Table of Contents
US demand to rise 4.8% annually through 2019
US demand for specialty films will grow 4.8 percent per year to $8.4 billion in 2019. Gains will be fueled by the rising need for high value, technologically advanced materials in the plastic film industry that provide characteristics such as barrier properties, controlled permeability, light control, and electrical conductivity or resistivity. A healthy outlook for the packaging industry, where the major of specialty films are used, will boost demand, as will a rebound in construction spending. In addition, advances will benefit from the development of new applications in degradable packaging and fuel cells, and robust growth in emerging markets such as advanced batteries.
Biodegradable & water soluble films to increase most rapidly
Barrier films accounted for 65 percent of specialty films demand in 2014. Through 2019, advances will be driven by growing barrier requirements in the packaging industry to better protect food, pharmaceuticals, and other products. The most rapid gains, however, will be found in biodegradable and water soluble films, as improved technology and consumer acceptance allow these films to penetrate new applications. Above average growth is also forecast for light control and safety/security films, fueled by a strong turnaround in building construction activity. Among the resins utilized in specialty films, polyolefins will continue to account for the majority of demand.
Fastest growth through 2019 is forecast for fluoropolymer films, polyester films, and smaller volume resins such as biodegradable plastics.
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