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Polystyrene, EPS Markets Expect Growth

Demand for polystyrene, an easily processed thermoplastic resin, and expandable polystyrene (EPS) is rising within developing countries such as China, India, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Brazil, according to Global Business Intelligence Research. Asian consumption of all types of polystyrene is forecast to increase at an average annual rate of slightly over three percent during 2010-2015, while North American demand is expected to decrease 0.5 percent and Western Europe will show only modest growth of 1.6 percent over the next five years.

In the forecast period 2010-2020, the global demand for polystyrene and EPS is expected to grow at a Compounded Annual Growth rate of 4.7 percent, increasing the overall demand for polystyrene and EPS to 23.5 million metric tons by 2020. The fast-growing economy of China has the Asia-Pacific region poised to achieve 62.8 percent of the global demand share by 2020, according to research. With growth in the developing countries of Iran and Saudi Arabia, the Middle East also is expected to retain its demand share of 1.7 percent by 2020. The comparatively lower demand from the other regions is expected to continue.

Packaging has been the dominant end-use sector for both polystyrene and EPS globally. The packaging industry consumed 41.5 percent of global polystyrene demand and 47.9 percent of global EPS demand in 2010. The construction industry accounted for 47.8 percent of EPS demand and 7.7 percent of consumption at a global level, along with the furniture and building industries. These two industries are expected to drive the global demand for polystyrene and expandable polystyrene in the forecast period as well.

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