The specialty polymer distribution business launched by Qenos earlier this year is seeing growing demand for flexible packaging and other alternatives.

The business, eXsource, has been working with businesses to supply local and international polymers as well as specialty polymers and Qenos Polyethylene, and has seen growth in easy-opening films, re-closable seals, barrier films, industrial packaging films, injection moulding and blow-moulding.

Business manager Gerald Beckton said many businesses in the market were competing with the growing volume of imported finished film and imported finished goods.

Qenos business manager Gerald Beckton.

As a result, many of them have chosen to develop new products for niche applications.

“We're seeing a growing trend in the Australian market of brands moving from the traditional rigid packaging to flexible alternatives,” he said.

There is also a focus on manufacturing established products more efficiently, according to sales manager Jackson Allan.

According to recent Australian Bureau of Statistics Import Data, in Australia, finished polymer film imports grew at a compounded annual growth rate of eight per cent in the 10 years to 2015.

In that same time, demand for polyethylene in the Australian film manufacturing market decreased with a CAGR of -3 per cent.

However, demand for polyethylene in the Australian film manufacturing market has remained steady over the last three years despite continued growth in finished film imports.

This has resulted in growth in the overall size of the market, which may reflect efforts in the food industry to add value to their products before exporting.

“We are seeing our customers make the most of favourable market trends, for example the move towards flexible packaging solutions that reduce weight and offer brands more shelf presence,” Allan said.

The eXsource product range includes polymers that add functionality and enable light-weighting in flexible packaging films.

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