World Analysis – Polyethylene

  • Market Overview
  • Key Benefits
  • Service Features
  • Annual Table of Contents

Market Overview

Duration: Long-term outlook to 2050

There are three basic polyethylene’s: low-density polyethylene (LDPE), linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), and high-density polyethylene (HDPE). Polyethylene’s are classified according to their density and molecular structure. Their three key attributes are melt index, density, and co-monomer. All polyethylene is produced in one of four basic reactor processes: high pressure, solution, slurry, and gas phase. When combined with specific catalysts and co-monomers, these reactor processes generate products with specific density and properties. The main feedstock material needed is ethylene along with a comonomer. Like other polymers, PE competes against other materials, such as aluminum, steel, wood, cardboard, and glass. Capital investments generally are concentrated in regions with feedstock cost advantage or high demand growth, such as the Middle East, North America, and Asia Pacific, particularly in mainland China.

LDPE is widely used in applications requiring clarity, inertness, processing ease, sealability, moisture barriers, and good electrical properties. Examples of its applications are garment film, Tupperware, shrink wrap, produce bags, tubing and cable, and agricultural films. When compared with LDPE, LLDPE resins exhibit significantly improved stiffness, tensile, and impact properties, as well as better low- and high- temperature characteristics. However, LLDPE does not have LDPE’s clarity or ease of processing. Examples of LLDPE applications include consumer trash bags, stretch film, ice bags, injection molded lids, and drip irrigation tubing. HDPE is characterized by a wax-like feel, flexibility, chemical inertness, good stress crack resistance, and a relatively high softening temperature. HDPE applications are found in bottles (e.g. milk bottles), pipe, buckets, grocery (t-shirt) bags, and waste site liners.

Key Benefits

Duration: Long-term outlook to 2050

The World Analysis – Polyethylene provides a comprehensive analysis and key insights of critical market developments as they shape the future outlook for the global polyethylene market.

The following reports, data files, analytical tools and visualization modules are available online and can be downloaded from our website:

  • Direct Access to the Subject Matter Experts
  • In-depth exploration of present market strategic insights, recognition of key challenges, and presentation of our experts’ forecasts and analysis
  • Explanatory Notes detailing data sources, methodologies, unit and conversion factors, and World Analysis deliverables.
  • Energy and Economy assumptions
  • Price, cost and margin base assumptions forecast and sensitivities analysis, including price assessment methodology, including price definitions across all regions.
  • Excel data files with standard supply/demand graphics and price forecasts extended to 2050, trade grids with country and regional trade flows Data appendix (Excel) with supply/demand, capacity and trade tables.
  • An online dashboard visualization of capacity, supply/demand, trade grids, and price, cost and margin forecasts
  • Supply/demand and capacity database access via data browser
  • Data Appendix (Excel) with supply/demand and capacity tables
  • Capacity by company/shareholder, capacity integration, top producer/consumer and surplus/deficit capacity ranking, and ownership/subsidiary information

This World Analysis contains detailed information on capacities, production, demand, and trade for all significant producing and consuming countries and regions. Although data gathering is essential for understanding history and potential future trends, we believe that the interpretation and analysis of the data is the most valuable information to our clients.

Service Features

Duration: Long-term outlook to 2050


Frequency: Bi-annual
Format: Excel
Timeframe: 10-year forecasts available from periods 1990 – 2050
Area Coverage: By country/region; include “hypothetical” capacity changes in the forecast period
Chemical Coverage: High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE), Linear Low Density, Polyethylene (LLDPE), Total Polyethylene


Frequency: Updated daily
Format: Excel
Timeframe: 10-year forecasts available from periods 1990 – 2050

  • Nameplate capacity on individual plant location by producer and by the shareholder for main study products + essential derivatives
  • Integration table and top producer and consumer ranking tables (includes net surplus/deficit)
Chemical Coverage: High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE), Linear Low Density, Polyethylene (LLDPE)


Frequency: Quarterly
Format: Excel
Timeframe: up to 2050
Area Coverage: For the key regions of North America (US), Europe & Asia
Chemical Coverage: High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE), Linear Low Density, Polyethylene (LLDPE)


Frequency: Bi-annual
Format: Excel
Timeframe: 1 year of history, up to 10 years of forecast
Area Coverage: Between partner countries and by region
Chemical Coverage: High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE), Linear Low Density, Polyethylene (LLDPE)


Frequency: Annual
Format: PDF/HTML
Timeframe: 5-year history, forecast to 2050
Coverage: Regional market summaries

  • Production economics/snapshots for selected regions/processes
  • Production process/technology overview
Chemical Coverage: High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE), Linear Low Density, Polyethylene (LLDPE), Polyethylene


