Chicago — PET, engineering resins and polystyrene all have growth potential, but they also are facing challenges, according to market analysts at Global Plastics Summit 2017.
For PET, the carbonated soft drink end market has seen "a steady decline" for almost 12 years, according to IHS Markit analyst Tison Keel, and is set to lose another 2 percent in 2017.
"Some people call it the war on sugar," he said.
Another PET segment in decline is sports drinks, where PET use is down 3 percent this year. The bottled water market for PET, however, is growing at a 6 percent annual clip, and the flavored carbonated water sector is up 12 to 15 percent.
The bankruptcy and ensuing capacity shutdowns of PET maker M&G Polymers will impact the North American PET sector in 2018. It's now unclear when or how that firm will be able to complete a major planned addition of PET capacity in Corpus Christi, Texas, Keel said.
Antidumping tariff requests from the U.S. and Canada on PET imported from several foreign countries also will be a factor in 2018. But, in general, global PET capacity exceeds demand by about 25 percent.
"Every region has an oversupply of PET," Keel said. North American producers also are looking to improve their profitability by back-integrating into PET feedstocks, he added.