Published in Marketing
Distribution of sheet manufacturing plants in Europe 2014 (AMI).
A new report from AMI gives production details of 730 sheet manufacturing plants in Europe

Leading plastics industry consultant, AMI, has just published the 6th edition of its directory: Sheet extruders in Europe. Sheet extrusion accounts for nearly 4 million tonnes of thermoplastic usage. The market has recovered from the downturn it experienced in 2008-2009 with 4% more polymer consumed in 2013 compared with 2009. This recovery has mainly been driven by growing demand for packaging sheet used for the thermoforming of food containers. PET has been a winner in this area, where it has gained market share at the expense of more traditional materials such as PVC and PS. It has particularly benefitted from the growing use of recycled PET driven by the sustainability targets of brand owners.
Despite the growth in PET for packaging sheet, the market is still dominated by the use of polystyrene. According to AMI's directory 145 of the 735 companies listed process PET compared with 304 processing polystyrene giving rise to a market demand of over 1 million tonnes. In addition to being a very versatile food packaging material widely used for the manufacture of chilled dairy and disposable containers, in thicker gauges polystyrene is also used in the manufacture of household products such as refrigerator liners and in building applications as insulation materials. This latter area has been enjoying good growth due to increasing standards of insulation required in new European buildings.
The distribution of sheet production in Europe follows the overall pattern of industrial activity. Germany accounts for almost a quarter of all production plants in Europe whilst Spain and Italy have experienced a number of closures. Central Europe continues to grow in importance with 30% more manufacturing sites in the new edition of AMI's 2014 directory of sheet extruders in Europe, as a number of the leading companies now operate within Central Europe. Despite consolidation and restructuring amongst the largest groups, the new AMI directory has identified 71 new companies in this 2014 edition which shows that the industry remains dynamic as it is driven by continued consumer demand for packaged convenience foods in Western Europe and growing demand for packaging and building products in Central and East European markets.

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