Amid the current global green trends, Thailand's polylactic acid (PLA) exports have gradually increased at a faster rate than growth in global PLA demand over the years. The rise is primarily attributable to the fact that Thai PLA producers have been able to bolster their annual manufacturing capacities through production line modifications while global PLA supplies have remained tight.
However, PLA production capacities in Thailand are set to peak in 2021 and construction of new PLA facilities have been delayed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, Thai PLA shipments will likely be pressured by tighter supply during 2022 before improving in 2023 after new PLA facilities can begin operations.
KResearch assesses that Thai PLA exports may grow approximately 38.6 percent in 2021 and then slow to 13.6 percent during 2022 before accelerating again in 2023.
Looking ahead, Thai PLA manufacturers will likely face stiffer competition in China, which is Thailand's major market after the European Union because Chinese PLA producers have begun to bolster investment in PLA production as a result of their government's policy of promoting waste reduction. Thai PLA manufacturers are, therefore, advised to adjust by seeking new promising export markets.
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