  • Access to our global team of subject matter experts
  • Interactive data visualization module (dashboard)
  • Standard supply/demand graphs
  • Data appendix with supply/demand and capacity tables
  • Supply/demand and capacity database access via data browser

Annual Table of Contents

  • Introduction 5
  • Executive Overview 6
  • Strategic Insights 12
  • Strategic Insights 12
  • Economic Forecast Update 13
  • Weaker economic conditions reinforce impact of global capacity wave 14 China’s significance as global demand driver will lessen over the longer term; in the short term, eCommerce and government infrastructure spending will support PE demand 16
  • Sustainability and recycling initiatives are regaining widespread support 17
  • International sanctions on Russia are redirecting trade flows; longer term, capacity additions and demand growth will determine trade volumes and flows 19
  • North America 21
  • South America 28
  • West Europe 34
  • Central Europe 41
  • CIS and Baltic States 46
  • Africa 52
  • Middle East 58
  • Indian Subcontinent 64
  • Mainland China 69
  • Other Northeast Asia 74
  • Southeast Asia 79
  • Production Process Overview 85
  • Polyethylene 85
  • LDPE 85
  • LLDPE 86
  • HDPE 87
  • Production Process Economics 89
  • Explanatory Notes 89
  • LDPE Production Economics 90
  • LLDPE Production Economics 92
  • HDPE Production Economics 95
  • Price Forecast 98
  • Methodology 98
  • North America 99
  • West Europe 102
  • Asia 104
  • Price Forecast Tables 107
  • Supply/Demand Forecast Methodology 110

Market Coverage

Extrusion Coating

Film & Sheet

Injection Molding

Pipe & Profile

Alan Wei

Alan Wei Executive Director, China Polyolefins Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Alan Wei is the Executive Director for China Polyolefins at Chemical Market Analytics. Alan is a result-oriented professional with more than 16 years of experience in Sales & Marketing, Technology, and Product Development, and, finally, assuming the role of analyzing and researching the fundamentals of Supply and Demand for the China Polyolefins market. Proven track record as a versatile Senior manager with demonstrated ability to drive the achievement of results in challenging market environments. In China, he works closely with key partners across the value chain of the petrochemical industry, keeping track of industry evolution and offering insightful studies. His current focus includes overseeing the ‘China Polyolefins Mandarin Report’ and the newly initiated ‘China Polyolefins English bi-weekly Report’ to serve English-speaking audiences globally. Strength in connecting with customers & relationship management with key decision makers, grasping end-use demand commercially and technically. He worked for several top global suppliers and distributors previously. Mr. Wei has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering from East China University of Science and Technology.
Joel Morales

Joel Morales Vice President, Polyolefins Americas Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Joel Morales is the Vice President of Polyolefins Americas at Chemical Market Analytics. Joel joined the company in March 2013 to cover Polyethylene (PE) and Polypropylene (PP) in North America. He began his career in 1999 with polyolefins manufacturer Solvay Polymers, which later became Ineos, in technical services and product development before he moved into field sales. After five years at Solvay Polymers, Joel moved into resin distribution sales for both Muehlstein and then United Polychem as a Product Manager, where he managed and sold polyethylene and polypropylene resins into various customer segments. In his most recent role before joining Chemical Market Analytics (CMA), Joel was a purchasing manager for Silgan Plastics, a major blow-molding and injection molding plastics converter. He has brought a wealth of industry knowledge to Chemical Market Analytics through multiple stints along the plastics value chain. Joel works closely within the Americas with resin producers, converters, and third parties covering the polyolefin markets. Joel speaks regularly around the world as a polyolefin market expert. He is the service leader of three market advisory subscription services: The Global Plastics and Polymers Report, the North American PE Report and the North American PP Report. Joel graduated from The Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and a minor in psychology. — —  
JP Nah

JP Nah Director, Asia Polyolefins Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

JP Nah is the Director of Asia Polyolefins at Chemical Market Analytics. JP Nah brings over two decades of unparalleled expertise in the polyolefins industry to Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS, a Dow Jones company, where he serves as the Director of Polyolefins – Asia at the Singapore office. With a robust background spanning various facets of polyolefins, JP Nah offers invaluable insights into the intricate dynamics of the Asian market. In his role, JP Nah covers the oversight of the Plastics and Polymers Market Report for both the Global and Asian markets, focusing on Polyethylene (PE) and Polypropylene (PP) in the Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia regions (excluding mainland China). His contributions enrich Chemical Market Analytics’s advisory publications while supporting diverse business advisory initiatives across Asia. Before his tenure at Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS, JP Nah held pivotal positions in several prominent plastic-related enterprises in Southeast Asia. As Deputy General Manager at Idemitsu Chemical Southeast Asia since 1993, he steered business operations for Polyolefin and Polystyrene across the Asia region. His responsibilities included consistently orchestrating sales strategies to meet and surpass annual targets, pioneering new product development initiatives, and furnishing critical marketing intelligence. JP Nah's academic credentials include a Graduate Diploma in Business Studies from The University of Hull (1995) and a Diploma in Chemical Process Technology (majoring in Polymer) from Singapore Polytechnic (1981). His educational foundation and extensive professional experience underscore his prowess as a leading authority in the polyolefins domain.
Kaushik Mitra

