 

Regional Analysis

Government Initiatives to Drive Asia-Pacific’s Polyethylene Market

Asia-Pacific dominates the polyethylene market and will continue the same during the forecast period. Asia accounted for about 37% of shares in the global polyethylene production, of which China held around 16.2%. China, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Thailand are at the forefront in terms of industrialization due to rising FDIs in the industrial sector.  Countries like Myanmar, Cambodia, and the Philippines are offering lucrative opportunities for market growth due to economic liberalization and development, further rising the inflow of FDI in the countries.

Vietnam’s plastic industry is growing at an exponential rate. As per the Vietnam Plastics Association (VPA), the plastic industry is one of the fastest-growing industries, sustaining at an average annual growth rate of 16–18%. Additionally, the increasing the population in Vietnam is bolstering the market growth.

In Indonesia, favorable government regulations are driving the country’s plastic industry. Indonesia is projected to be the world’s seventh-largest economy by 2030. As per the Indonesian Packaging Association, food packaging accounts for about 70% of the plastic consumption, further driving the market growth.

Polyethylene Market Regional Analysis
Regional Growth Insights Download Free Sample

Top Key Players of Polyethylene Market

  1. Eni S.p.A.
  2. Lone Star Chemical
  3. The Dow Chemical Co.
  4. BASF SE
  5. Braskem
  6. Chevron Phillips Chemical Co.
  7. Formosa Plastics
  8. Huntsman
  9. Ineos Olefins & Polymers
  10. LyondellBasell
  11. Reliance Industries
  12. SABIC
  13. LG Chem

Report Scope

Report Metric Details
CAGR 3.1%
Forecast Period 2023-2031
Report Coverage Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends
Segments Covered
  1. By Grade
    1. Low-density polyethylene (LDPE)
    2. High-density polyethylene (HDPE)
    3. Linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE)
  2. By End-User
    1. Packaging
    2. Consumer goods
    3. Automotive
    4. Building & construction
    5. Healthcare
    6. Electronics
  3. By Process
    1. Film
    2. Extrusion
    3. Blow molding
    4. Injection molding
Geographies Covered
  • North America
  • Europe
  • APAC
  • Middle East and Africa

Polyethylene Market Segmentation

By Grade

  • Low-density polyethylene (LDPE)
  • High-density polyethylene (HDPE)
  • Linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE)

By End-User

  • Packaging
  • Consumer goods
  • Automotive
  • Building & construction
  • Healthcare
  • Electronics

By Process

  • Film
  • Extrusion
  • Blow molding
  • Injection molding

By Region

  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia-Pacific
  • South America
  • Middle-East
  • Africa
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