|World masterbatch market is forecast to reach US$8.25 bln by the year 2017. Technology developments that help impart desired color and property to the polymer and simultaneously reduce its cost will aid in turbo-charging the market�s growth in the medium to long-term period, especially so given the evolving demand among end-user industries for high performance and functional products , according to Global Industry Analysts, Inc.
Masterbatches are omnipresent in all processes of plastics industry, including injection moulding, extrusion, rotational moulding, sheet, film, and blow moulding, as a standard method of adding colorant to bulk and uncolored resin. Masterbatch allows the processor to improve the appearance and performance of the raw polymer/resin in a cost-effective manner during the plastics manufacturing process. Masterbatches are also used for protection against weathering for a wide range of thermoplastic polymers. Diverse end-use markets range from automobile, construction, package, consumer goods, wire and cable, and electronic appliances among others. Growing GDP, rapid pace of industrialization, ballooning production and industrial bases, increased output of plastic components, consumer goods and packaging products and continuing penetration of masterbatch vis-�-vis competing coloring methods remain key growth driving forces in the post recession period. Future growth in the international market hinges heavily onto developing economies in Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Middle-East/Africa. China and India, especially, stand out as noteworthy markets, given the mass exodus of production activities (automotive & industrial) from developing countries to low cost Asian countries. The ensuing increase in foreign investments, and rise in the number of new manufacturing establishments will witness Asia-Pacific emerge into a prime driver of growth. The industry, over the past decade witnessed a flurry of mergers and acquisition with large conglomerates acquiring medium to small-scale players to enhance capacity expansions and complementary technologies. The tough economic environment revived a shakeout, as competition intensified, profits dwindled, and survival got tougher.
Economic recession resulted in reduced demand for masterbatch, not surprising, given the fact that fortunes in this market are tied to the health of key end-use industries such as the automotive industry, construction, fibers, packaging, household, and electrical & electronic industries. As a result of unprecedented weakness in all end-use application markets, which were hit with a general decline in consumer demand brought about by recession induced cost cutting by households faced with shrinking disposable incomes, demand for masterbatch plummeted to hurting levels, during 2008 and 2009. The recession has brought out the construction industry, one of the largest end-user of masterbatch, as a major causality with residential and commercial construction activity nose-diving. The sprawling electrical & electronics and appliances industry also succumbed to the inescapable symptoms of the recession, such as, lower discretionary spends and the ensuing weak consumer demand for personal computers, cell phones, cameras, heaters, refrigerators, laundry equipment, radios, TVs, office machines, and electric power equipment, among others.
The year 2010 has been another challenging year for masterbatch market due to prolonged structural problems in the financial systems worldwide, overcapacities in major end-use industries, unresolved global trade issues, and high unemployment rates in industrialized zones. The recession, which had caused the market�s growth fundamentals to splinter, has now started to realign with demand already showing signs of recovery. Recovery in GDP growth, employment rates, incomes levels, discretionary incomes, rise in consumer/business confidence, rebound in manufacturing activity and restoration of health to most end-use markets is currently reviving growth in the market. The sheer diversity of application areas for masterbatch provides a quick and easy road for recovery. Improving economic conditions will unleash pent-up demand as hitherto postponed purchase decisions resurge to provide commercial opportunities. Europe and North America account for a major share of the global Masterbatch market. The established western markets such as North America and Europe market has shown gradual strengthening, with demand and production moving somewhat higher in recent months. Emerging nations such as Asia and Latin America are leading the recovery boosted by government stimulus spending and the rebuilding of inventories in some economies.
Segment-wise, packaging represents the largest end-use market of the global masterbatch revenues. In volume terms, global market for Additive Masterbatch is expected to surge at a fastest CAGR of more than 6.0% over the analysis period. White Masterbatch is the largest contributor to global volume market for masterbatch. Major players in the global marketplace include A. Schulman Inc, Americhem, Ampacet Corporation, Cabot Corporation, Clariant AG, Colortech Inc, Dainichiseika Color & Chemicals Mfg Co Ltd, Dow Corning Corporation, Ferro Corporation, GABRIEL-CHEMIE Gesellschaft m.b.H, Ingenia Polymers Inc, Plastichemix Industries, Poddar Pigments Limited, PolyOne Corporation, RTP Company, Sharda Poly Colours Pvt Ltd, Teknor Apex Company, Yangxi Huaqiang Color Masterbatch Factory, among others.
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