Rubber market in Poland

Rubber market in Poland

The rubber market in Poland is constantly developing, and Poland is one of the largest rubber exporters. According to Eurostat, Poland is the 10th largest exporter with a share of 2.8%.

Rubber is a widely used material, both in natural and synthetic form. Companies use it to make tires, tubes, gloves, rubbers, adhesives, coatings, nozzles, as a flexible material in clothing, and much more. Consequently, rubber is an important commodity due to its numerous uses in everyday items. About 60% of global rubber consumption is attributed to the global automotive industry.

The rubber market can be divided into natural rubber, which is produced from latex derived from rubber trees (although this tree grows in America, the vast majority of natural rubber is produced in Asia) and synthetic rubber (elastomer), which is produced in the process of refining crude oil.

Global rubber market

According to Statista, in 2000, the total world production of natural and synthetic rubber amounted to 17.68 million tons. By 2019, this amount had increased to 28.78 million tons, and the entire global consumption of natural and synthetic rubber amounted to 29 million tons (13.7 million tons of natural rubber and 15.3 million tons of synthetic rubber).

Rubber market in Poland

Value and size of the rubber market in Poland

Revenues from the sale of rubber products manufactured in Poland in 2019 amounted to over PLN 85 billion, including plastic products – PLN 67 billion and rubber products – PLN 18 billion.

Between 2015 and 2019, there was a steady increase in overall tire production, with a slight decrease in production in 2017. In 2019, there were produced 50,025,000 tires, of which 64.6% were tires for passenger cars.

In the group of plastic products, the most significant production in 2019 was recorded for plates, sheets, films, films, tapes, and strips made of plastics (1,679 thousand tons). The second in terms of production volume was the production of plastic pipes, conduits, and hoses (509 thousand tons), and the third – the production of plastic bags (418 thousand tons).

Export and import of rubber

According to International Trade Center, China has been one of the largest exporters in the world for several years. In 2019, Poland was ranked 10th compared to all countries in the world, reaching the value of USD 5.2 billion. In the case of imports, this value amounted to USD 3.9 billion. Thus, Poland is the 13th largest importer of rubber and rubber products in the world. Right ahead of it were countries such as Indonesia, France, Malaysia, and Korea. The largest importers are the USA, China, and Germany.

According to local data collected by the Central Statistical Office of Poland, the import of rubber and rubber products in 2019 amounted to over PLN 15 billion, and exports to over PLN 21 billion.

Employment on the Polish rubber market

In the Polish rubber industry, the largest number of companies that manufacture rubber products are medium-sized enterprises with over 50 employees – it is as much as 91.8% of companies. The remaining producers are small companies with 10 to 49 employees (8.1%). According to the Central Statistical Office of Poland data from 2019, the market of rubber and plastic products in Poland employed about 230,000 employees, and the average gross monthly salary was PLN 4,686.64.

Leaders of the rubber market in Poland

Among all rubber products, tires constitute the largest part of the production, which is dominated in Poland by foreign companies. The main leaders are Japanese Bridgestone, which has several factories in Poland, including in Poznan, where tires for premium passenger cars are manufactured.

The French brand Michelin is one of the largest players in the market all over the world. In Poland, the company’s factory is located in Olsztyn, where tires for passenger cars, vans, trucks and agricultural vehicles are produced. The most popular brands in Poland involved in the production of tires are Debice and Kormoran, which since 1995 has been taken over by the global Michelin concern.

Other major players in the rubber market include Stomil Olsztyn, Dunlop, Firestone, Barum, Continental, Goodyear, and Pirelli.

Impact of the pandemic on the global and Polish rubber market

The global COVID-19 pandemic has affected almost every industry, and the rubber industry was no different. According to the European Tire and Rubber Manufacturers Association (ETRMA), there was a global decrease in sales in the first quarter of 2020, and this applies to all tire segments. The consequence was the temporary closure of several production plants located in Europe. The exception was the production of industrial tires, where the sales volume increased by 6%. In the case of the Polish market, the Central Statistical Office of Poland reports that there was a 26% decrease in the production of rubber and plastic products in 2020 compared to the previous year.

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Author: Dominika Będkowska

Sources:

Produkcja ważniejszych wyrobów przemysłowych w lutym 2021 roku (Production of major industrial products in February 2021), GUS

Rocznik Statystyczny Przemysłu (Statistical Yearbook of Industry), GUS, 2020

Produkcja wyrobów przemysłowych w latach 2015–2019 (Production of industrial products in 2015–2019), GUS

Statista

International Trade Center

Branża Gumowa. Wzrost znaczenia polskich producentów na świecie (Rubber industry. The growing importance of Polish producers in the world), PKO, 2018

Guma i artykuły z gumy (Rubber and rubber products), PKO, 2019

Światowy rynek gum (The global rubber market), „Elastomers magazine”, 2019, nr 1

Przemysł oponiarski: wpływ koronawirusa jest widoczny (Tire industry: the impact of the coronavirus), Chemia i biznes, 29.04.2020

Branża gumowa i jej zmiany (The rubber industry and its changes), Zygmunt W., Log24, 01.10.2019