AMI: Output up for PE film extruders

The number of polyethylene film extruders has fallen over the past five years – but the remaining plants have been more productive. UK consultancy AMI says that in 2003 film producers processed an average 5,800tpa of PE, compared with 5,000tpa in 1999. It also estimates that an average film extruder operates eight blown film lines. Consumption of PE for film extrusion has been growing at a little more than 2% a year in 2000-2003, according to The Polyethylene Film Industry in Europe. But the number of PE film extruders in Europe fell 2.6% from 1,321 in 1999 to 1,286 in 2003. Every country in western Europe suffered a decline; Italy remained the principal producer with 277 extruders operating in 2003. The biggest decline was 14.8% to 161 extruders in the UK, where major players BPI, Britton and Tyco have closed plants in the past two years. Central Europe’s fortunes have been much better, with the number of extruders increasing 21.5% from 205 in 1999 to 249 in 2003.

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