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Release liner demand surges

The release liner market is growing in Asia and South America at up to three times the rate achieved in North America and Europe, the Global Release Liner Industry Conference in Chicago heard.

The 150 delegates heard that world demand is on a steady growth curve and use of silicone coating capacity has moved upwards to 65% for in-house coaters and 74% for commercial coaters.

However, Mitch Allen, general manager of tapes and foams manufacturer Arlon Viscor, pulled no punches. “We have two release liner suppliers who, in eight years, have had zero returns. That’s the kind of thing we’re looking for,” he said.

Merger and acquisition activity has resulted in a strong, consolidated group of leading companies, such as Mondi and Loparex, which now constitute the combined capacity of at least nine previous release liner manufacturers.

Industry threats were outlined as liner waste issues, linerless labelstock, incursion into the self-adhesive label market from alternative technologies and raw material price inflation. North America and Europe remain the main producer areas, both grew at just over 4% in 2006, while Asia and South America grew at 9.8% and 12% respectively.


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