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Packaging expected to bounce back in Asia

In the wake of last year's Asian currency crisis, packaging markets for plastic are expected to bounce back sooner than other economic sectors. That's due largely to the ongoing nature of consumer demand for non-durables, especially for food products.

That's according to Andrew Stevens, a project manager with research firm Phillip Townsend Associates, Inc. (Houston, TX), which just conducted a detailed analysis of polyolefin markets in Asia.

The crisis, however, has affected each country very differently:

"In South Korea, consumption of food packaging may actually increase," says Stevens. South Koreans, who enjoy frequent dining out, will be eating at home more often due to that country's austerity program, he says.

The packaging markets for polyolefins in Malaysia, the Philippines and, to a lesser extent, Singapore, are largely unaffected by the crisis. But polyolefin consumption in Thailand and Indonesia is definitely off from pre-crisis levels, says the study.

"We do feel the crisis will start to get better by the end of this year and [will continue to improve] in 1999 and 2000," says Stevens.

A 75-page management brief that assesses polyolefin markets of nine Asian countries is available for $4꽤.

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