Polyethylene Market Research Report - Forecast to 2028

Polyethylene Market Global Segmented By Type (LDPE, MDPE, HDPE), Technology (Films & Sheets Extrusion, Pipe Extrusion, Injection Molding, Blow Molding, Others) End-User (Packaging, Construction, Automotive, Electrical & Electronics, Household Applications, Others) and Region Forecast till 2028

ID: MRFR/CnM/0550-CR | February 2021 | Region: Global | 252 pages

Polyethylene Market- Overview

Polyethylene Market is projected to be worth USD 135.87 billion by 2028, registering a CAGR of 5.89% during the forecast period (2021 - 2028)., The market was valued at USD 112.15 billion in 2021.

Polyethylene (PE), also known as polythene, is a group belonging to the thermoplastic polymers, and based on its polymerization process, it can be produced for different purposes. 

The polyethylene market is projected to grow significantly during the forecast period owing to rapid industrialization and urbanization. The expansion of the packaging industry is predicted to be another salient cause that can augment the polyethylene market size in the coming period.

Impact of COVID-19

The outbreak of COVID-19 has disrupted various industries, including the polyethylene market. The downfall of the market for a continuous period of three months, owing to the imposition of a complete lockdown in multiple countries, is predicted to have adversely impacted the market. The market was at a standstill, with a sudden reduced demand, which brought a severe impact on the global polyethylene production. Furthermore, manufacturing units were also impacted severely. However, the market is projected to acquire momentum in the coming period.

Competitive Landscape

Growing Opportunities to Allow Entrance of New Players

The growing number of opportunities in the PE market is expected to encourage various new players to enter the market that can strengthen the market competitiveness. The introduction of bio-degradable PE is likely to be a significant cause that can bolster the market competition.

Key Competitors

  • China Petrochemical Corporation (China)

  • Formosa Plastics Corporation (Taiwan)

  • Petronas Chemicals Group Berhad (Malaysia)

  • Mitsui Chemicals Inc. (Japan)

  • Exxon Mobil Corporation (the US)

  • LyondellBasell Industries NV (the Netherlands)

  • Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd (Japan)

  • SABIC (Saudi Arabia)

  • DowDuPont (the US)

  • INEOS Group Holdings SA (the UK)

  • Sasol Ltd. (South Africa)

  • Chevron Phillips Chemical Company (US)

Market Dynamics

The significant participation of the construction sector is expected to boost the polyethylene market. Besides the construction sector, the food & beverage, packaging, personal & home care, and pharmaceutical sectors are anticipated to augment the polyethylene market. The material is gaining prominence owing to its superior characteristics, resistance to moisture & chemicals, cost-effectiveness, and durability.  However, the polyethylene industry can impede due to the bans imposed by governments of various countries to curb plastic use.


Significant Contribution of Agriculture Sector to Boost the Market

The agricultural sector is anticipated to make a significant contribution in augmenting the market owing to the rising demand for nozzles and drippers at irrigation fields. The increasing production of microtubes and emitting pipes are anticipated to play a salient role in developing the market. In addition, the surging manufacturing of toys, fashion apparel, and sports goods are anticipated to be another salient factor that can strengthen the market during the assessment timeframe.


Introduction of Bio-Degradable Polyethylene to Offer Significant Opportunities for Expansion

The introduction and development of bio-degradable polyethylene is expected to offer various opportunities for market growth in the coming period. 


Availability of Substitute to Hinder the Market Growth

The availability of PE substitutes such as; polypropylene and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) are expected to hinder the market growth in the coming period. In addition, the unstable fluctuating prices of raw materials are expected to have a negative impact on the market growth during the review period.


The imposition of Stringent Rules & Regulations are Expected to Pose a Significant Challenge

The growing environmental protection and health awareness is expected to hinder the market growth. The increasing imposition of stringent rules and regulations are expected to restrain the market from growing during the forecast period.

