The plastic packaging market in Southern Africa is also growing as it recovers from the global recession. The South African plastic packaging market report completed by Frost & Sullivan, a US growth consulting firm, predicts that from 2009 to 2016, the southern African plastic packaging market will grow at an average annual rate of 5% to 2016 revenue. It will reach $1.41 billion.
The plastics market contributed 5% of GDP to the southern African economy and solved the employment problem of 35,000 people. In 2009, Southern Africa's plastic packaging market had sales of $1.01 billion and plastics sales of 763,000 tons. Among them, as a leader in the plastic packaging market in southern Africa, South Africa's plastics sales were 650,000 tons, and Zambia and Botswana sold 78,000 tons and 35,000 tons respectively.
According to the sales ranking, the southern African plastic packaging market mainly involves the following varieties: polyethylene (32.7%), polypropylene (23.1%), polyethylene terephthalate (22.5%), high density polyethylene (15.9). %) and polystyrene (5.8%).
In terms of plastic packaging, industrial applications in the southern African market accounted for the largest share, reaching 50.1%, including pallet packaging, recycling bins, large bags, linings, etc.; food and beverage bottles, meat dishes, etc. accounted for 34.8% Pharmaceuticals, personal care, etc. accounted for 9.7%; household applications such as shrink packaging, sandwich bags, etc. accounted for the least share, only 5.4%.
Since some countries in southern Africa have reached free trade agreements with countries such as China and India, cheap films and bags from these countries have great competitive advantages in the local market. In order to enhance their market competitiveness, in the face of high raw material prices, local suppliers are forced to lower product prices and gain meager profit by strengthening after-sales service and improving product quality.
The market exchange rate fluctuations in Southern Africa are relatively frequent, making it difficult for local suppliers to accurately predict the price of plastics. In particular, the rise in the price of imported raw materials directly leads to an increase in product prices. To solve this problem, local suppliers must choose to establish stable and long-term customer relationships with plastics manufacturers, so that raw material prices remain relatively stable.
Logistics costs are another unavoidable issue for southern African countries. South Africa faces high fuel prices, and Zambia and Botswana have further increased product costs due to long-distance transportation within the country. In addition, most countries in southern Africa have relatively poor infrastructure, making product exports and raw material imports relatively difficult. As logistics costs increase, companies face the challenge of providing high-quality products at reasonable prices.
The price of high polymer polymers is also a major challenge for the market. There are only two high-molecular polymer manufacturers in southern Africa, and capacity building is not yet fully in place. Local supply is heavily dependent on imports. At the same time, due to the large amount of high molecular polymers shipped to China for reprocessing, this has also caused the global polymer market to be in short supply.
Although the governments of southern African countries impose tariffs on imported plastic packaging products, these tariffs have not been used to improve the supporting services of the local plastic packaging industry. Coupled with the financial support provided by the government and fewer preferential policies, these factors will constrain the development of the plastic packaging industry in the region in the short term.
As in other parts of the world, southern African countries have been looking for viable alternatives, including reducing pollution and promoting the recycling of plastics, given the impact of plastics on the environment. In the next 5 to 10 years, the concept of environmental protection will be more deeply rooted in the hearts of the people, and new environmentally friendly materials will also make this market face great challenges.