In 2016, GCC plastics producers' sales represented 4 percent of the global industry sales revenue, reaching USD33 bn. The industry's capacity expanded in 2016 by as much as 5 percent, reaching 27.1 mts. In previous years, Saudi Arabia alone accounted for 2 percent of global polymer sales, and ranked as the eighth largest plastics producer globally.
Synthetic rubbers will witness the biggest number of products introduced in the coming years, benefitting from expected growth in the transport and automotive sectors. GCC engineering and specialty polymers output grew by 15 percent in 2016, reaching 2.5 mts. GCC polymer consumption increased by 4 percent in 2016, reaching 5 mts. Saudi Arabia was the largest polymers consumer in the GCC, followed by the UAE which accounted for 19 percent.
Industrial packaging is the fastest growing end user market for polymers in the region. Consumer packaging accounts for 44 percent, followed by the construction industry at more than a fifth. Plastic consumption in the GCC is increasing rapidly and reached 94 kg per capita in 2016.
Plastics consumption in Qatar is the fastest growing in the region, expanding at 14 percent between 2006 and 2016; however has the lowest consumption ratio to total polymer output at just over 11 percent. In 2016, Oman enjoyed the highest ratio of polymer consumption to output in the region (48 percent). In Oman, Orpic I building is a new ethylene cracker that will enable polyethylene production for the first time in the country.