Global TPE demand to increase 6.3% pa through 2011

Gobal demand for thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) is forecast to increase 6.3% pa through 2011 to 3.7 million tons, as per a recent report from The Freedonia Group. On the supply side, China will expand its share of the world TPE supply market from less than 30% in 2006 to more than 33% in 2011, although the U.S. will remain the world's largest manufacturer of some products such as olefin-based TPEs. TPEs will continue to find the majority of their use as replacements for natural and synthetic rubber, as well as for rigid thermoplastics and metals. Through 2011, China's TPE market (the world's largest market in tonnes) will expand and diversify rapidly based on the country's significant position in the production of many of the key products manufactured with TPEs, including footwear, motor vehicles, housewares, appliances, sporting goods, hand and power tools, and industrial machinery. Currently, a large portion of TPE demand in China is devoted to the country's massive footwear industry. Global TPE sales will remain concentrated in the developed markets of the U.S., Western Europe, and Japan, particularly for higher performance materials such as copolyester elastomers (COPEs) and thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPVs). Growth prospects through 2011, however, will be strongest in developing countries
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