Flexible bulk packaging demand to decelerate

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US demand for flexible bulk packaging will decelerate to 3.4 per
cent per year, according to a forecast by Freedonia, a market

The predicted growth will create a $7bn (€5.9bn) market in the US, with a demand for 6.2bn lbs (2.8bn kgs) of raw materials. About 60 per cent of the raw material demand will be for plastic, Freedonia forecasts.

However growth will decelerate from the rate achieved inthe five years to 2004 as price increases due to raw material costs level off.

"Nonetheless, overall advances will benefit from healthy outlooks for manufacturing and retail activity,"​ the researcher stated. "Products offering a combination of costbenefits and increased performance efficiency are expected to see the best growth, often supplanting a variety of alternative formats, both flexible and rigid."

Meanwhile Freedonia forecasts the fastest growth will be in the film wrap and flexible intermediate bulk containers (FIBCs) market. Demand for plastic shipping sacks and plastic strapping willoutpace the industry average, with expansion coming at the expense of paper and steel packaging producers.

Plastic shipping sack demand will be driven by the agricultural and horticultural market. Film wrap, which accounted for 30 per cent of total flexible bulk packaging demand in 2004, will remain agrowth segment of the industry.

The gains will be supported by heightened manufacturing activity as well as the growing requirements for the bundling and protection of goods during warehousing and distribution, Freedoniaforecasts.

Demand will also be influenced by retail trends, particularly the popularity of home centers, club stores and other mass retailers. FIBC demand is expected to expand 5.6 per cent annually through2009. Growth in that market will be supported by increased manufacturing activity.

FIBC's low cost, versatility and performance for the shipping and storage of bulk dry flowable products will be attractive to the industry, Freedonia stated.

Related topics Processing & Packaging

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