Global Overview of the Rubber and Plastic Industry

July 2022

The briefing examines how the rubber and plastic industry is performing globally and in the largest countries in terms of output. The report provides data for production, market size, imports, exports, industry costs, industry profitability and number of companies. The industry and market overview provide benchmarks against other countries in the region.

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Examining three trends shaping the rubber and plastics industry

Supply chain localisation

The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak has caused challenges for supply chains, with multiple rubber and plastic products manufacturers lacking input materials, resulting in static trade and production stoppages. Producers are anticipated to turn towards a network of smaller local suppliers so as to diversify risks associated with supply chains, while expansion of domestic raw material capacity is also expected to be seen within the industry.

Sustainability

With environmental friendliness taking centre stage in terms of government policy and public awareness, the rubber and plastic industry will have to meet higher expectations and requirements. These include zero-net emissions targets, as well as commitments to reduce disposable plastic consumption, which could hinder demand for plastic products.

Innovation

As sustainability concerns are encouraging ecologically-friendly rubber and plastic manufacturing, producers and governments are investing heavily in innovative plastic solutions aiming to enhance product recyclability. As a result, a more diverse product profile is expected to benefit the industry in the long run.

Introduction

Scope
Examining three trends shaping the rubber and plastic products industry
Key trends impacting the industry in 2022

Global overview

Rubber and plastic production value has exceeded the pre-pandemic level
Asia Pacific to drive rubber and plastic production value growth through to 2026
China and US continue to dominate global industry
Cost discipline to continue
Recovering demand drives rubber and plastic exports value growth
Imports surged in 2021 as major B2B industries returned to growth
B2B demand drives market expansion in Eastern Europe and Asia Pacific
Rising energy and raw material prices pressure rubber and plastic products industry
Energy and raw material prices are peaking

Leading companies

Michelin SA to remain in the leading position
Number of rubber and plastic companies continues to rise in Asia Pacific
Industry concentration to increase amid rising costs

Global outlook

Asia Pacific to stand behind future production value growth
Most countries have already recovered from the COVID-19 shock
Key future trends shaping the global industry

Country snapshots

China: Rubber sector is set to pick up thanks to automotive demand
China’s zero-COVID-19 strategy to continue disrupting rubber and plastic production
US: Production is set to decline in real terms, due in part to environmental concerns
Weaker B2B demand to hamper industry’s growth
Japan: Rubber sector set to record slightly stronger growth thanks to automotive demand
Demand for rubber is set to intensify due to recovering automotive production
Germany: Output is expected to decline in real value terms due to soaring production costs
Weaker B2B demand to constrain industry growth
South Korea: Output is set to shrink in real terms, in part due to environmental regulations
Industry’s outlook remains clouded as environmental regulations intensify
India: Outstanding real growth from a global perspective due to growing domestic demand
Fast-paced economic growth and expanding B2B demand to benefit the industry
Italy: Production is set to decline in real terms due to taxation and soaring production costs
Elevated production costs and environmental regulations to hamper industry’s growth
UK: Plastic products are set to lead future value growth in real terms
Innovation to drive industry’s resilience to environmental regulations
France: Plastic industry is set to witness growth in real terms, due in part to innovation
B2B demand from construction and automotive industries to drive plastic sector’s growth
Poland: Industry to follow a strong growth path in real terms amid expanding manufacturing
Increasing manufacturing demand to drive the industry’s growth
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