Marketplace ‘difficult’ for masterbatch producers, according to research firm

By Joe Whitworth

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Euro Russia

Masterbatch
Masterbatch
Economic downturn and a drop in demand have led to masterbatch producers ‘cutting back activity’ and seeking ‘wider markets’ such as Russia and Ukraine, a plastics market research consultancy has found.

The study "Corporate performance and ownership among masterbatch producers - A review of Europe's 50 largest players",​ analysed the performance of Europe’s largest 50 masterbatch companies in terms of size, strategy and performance.

Masterbatch is a liquid or solid additive added to plastics for colouring or other textural properties.

It found the top 10 masterbatch producers hold 62% of production, while companies listed 11-50 hold 30% and the remaining firms’ share 8%.

The Applied Market Information (AMI) report, which included Russian and Ukrainian plants for the first time, outlined how ‘increasing maturity’ has led to ‘slower growth’ which was highlighted in ‘the limited number of changes to the names of the companies’, since the 2006 report.

Challenging future

“Given the challenging economic forecasts for the euro zone it is likely that this changing and refocusing of effort will continue for a number of suppliers into the medium term future,”​ it said.

“This increasing maturity is evidenced by the limited number of changes to the names of the companies since its last edition.”

A spokeswoman added: “Companies were chosen on the basis of the volume of their masterbatch production in 2010.

“Russian and Ukrainian markets are showing more growth; more and more companies are targeting sales there; more and more companies tend to include Russia when talking about Europe.”

New focusses

Detailing how specific companies have performed, the analysis said Schulman and Ampacet have widened product ranges, while Tosaf and Plastika Kritis have expanded their sales geographically.

The research added that in black masterbatch, for example, Cabot significantly altered its involvement in Europe closing a number of plants while building up capacity in other regions of the world.

“Cabot re-focussed on other areas of the world while independent firms such as Hubron and Polyplast Müller have achieved growth,”​ it added.

The top 10 companies are made up of Ampacet Europe, Cabot Plastics International, Clariant Masterbatches, Hubron (International), Kunststof Kemi, Plastika Kritis, PolyOne Corporation, Polyplast Müller, A Schulman Europe and Tosaf Compounds.

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