The Saudi Arabia Rigid Plastic Packaging market (henceforth referred to as the market studied) was valued at USD 6.06 billion in 2021, and it is projected to reach USD 8.31 billion by 2027, registering a CAGR of 5.21% during the period 2022-2027 (henceforth, referred to as the forecast period).?
Key Highlights Saudi Arabia is becoming one of the largest markets for the rigid plastic packaging industry in the Middle Eastern region. The country has a large consumer base and a wide range of industrial activities (apart from the oil and gas sector), adding to the rapid growth in the demand for plastic packaging every year. The low-price scenario of crude oil in the global market necessitates a stronger non-oil sector. To strengthen the country’s non-oil sector, Saudi Arabia has been implementing several initiatives and regulatory reforms, such as National Industrial Development and Logistics Program (NIDLP) and Vision 2030, which may increase industrial production in the region. This creates considerable demand for rigid plastic packaging products from the region’s non-oil sector. According to a report published in the Arab News in January 2022, the investments for manufacturing products in Saudi Arabia exceeded USD 4 billion as per SPA. According to the National Industrial Information Centre report, with a 27% localization rate, the Kingdom’s manufacturing facilities have provided nearly 10,000 jobs in various technical, mechanical, and supervisory fields. The contribution of plastics to microplastic pollution poses a huge environmental risk when they are not adequately managed at the bottom level of the value chain, throughout their prolonged lifecycle, particularly in the ocean. The increasing production and use of plastic in the Arabian Gulf, combined with shipping and waste disposal practices, increased the concentration of plastic particles on the sea’s surface and beaches. Thus, the plastic packaging companies must comply with proper recycling measures to launch their products in the region, restricting the market growth. During the COVID-19 pandemic, oil derivatives such as plastics were being incorporated at unprecedented levels for numerous solutions, including packaging. The petrochemical industry played a significant role in the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. As COVID-19 new cases were confirmed, the demand for plastic products manufactured by the petrochemical industry increased rapidly.
Key Market Trends
Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) to Witness the Fastest Growth
Derived from PE, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) provides excellent rigidity compared to other forms of plastic. It also maintains a firm protective structure and exhibits excellent moisture-resistant properties. It is used to manufacture plastic bottles for beverages or liquids, disposable plastic containers, and ready-made or frozen foods. PET is popular as it acts as a good oil barrier, which helps resist the chemicals that might damage the plastic. Currently, plastic bottles from PET are widely replacing heavy and fragile glass bottles, as they offer reusable packaging for mineral water and other beverages, allowing a more economical transportation process. With its clarity and natural CO2 barrier properties, PET has wide applications and is easily blown into a bottle or formed into any other shape. PET properties can be improved with colorants, UV blockers, oxygen barriers/scavengers, and other additives to develop a bottle to match a brand’s specific needs. Moreover, specific features, such as transparency, make it quite versatile for various applications, specifically in the bottled water category. In the rigid packaging industry, PET is used to manufacture microwavable food trays and plastic bottles for soft drinks, water, juices, sports drinks, beer, mouthwash, ketchup, salad dressings, and food jars. There is a growing demand for PET bottles from various end-user industries, such as home care, beverages, and personal care. The growth is driven by consumer preference and its properties, such as being lightweight and its high recycling rate. PET was approved as safe for contact with food and beverage (F&B) by the FDA and various health-safety agencies globally. The safety of PET for food, beverage, pharmaceutical, and medical applications has been repeatedly demonstrated through extensive studies, testing, regulatory approvals, and its widespread acceptance for more than 30 years. PET does not contain bisphenol-A (BPA) or phthalates (plasticizers). Companies, such as SABIC, Takween, PlasticoSPS, Saudi Arabian Packaging Industry WLL (SAPIN), and Zamil Plastic Industries Co., offer PET bottles and containers for various end-user markets. Furthermore, as its polymer chains break down at a low temperature, it is recycle-friendly, resulting in minimal degradation of the polymer chain during the recycling process. This ensures that PET can be recycled many times before it becomes unfeasible for further recycling. Currently, Saudi Arabia recycles about 10% of its PET bottles. The recycling percentage is expected to rise with the increasing focus of the government on recycling. That is likely to drive the demand for PET in the country.
Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals to be the Fastest Growing Sectors
According to the Ministry of Health (MoH), Saudi Arabia’s pharmaceutical market was worth about USD 9.3 billion in 2021, representing a cumulative pharmaceutical expenditure of USD 42 billion from 2017 to 2021. Moreover, Saudi Arabia is widely known as a pharma manufacturing hub in the Middle East. With many domestic and international vendors setting up businesses with local generic manufacturers, there is a scope for a strong, secure, organic growth, which is expected to drive the demand for packaging. Moreover, the development of four’ economic cities’ is also expected to create new opportunities for establishing pharmaceutical processing and packaging units in this region. For instance, King Abdullah industrial city mooted the growth of the pharma sector. Companies, such as Pfizer (Saudi), invested in the area’s pharma manufacturing and packaging facility. A considerable move toward locally produced and packaged medications and treatments is planned under the country’s long-term development plan, Vision 2030, and its shorter-term goals in the National Transformation Programme (NTP), which continued through 2020. Only 30% of pharmaceutical items are currently manufactured in the United States. As a result, pharmaceutical packaging producers should anticipate seeing a large increase in business. In addition, Saudi Arabia is preparing to meet the needs of other GCC and North African countries. Saudi Arabia’s exports to these regions increased significantly in recent years. Jabil Inc. announced in February 2020 the unification of its entire healthcare group under Jabil Healthcare, including Nypro with its Orthopedics, Spine, Trauma, and other medical instruments operations, under a single umbrella. Jabil is one of the world’s largest healthcare manufacturing solutions providers, with more than 35 global locations and approximately 20,000 workers serving leading healthcare brands. Such developments are expected to create many opportunities for rigid plastic packaging in Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi Arabia Rigid Plastic Packaging Market is highly fragmented, with market incumbents, such as SABIC, Takween, Zamil Plastics, and Saudi Plastic Factory Company, accompanied by several regional Saudi Arabian contract packaging firms. Although the barriers to entry for new players are high, regional packaging companies are witnessing value in foraying, especially in the rigid packaging industry, owing to significant demand from industrial, food, beverage, and other end-user industries.
March 2022 - SABIC entered a partnership with Polivouga in order to launch the new TRUCIRCLE project that was designed to reuse plastic waste recovered from areas up to 50 km inland from the waterways. November 2021 - SAPIN announced the winning of the Gold Award in the 2021 Packaging MEA Prime awards, in the category of packaging design and innovation – metal.
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