Cumulative Growth Analysis

Polyethylene Market to Show Significant Growth during the Forecast Period

The global market for polyethylene is anticipated to witness a significant rise during the forecast period owing to the rising demand for packaged goods. Besides, PE is cost-effective and the on-going developments on the product to make it eco-friendly are expected to strengthen the market in the assessment tenure.

Market Segmentation

Global Polyethylene Market can be segmented by Type, End-Users, and Technology.

By Type

On the basis of type, the polyethylene market is segmented into medium-density polyethylene (MDPE), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), and high-density polyethylene (HDPE). LDPE is anticipated to dominate the market and can garner the market value of USD 97,157.2 million while expanding at the fastest CAGR of 6.01% during the review timeframe.

By End-User

On the basis of end-user, the polyethylene market is segmented into construction, packaging, automotive, household applications, electrical & electronics, others. The packaging segment is expected to acquire the market value of USD 1 11,148.3 million while expanding at the fastest CAGR of 6.12% by 2025.

By Technology

On the basis of technology, the polyethylene market is segmented into blow molding, pipe extrusion, includes films & sheets extrusion, injection molding, and others. Films & sheets extrusion segment is expected to acquire the market value of USD 1, 06,049.4 million by 2025, while expanding at the fastest CAGR of 6.54% during the review timeframe.

Regional Segmentation

APAC Region to Dominate the Global Market During the Projection Tenure

APAC is projected to acquire the maximum market share during the forecast period owing to the rapid urbanization and industrialization.  The region is expected to acquire the market value of USD 56,216.8 million and which can go up to USD 85,957.3 million while thriving at a CAGR of 6.25% during the projection timeframe. The rapid expansion of food and beverages, packaging, infrastructure, and construction industries are anticipated to make a significant contribution in developing the regional market. The participation of emerging nations, such as India, China, and Japan, is expected to notably participate in augmenting the regional market. 

 Europe has the second biggest market, and it can scale a valuation of USD 36,490.5 million by 2025 with a CAGR of 5.53%. The growing demand for the product in the automotive sector is predicted to make a notable contribution during the forecast period.

North America is anticipated to acquire a market value of USD 34,551.2 million while expanding at a 5.72% CAGR during the forecast period.  The US is expected to make the most significant contribution in growing the regional market during the forecast period. The increasing development of automotive, electrical & electronics, packaging, and healthcare & pharmaceuticals are projected to be some salient factors that can strengthen the regional market in the projection timeframe.

MEA is expected to witness decent growth during the forecast period owing to the expansion of packaging and consumer goods. The rising urbanization in the region can result in the market growth of the region.

Latin America is expected to witness a steady growth owing to the growing demand for bottles, plastic bags, and construction materials.

Industry News

December 2020

A new chemical process developed at the University of California, Berkeley, can convert polyethylene plastic into a strong and valuable adhesive.

Report Overview

The global market for polyethylene is predicted to witness a significant rise during the review period owing to the extensive application of PE in various end-user industries. Further, the introduction of bio-degradable PE can offer multiple opportunities that can grow the market.

Report Scope:
Report Attribute/Metric Details
  Market Size   2028: USD 135.87 billion
  CAGR   5.89% (2021-2028)
  Base Year   2020
  Forecast Period   2021-2028
  Historical Data   2019
  Forecast Units   Value (USD Million)
  Report Coverage   Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, and Trends
  Segments Covered   Type, Technology and End-Use
  Geographies Covered   North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Rest of the World (RoW)
  Key Vendors   China Petrochemical Corporation (China), Formosa Plastics Corporation (Taiwan), Petronas Chemicals Group Berhad (Malaysia), Mitsui Chemicals Inc. (Japan), Exxon Mobil Corporation (the US), LyondellBasell Industries NV (the Netherlands), Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd (Japan), SABIC (Saudi Arabia), DowDuPont (the US), INEOS Group Holdings SA (the UK), Sasol Ltd. (South Africa), Chevron Phillips Chemical Company (US)
  Key Market Opportunities   
  Key Market Drivers   

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) :

The polyethylene market would turn out to be USD 135.87 billion by 2028.

