A study conducted by the Ministry of Foreign Trade has revealed that UAE has become a major player in the global plastic exports as it witnessed a growth of 127 percent (USD 2.2 billion) from first six months of 2011 to 2012.
This figure is eight times higher than the growth rate achieved during 2011. During the first six months of 2012, UAE’s foreign trade of plastics rose by 48 percent to USD 4.4 billion, compared to the same period last year. This spectacular growth was mainly driven by an increase in plastics exports. At the same time, plastic imports to the UAE grew by 17.2 percent to USD 3.4 billion in 2011.
In 2011, the UAE re-exported plastic worth an estimated USD 444 million to become the world’s third largest player in this sector. Hong Kong was ranked as the world’s largest re-exporter of plastic, grabbing a market share of about 81 percent of the world’s plastics. This translates into goods worth USD 13.3 billion, most of which find their way into the Chinese market.
The UAE accounts for almost 25 percent of all plastic production within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The emirate has over 600 plastics factories spread out across different regions. The UAE is also well positioned to grow its influence in the market as it is not reliant on particular geographical areas for exports. The study highlights that UAE exports plastics to 41 countries, shipments to each country worth over USD 10 million. India remains the UAE’s biggest export market, receiving about 11 percent of UAE’s total exports worth USD 195 million.
The global plastics market presents an attractive opportunity for UAE as the total market exceeded USD 1 trillion in 2011. China leads the global plastic trade, grabbing a 10.4 percent share worth USD 115.6 billion. Germany (USD 105.6 billion) and the United States of America (USD 100 billion) are other two major players in the plastics trade market.