Kaushik Mitra Executive Director, Europe Plastics & Polymers Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Kaushik Mitra is the Executive Director of Polyolefin for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa at Chemical Market Analytics. Kaushik Mitra is the Executive Director of Polyolefin for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He steers the Polyolefin Insight and Research practice for Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS, A Dow Jones Company. Kaushik is a key resource within the business for understanding and insight into the olefins sector of the petrochemical industry. He was pivotal in conceptualizing, developing and executing the Chemical Market Analytics’ Circular Plastics studies. Within the EMEA region, Kaushik works closely with the value chain comprising Polymer producers, Brand owners, Converters, Distributors, & Resellers, providing support and guidance throughout the Polyolefins value chain. Kaushik’s current area of focus includes the European Plastics & Polymers Report, providing critical IP for EMEA and input and insight for the World Polyethylene Analyses. Kaushik gained diverse career experience working at top Global companies, steering business management, market development, market intelligence and strategy functions in leadership roles. His interests are in pricing, strategy and market intelligence. He joined Chemical Market Analytics in 2016 with over 26 years of experience in petrochemicals. Previously, with petrochemicals giant SABIC, Kaushik led the global business strategy team for the polymers business, shaping long-term ambitions regarding growth, business improvement, innovation and pricing. Kaushik was instrumental in designing and executing growth and differentiation strategies and played a key role in M&A and benchmarking. Kaushik holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the Indian Institute of Engineering Science & Technology and an MBA in marketing from the Indian Institute of Management.  
Nick Vafiadis

Nick Vafiadis Vice President, Global Plastics & Polymers Team Lead Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Nick Vafiadis is the Vice President of the Plastics & Polymers business at Chemical Market Analytics. 34 years, including critical roles in sales, sales management, product management, and business line management in the plastics, surfactants, and consulting industries. Nick is a 30+ year chemical and plastics industry veteran and manages Chemical Market Analytics' global plastics practice. Nick’s daily responsibilities include analysis, consulting, and reporting on the global polyolefins market and managing global operations associated with producing and developing various plastics reports. Concurrently, he contributes to single-client projects and studies related to the polyolefins industry. In his earlier assignments, he was responsible for consulting duties associated with the Chlor-alkali and vinyl product chain. He has contributed to the Monomers Market Report, the Chlor-Alkali Market Report, and the Global Plastics & Polymers Market Report. He has been with Chemical Market Analytics and its predecessor companies since 2002. Before 2002, he spent twelve years with Vista Chemical Company, where he held assignments in marketing, product management, and sales management in the vinyl and surfactant business areas. Mr. Vafiadis holds a Management BBA from The University of Texas at Austin, United States.
Utpal Sheth

Utpal Sheth Vice President, APAC Plastics & Polymers Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Utpal Sheth is the Vice President of APAC Plastics & Polymers at Chemical Market Analytics Utpal joined the Dubai office of CMAI (now Chemical Market Analytics) in October 2007 to cover the plastics (PE, PP, PVC) market in the Middle East and Indian Subcontinent. He moved to Singapore in 2014 and is currently the service leader of three market advisory subscription services: The Global Plastics and Polymers Report – Asia, Middle East and India, the Asia PE Report, and the Asia PP Report. He has brought a wealth of industry knowledge to Chemical Market Analytics through multiple stints along the plastics value chain. He supports the Circular Plastics Service of Chemical Market Analytics, which provides deep insights into the rapidly evolving sustainability issues in the Plastics Business. He also contributes to Consulting Studies and Long-Term Supply, Demand & Price Outlook for the Asian markets. Utpal began his career at Reliance Industries in India’s Sales and Marketing Division. He started as a field sales executive and was the Regional Head of Polyethylene Business when he left after 12 years. Subsequently, he moved to Dubai to lead the region's Polyethylene Sales Team of Qatar Petrochemicals. Utpal graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (specialization in Plastics) and a Master of Business Administration (specialization in Marketing).

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