The global polyethylene market would mark progress with 5.82% CAGR during the forecast period encompassing 2021 to 2028.

The low-density polyethylene (LDPE) segment would fetch the maximum revenue for the global polyethylene market.

The film & sheet extrusion segment has the power to lead th e polyethylene market.

The packaging segment is the dominating force for the polyethylene market.

Global Polyethylene Market – Summary


Industrialization, at its core, is impacting lives by transforming them into a fast-paced one. Urbanization is a consequence. And to support the paradigmatic shift, technology has evolved drastically. The packaging industry is one such integrated sector, which at present, is gaining tremendous traction to support the fast-tracked life and Polyethylene (PE), also known as polythene, is playing as a pivot there. It belongs to the thermoplastic polymers group and can be produced as per the requirement from industries. Using the polymerization process of ethylene, polyethylene can be derived. The process includes radical polymerization, anionic addition polymerization, cationic addition polymerization, or ion coordination polymerization. Among the other processes, copolymerization of ethylene can also deliver polyethylene variations short-chain alpha-olefins, such as 1-butene, 1-hexene, and 1-octene.

Alongside packaging, the polyethylene market is garnering significant attention from the construction sector. But it has also permeated the manufacturing of pipes, barrier films, curing material, protective sheeting, and others. Previously valued at USD 1,11,041 million in 2017, the global polyethylene market is now eyeing to surpass USD 1,83,724.4 million valuation during the forecast period (2018-2025) with a robust CAGR of 5.82%. Market Research Future (MRFR) published recently a report that covers various aspects such as segmental details, competitive analysis, expert inputs, and industry drivers of the polyethylene market.

Urban lifestyle has brought in a drastic change in food & beverage, personal & home care, and e-commerce which are now widening the horizon for polyethylene market — the pervasive percolation of polyethylene across sectors banks on its superior performance, cost-effectiveness, and durability. Moreover, it can provide resistance against moisture and chemical which making it the choicest preference for the said industries and pharmaceuticals. Its market prospect in the coming years is quite substantial. The construction industry has also joined the wagon in creating demand for polyethylene.

On the flipside, the polyethylene market can get bogged down by the bans imposed by governments to curb plastic use. Polyethylene applications in various industries are taking a backseat. Plastic bags got affected the most. But bio-polyethylene, derived from renewable feedstocks, can become a useful solution and counter the adverse effects the polyethylene market is witnessing at present.


Based on the type, the polyethylene market can be segmented into low-density polyethylene (LDPE), medium-density polyethylene (MDPE), and high-density polyethylene (HDPE). LDPE can be attributed to the maximum market share.

Based on technology, the polyethylene market comprises films & sheets extrusion, pipe extrusion, injection molding, blow molding, and others. Films & sheets extrusion segment, so far led the market by fetching substantial market revenue. This situation is unlikely to change during the forecast period.

Based on end-user, the polyethylene market includes packaging, construction, automotive, electrical & electronics, household applications, others. Packaging segment is way-ahead of its peers in terms of revenues, and the market demography is expected to remain the same.

Regional Segmentation:

Region-specific analysis of the polyethylene market spans across North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific (APAC), Europe, and Middle East & Africa (MEA). The APAC region is leading the market and has essential factors that can drive the market forward with the highest CAGR during the forecast period. Emerging economies in the region such as India, China, Indonesia, and others have an overhauling in their industrial sectors which is providing thrust to the polyethylene market. Urbanization is also witnessing rapid growth which is proving to be beneficial for the regional market. Europe has the second biggest market followed by North America.

