Engineering plastics are known for properties such as high dimensional stability, heat & chemical resistance and good mechanical strength. Different types of engineering plastics consist of individually unique properties, making them the material of choice in various end-user applications. The demand for lighter, flexible and durable material has helped engineering plastics to penetrate into industries such as automotive & transportation, consumer & appliances, electrical & electronics, industrial & machinery, packaging, others. Engineering plastics are primarily used as replacements of traditional materials, including metal and wood, in different end-user industries.
The global engineering plastics market valued to be US$53,580.7 mln in 2013, and is estimated to reach US$79,026.6 mln in 2018, growing at a CAGR of 8% from 2013 to 2018, as per Markets and Markets. The demand in the global market grew at a high rate even after the recent economic slowdown in 2008. This demand is expected to grow at a promising rate due to the increasing usage of engineering plastics as replacement of metal, wood and other materials. Each type of engineering plastic has its own unique set of properties making them the material of choice in several applications. Due to this reason the application of engineering plastic is extensive and is growing at a fast pace. One of the major end-user industries where engineering plastics are used to replace metal is automotive & transportation. Due to increasingly stringent regulations for reducing emission levels and increasing fuel economy, OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) are replacing metals in vehicles with various types of engineering plastics. Recent developments have resulted in the development of bio-based grades of different engineering plastics. These factors are expected to lead the growth in engineering plastics market. The consumer & appliances industry is a dominant end-use industry. Different types of engineering plastics are used for a variety of applications that befit their properties. Use of engineering plastics by various end-user industries helps in development of durable, reliable and more efficient products than their predecessors.
The Asia-Pacific region dominated the global engineering plastics market, accounting for 47.9% of the global engineering plastics market demand in 2013. The APAC is expected to have the highest market revenue in 2018 followed by the Western European market. ROW a collection of individual country markets is expected to be the fastest growing marketing the future, with a CAGR of 10.0% from 2013 to 2018, owing to rising consumption in this region where the end-user markets of engineering plastics are growing steadily. The Western European market is expected to grow at a rate of 7.8%, in revenue terms and 4.8% in consumption terms from 2013 to 2018. China was the global leader in engineering plastics consumption, followed by U.S.; together both these countries consumed 46.4% of the global consumption. The Indian engineering plastics consumption is expected to grow at 7.3% from 2013 to 2018.
New product launch is the major strategy adopted by the companies for increasing their market share. Other development strategies that major market players are engaged in are mergers & acquisitions, agreements & collaboration and expansion. Companies are expanding their geographical footprints by setting up plants and subsidiaries at new locations; Asia-Pacific is emerging as a top destination for the companies in order to expand. Engineering plastics manufacturers are investing heavily in the research & development activities to innovate and develop new products and applications. One of the major problems faced is the volatility in the prices of raw materials, which negatively affects the prices and margins of players in the engineering plastics market, thus restraining the growth of the engineering plastics industry.