In 2008 U.S. exports to Poland amounted $139.3 million including: Resins - $65.1 million, Plastic products - $61.5 million, Machinery - $8.6 million, and Molds - $4.1 million. U.S. exports to Poland tripled within last three years.
In spite of the economic crisis, 2009 was considered a good year for majority of the Polish companies operating in the plastic processing industry. According to the Polish Plastics Converters Association, the growth rate in this industry reached 4%. The Association does not expect changes for 2010 as most of the industry’s production is exported to the European Union (as well as to Russia and Ukraine) - countries which, it is estimated, the economic crisis will affect most severely.
Plastic processing is the fastest developing subsector of the chemical industry and one of the most dynamic industry sectors in Poland. While the chemical industry noted a 25% decrease in production output in 2008, the plastic processing industry is still growing. Since Poland joined the EU in 2004, polymer demand has continued to grow at an average of 7% per year. Poland is the largest Central European market with 2.33 million tons of polymers processed in 2008. Per capita consumption of 61 kg puts Poland well ahead of the average for CEE of 45 kg per capita, although it still lags behind the average for Western Europe of 88 kg per capita.
Poland has approximately five thousand companies involved in plastic processing. 93% of these are SMEs operating only one or two processing machines. The majority of these companies work for the automotive, packaging, and home appliance industries.
Currently, the most rapid increase in plastic production and consumption is in the area of plastic packaging and plastic components, growing at a level of 10% annually in recent years –a level five times higher than in Western Europe.
? Technology for production of styrene and polystyrene
? Technology for production of engineering polymers
? Technology of pulltrusion for production of laminate
? Sheets, foils, strips, and films of plastic packaging materials
? Self-adhesive sheets, foils, strips, and films and other flat sheets of plastic
? Biodegradable PLA plastics
? Kitchenware and other households of plastics
Currently the area of greatest innovation within this sector is within environmental protection area. This industry is looking for energy saving equipment and technology. Producers, as well as consumers, want biodegradable plastics based on corn or potato starch, cellulose, soya protein or lactic acid.
The Polish plastic processing industry is in constant development and driven by high domestic consumption as well as by the foreign investments in the plastic-related production of home appliances and automobiles.
Poland produces every third home appliance used in Europe. The following leading names have invested in production facilities in Poland: Electrolux, Bosh, Siemens, Whirlpool, and Samsung. Poland is also home to car manufacturers such as GM, Fiat, Volkswagen, Volvo, and Man. In 2010, it is estimated that Poland will also 35 million flat screen TV sets (77% of all those produced in Europe), from factories owned by Funai, Jabil Circuit, LG Display, Orion Electronic and TPV Displays.