Plastics production increased by 3.4% by quantity in 2019
Having started 2019 with a negative outlook and suffering production declines for three consecutive quarters, the growth in the last quarter of the year boosted hope for 2020. According to PAGEV’s 2019 Plastics Industry Watch Report data, the growth in the last quarter helped the industry achieve a growth of 3.4% in quantity over the previous year to 9.46 million tons, accompanied by a decline in value by 2.5% to 33.4 billion USD. The industry has high hopes for 2020 and expects to grow by 4 percent.
According to data published by the Turkish Plastics Industry Foundation (PAGEV), plastic product manufacturing increased by 3.4% by quantity to 9.46 million tons, while value decreased by 2.5% to 33.4 billion dollars compared to the same period previous year. The decline in plastic product unit prices was a factor in the decrease in value. Plastic product quantities had been on the decline for the past three quarters compared to the same period last year, but exhibited a growth trend in the last quarter of the year. Regardless, the total figure was below 2017 quantities.
Packaging leads in plastic production
Plastic packaging products account for 3.8 million tons and plastic construction materials account for 2.1 million tons of the 9.46 million tons of plastic products manufactured in sub-sectors in 2019.
Continued negative outlook in plastic processing machines
In the plastic processing machinery sector, production declined by 17%, imports by 33%, exports by 19%, and domestic sales by 27% compared to 2018.
The machinery and equipment investments of the sector decreased by 27% to 730 million dollars in 2019.
Year-end uplift in the domestic market
The domestic consumption of pllastic products increased by 2.6% to 8.1 million tons, while value decreased by 3.5% to 31.1 billion dollars compared to the same period previous year.
Export growth below expectations
In the previous year, the plastic product exports of the industry increased by 5.1% by quantity to 2 million tons, and 0.8% by value to 4.9 billion dollars. The top export markets of the sector in 2019 were Iraq, Germany, UK, Israel and United States.
Flexible packaging had the largest share in the finished product exports of the industry in 2019. The exported quantity of flexible packaging was 456,000 tons for a total value of 1.1 billion dollars. With these figures, flexible packaging accounted for 23% of the quantity and 22% of the value of plastic product exports. Coming immediately behind were plastic products used for carrier bags. These two product groups accounted for 45% of the quantity and 43% of the value of total plastic product exports.
The industry has foreign trade surplus in finished products
Over the same period, the import of plastic products decreased by 1.7% by quantity to 559K tons and 8.2% by value to 2.5 billion dollars. Key import markets were Germany, China, Italy, France and South Korea.
In the previous year, 7 million tons of plastic raw materials valued at 9 billion dollars were imported. Domestic raw material production was around 1.14 million tons in the same period.
The foreign trade surplus in plastic products for 2019 increased by 8.1% by quantity to 1.4 million tons and 13.2% by value to 2.3 billion dollars.
Plastic product quantity expected to grow by 4% in 2020
According to estimates in line with expected macroeconomic trends in 2020, plastic product quantity is expected to increase by 4% by quantity, imports by 1%, and domestic consumption by 4%.
Stop smearing, start recycling!
Discussing the performance of the industry in 2019, PAGEV President Yavuz Eroğlu said: “This has been a very difficult year. Consecutive periods of decline lowered everyone's morale. By the end of the year, the decline slowed down, which we view as a sign of hope for 2020. The rise in morale had a corresponding increase in production. However, exports are still struggling to increase. Exports are critical to the growth of our industry. Based on this fact, we call for more exports in 2020. The outlook of the plastic processing machinery sector also continues to be grim. The machinery and equipment investments of the sector decreased by 27% to 730 million dollars in 2019. Technology investments are critical to the future of the sector. We expect a recovery in plastic processing machinery that will go in tandem with production."
Yavuz Eroğlu noted that the smear campaign against the industry had a part in the decline, continuing: "The hostility against plastics is undermining a vital sector in the economy. Irresponsible smear campaigns hurt production, export and employment. Open hostility against plastics means preventing people from accessing affordable and quality products. We must always remember that plastics don't hurt the environment, irresponsible consumption does. And it is not only plastics: No form of packaging or carrier bag has any place in nature. The first step in environmental awareness must be considering how one can recover each and every product consumed. We would like to repeat the call that we made with the 'Plastics have a great place in life but no place in nature' campaign that we launched last year, and invite everyone to be a link in the recycling chain."