Key Competitors:

Prominent players included in the polyethylene market report that have significant impacts are Formosa Plastics Corporation (Taiwan), Sasol Ltd. (South Africa), Exxon Mobil Corporation (the U.S.), China Petrochemical Corporation (China), Chevron Phillips Chemical Company (the U.S.), LyondellBasell Industries NV (the Netherlands), INEOS Group Holdings SA (the U.K.), Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd (Japan), Petronas Chemicals Group Berhad (Malaysia), SABIC (Saudi Arabia), Mitsui Chemicals Inc. (Japan), DowDuPont (the U.S.), and others.

Global Polyethylene Market: Competitive Landscape

Some of the major players operating in the global polyethylene market are Exxon Mobil Corporation (US), LyondellBasell Industries NV (Netherlands), China Petroleum Corporation (China), INEOS Group Holdings SA (UK), SABIC (Saudi Arabia), Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd (Japan), Petronas Chemicals Group Berhad (Malaysia), Mitsui Chemicals Inc. (Japan), Chevron Phillips Chemical Company (US), Formosa Plastics Corporation (Taiwan), DowDuPont (US), and Sasol Ltd (South Africa).

Exxon Mobil Corporation (US), LyondellBasell Industries NV (Netherlands), China Petroleum Corporation (China), INEOS Group Holdings SA (UK), and DowDuPont (US) collectively holds the largest market share of the global polyethylene market. There is intense competition among these players to capture the largest market share in the global market. These players are implementing various strategies such as capacity expansions, supply/distribution agreements, mergers & acquisitions, investments, product launches, technology transfers, and joint ventures to maintain their market dominance and increase global presence. Among them, expansions, technology transfer, and acquisition, were the most widely used growth strategies in 2017.

Exxon Mobil Corporation is the leading producer and innovator of polyethylene products. The company operates through three segments–upstream, downstream, and chemicals. In August 2018, Exxon Mobil planned to greatly expand the plastic production at Texas with an investment of USD 1.9 billion. Additionally, in October 2017, the company started production on first of the two newly constructed high-performance polyethylene lines at its plastics plant in Mont Belvieu, Texas (US). Furthermore, in November 2016, the company expanded the production capacity of its polyethylene plant by 65%, to meet the growing polyethylene demand across the globe. These expansions were carried out to strengthen its position in global market and meet the increasing demand for polyethylene products.

LyondellBasell Industries NV, a company engaged in the refining and production of plastic resins and other chemicals. The company is the largest producer of polyethylene in Europe with 4.8 billion pounds per year of capacity. In August 2018, LyondellBasell acquired A. Schulman, Inc., a leading global supplier of high-performance plastic compounds, composites, and powders for USD 2.25 billion to maintain its position in the global polyethylene market.

China Petrochemical Corporation, is involved in the exploration, development, and production of crude oil and natural gas. It operates through following segments: exploration and production; refining; marketing and distribution; chemicals; and corporate and others. In September 2017, the company signed a contract with Kaji Technology Corp. (Japan) to supply equipment to its long-planned Sino-Kuwait integrated refining and petrochemical complex. This integrated project had investment of USD 9 billion.  This agreement was done to cater the growing demand for polyethylene products and increase their market share in the global market.

INEOS Group Holdings SA (INEOS) manufactures and sells petrochemicals, specialty chemicals, and oil products, worldwide. The company operates in three segments: olefins and polymers Europe, olefins and polymers North America, and chemical intermediates. In October 2014, European subsidiary of INEOS signed a distribution agreement with Biesterfield Plastic GmbH, to supply polypropylene and polyethylene in the Russian and Ukrainian market. This agreement is expected to cater the growing demand of polyethylene products in Russian and Ukrainian market and thus strengthen the company’s market position in the global polyethylene market.

DowDuPont is a holding company, which operates through three business segments—agriculture, materials science, and specialty products. In October 2017, the company started up its new integrated facility for ethylene monomer and Elite enhanced polyethylene at Texas. This expansion is expected to strengthen its position in the market and increase its share in the global polyethylene market.