CLEVELAND — Global demand for polystyrene resin is forecast to grow 3.4 percent per year through the year 2002, according to a report by Freedonia Group Inc. of Cleveland.
The growth is the slowest of any major thermoplastic resin, with the rate tracking inflation-adjusted gains in the global economy. Reasons for the slow growth include competition from ABS and other engineering plastics in durable goods and from polyethylene, polypropylene and paperboard in packaging markets.
Packaging markets for PS will benefit from strong demand in developing regions, particularly Latin America and Asia. Packaging markets in most developed regions are mature, but shifts in consumer tastes also play a role — witness the proliferation of new coffee shops in North America and Western Europe.
Demand in consumer goods will benefit from rising production levels for appliances, electronic equipment and housewares. Demand in insulation will feel the effects of a slowing construction market in North America and weak activity throughout Asia, particularly Japan.
China's PS market will continue to expand, as will markets in Argentina, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland.
The 282-page study, ``World Polystyrene,'' costs $3,900.
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