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GCC plastics industry to grow by over 3% annually till 2020, says GPCA report

Dubai, United Arab Emirates; January, 2016: Plastic production in the Arabian Gulf will grow at a steady 3.2% till the end of the decade, spurred by a sustained roll- out of strategic projects, according to a new study by the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA).

“No matter the country or economic cycle, the growth of plastic production in the GCC is a unique success story in the Arabian Gulf Countries’ continuing journey towards economic diversification,” said Dr. Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun, Secretary General, GPCA. “This is no doubt a testament to the long- term vision of the leadership who have invested in this sector, as well as a testament of plastics as a viable investment opportunity.”

As per statistics from the GCC Plastics Industry Indicators 2015 report, the GCC plastic production capacity has tripled in the last 10 years, reaching 26.2 million tons in 2015, earning US$32 billion in revenues. During the 2005- 2015 period, annual production has risen 11.7%, and clustered around prominent projects in Saudi Arabia.

Like Saudi Arabia, development strategies that benefit plastic production have also been implemented elsewhere in the GCC.

In  2015, expansions in the United Arab Emirates have increased the country’s regional market share from 6% to 20%. .

Despite the ongoing challenges of oil price volatility, plastics capacity will continue to grow over the next five years, predicts the GPCA. Growth in Oman is projected to be the strongest in the region, at 17.7% per year. Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, is expected to see a 3.2% rise per year till 2020, a figure that is slightly lower than the 4.9% growth in the last decade.

“With regional producers experiencing diminishing revenues and cheap raw materials available to our competitors, we are certainly in the midst of a challenging business environment. Due to the inherent versatility of plastics, an export oriented commodity, as well as strong demand from developing economies, plastics will continue to see a respectable growth rate in the near future,” continued Dr. Al-Sadoun. “Plastics are an inherent component of modern life, existing in diverse products such as cars, food packaging, furniture and even clothing.”

The GCC Plastics Industry Indicators 2015 report will be released at the upcoming GPCA Plasticon, a dedicated conference for plastics converters. The report will include insights relevant to the region’s plastics industry, including detailed figures on capacity, product growth and employment. 

Plasticon 2016 will take place from January 10- 12 in Dubai. Speakers include top executives from renowned plastics companies including QAPCO, Sadara, Saudi Aramco, SABIC and Dupont.

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