Linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) is one of the most widely used types of standard plastics. Other varieties of polyethylene, especially LDPE and HDPE, are sometimes easier to process; however, LLDPE is more flexible and has a higher resistance against tearing, shocks, and punctures. These special properties are the result of the manufacturing process: copolymerization with alkenes at low temperatures and low pressure results in polymer chains with short branches only.
Ceresana releases its third comprehensive report on the global market for linear low-density polyethylene.
Bags for China
LLDPE films can be produced with reduced thickness, therefore saving considerable amounts of materials. Carrier bags, pouches, packaging materials, and agricultural covering films can be made of LLDPE, among others. The present study expects average growth of approx. 4.1% per year in the global demand for LLDPE until 2026. With a share of 51% of global demand volumes, the region Asia-Pacific is by far the largest consumer of LLDPE.
Packaging Films are Main Application
The most important sales market for LLDPE in 2018 was the application area “packaging films” with demand of 11.46 million tonnes, followed by bags and sacks. The entire packaging market, including rigid packaging, currently amounts to around 70% of total demand. However, more and more polyethylene of this type is used for other applications: the demand for LLDPE for the production of vehicles, toys, electronic and electrical devices, household appliances, medical technology, as well as mechanical and plant engineering will presumably achieve the highest percentage increases until 2026 with rates of 3.0% per year.
Processing by Means of Extrusion Dominates Market
The most important processing method for LLDPE is extrusion. More than 24.3 million tonnes of LDPE were processed around the globe in 2018 by means of film extrusion alone. Analysts at Ceresana expect that the global extrusion of pipes, profiles, and cables will achieve the highest growth during the next eight years with rates of 3.1% per year.