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World bulk packaging demand to exceed $59 billion in 2018

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World bulk packaging demand to exceed $59 billion in 2018

January 20, 2015 - 06:11

World demand for bulk packaging is projected to increase 5.0 percent annually to $59.2 billion in 2018.  This will represent an improvement over the performance during the 2008-2013 period, when growth in demand was particularly sluggish in the world’s most developed markets, especially Japan and Western Europe.  Accelerating growth in global manufacturing activity will be the primary impetus for demand gains.  These and other trends are presented in World Bulk Packaging, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.

The fastest gains will be in developing regions such as the Africa/Mideast region, the Asia/Pacific region, and Central and South America.  According to analyst Mike Richardson, “India and Indonesia will be among the fastest growing national markets.  Growth in China’s manufacturing sector is beginning to decelerate after a few decades of world-leading growth -- but advances in bulk packaging demand in China will still be among the world’s fastest.”

In developed markets, advances will be more modest.  In the US, gains will be driven by increased demand in food and chemical applications, as growth in both food and beverage processing and chemical and pharmaceutical production are expected to accelerate.  These same developments are expected to drive demand in Western Europe and Japan, though gains will be somewhat muted as the manufacturing slump in these areas has been more enduring, and the recovery is expected to be less explosive.

Flexible bulk packaging will register slightly faster growth than rigid packaging.  Gains in flexible bulk packaging will be led by film wrap and FIBCs.  Film wrap will post healthy gains due to its increased use in securing pallets and other packaging formats during shipment, and the growing use of film to bundle bulk and multipack items in retail settings such as warehouse-style stores.  FIBCs will register strong advances due to the advantages they offer in terms of efficiency advantages, loading and unloading products, and their ability to handle greater quantities of product per container.  In rigid bulk packaging, RIBCs and material handling containers are projected to register faster growth than the somewhat more established drums and pails.  Drums will remain the largest rigid bulk packaging product type, even as they surrender market share to FIBCs and competitive rigid formats.