In this installment of the 2020 Plastics Market Forecast series, Frank LaRocque, our director of resale sales, who, until recently, was M. Holland’s product and market manager of film and flexible packaging, shares his market perspectives. In 2020, flexible packaging stands to experience a formidable set of challenges brought on by merger and acquisition (M&A) activity, tariff wars and evolving global trade deals, and sustainability concerns. He shares his predictions for 2020 below:
“2019 was an exciting year for flexible packaging, and 2020 is shaping up to be an interesting one as well, with plenty of opportunities for M. Holland to help its clients and suppliers navigate market challenges.
First, consistent with what we’ve seen in past years, M&A activity remains high, creating fierce competition and challenges for distributors and suppliers, big and small. Manufacturers are consolidating, which has increased competition between direct suppliers, big brokers, and distributors over a smaller pool of growing companies. Meanwhile, smaller shops that can operate effectively with lower overhead costs are keeping everyone on their toes with their demand for competitive pricing. With big manufacturers getting bigger and mom and pop distribution companies driving competitive pricing, it will be interesting to see how the market navigates challenges in such a competitive landscape.
Second, ongoing tariff wars and shifting global trade deals continue to significantly impact the market and businesses up and down the supply chain. Specifically, for polyethylene we continue to see shifting global trade dynamics due to oversupply and imbalances in the market and as a result of the tariffs China imposed on the U.S. We’ll continue keeping an eye on the developing global trade landscape and work with our clients and suppliers to help them adjust strategies and navigate challenges brought on by fluctuating global trade alliances.
Last, but certainly not least, sustainability is a top concern for M. Holland, our industry, and all flexible packaging entities. We’re particularly interested in helping solve issues around plastics waste, increasing end of life product recyclability, and innovating around mechanical and chemical recycling. Much work remains, but the industry and market are committed to coming together and solving these critical challenges. I’m looking forward to the solutions we’ll invent together.”
– Authored by Frank LaRocque, Market Manager, Flexible Packaging
In our next installment of the 2020 Plastics Market Forecast series, M. Holland’s Brian Brantley, market manager for Rotational Molding and Pete Nutley, M. Holland’s market manager for Color & Compounding, share what we can expect from those growing segments. Stay tuned, and don’t forget to read our previously published market insights: Healthcare, 3D Printing, Wire & Cable and Electrical & Electronics.