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What is Plastic

Overview of the Plastic Industry of Thailand

  • The Plastic industry has been developed in Thailand since 1960. Initially, the plastic production was based on imported resins and the main processing was blownfilm, in forms of LDPE and PP Polybags.

  • Later in 1965 the injection moulding became prevalent and in the following years, high technology processings such as yarn extrusion and bolwmolding were applied.

  • Thailand initialed the development of the petrochemical industry in 1977 and achieved the first full-integration of the petrochemical production in Southeast Asia late 1996.

  • Since the moneytary crisis of Thailand or the "Tom Yum Koong" disease spread out thru the region in mid 1997, the market has been driven to be export-oriented as a result of the shrinkage of the domestic demand by 60% of the production capacity.

  • Alongwith the expectation of economic recovery in the region and the cyclical business growth of the petrochemical industry in 2002-2003, Thailand is under going to improve their high efficiency to welcome the recovery of this incoming growth.

Players in the Market

As Thailand is limited in natural resources, crude oil and gas are imported to be raw materials for upstream petrochemical production in Thailand. By virtue of the full-integration of the petrochemical production, Thailand is mainly self-sustainable for naphtha, ethylene, propylene, styrene monomer, etc. to produce plastic resins to feed the plastic processings. As a complete range of both commodity and engineering plastic resins are produced in Thailand, e.g. HDPE, LDPE, EVA, PP, PS, ABS, SAN, PVC, PC, Nylon 6, PMMA, polyurethane, polyamide, polyester, PBT, PTA, Carprolactam, etc., the plastic converters, can, therefore, be secured for the supply of raw materials.

Structure of the plastic business in Thailand

With a complete link of plastic-releted industries, There are extimated 5,000 factories engaging in the production of plastic resins, finished and semi-finished plastic products, machines and mould whereby the number can be roughly divided as following

  • 4,200 plastic converters and fabricators

  • 3,000 plastic converters

  • 1,200 Fabricators

  • 30 petrochemical producers

  • 15 compounders

  • 300 mould and machine manufacturers

  • The plastic converters in Thailand are classified into 4 levels with the total investment of 85,000 million Baht ranging from:

    • + small - scale factories = 57%
      (with a registered capital less than 5 mil. Baht)

    • + medium - scale factories = 33%
      (with a registered capital of between 5-50 mil. Baht)

    • + medium-to-large scale factories = 9%
      (with a registered capital of between 51-500 million Baht)

    • + large scale factories = 1%
      (with a registered capital for more than 501 million Baht)
  • More 70% of their production capacity is going to serve the domestic market.
  • Most of the factories are small scale or SMEs, who employ less than 30 workers, combined outputs less than 60% of total industry's outputs while the medium and large scale factories who possess World Scale Production System can generate 40% of the industry's outputs.
  • Most processings in this industry are Injection molding, Film extrusion, and Fiber extrusion.

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