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Advances in global thermoplastic elastomers market to be driven by ongoing product innovations

Advances in global thermoplastic elastomers market to be driven by ongoing product innovations

30-Nov-15

Worldwide demand for thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) is forecast to grow by 5.2% pa to 6.7 mln metric tons in 2019, as per Freedonia. Advances will be driven by ongoing product innovation on the part of TPE manufacturers and compounders, allowing these materials to penetrate new applications. TPEs will continue to replace metals, thermoset rubbers, and other thermoplastics because they offer easier and faster processing as well as functionality in demanding environments. Additionally, TPE demand will benefit from the ongoing push to reduce motor vehicle weight, particularly as automotive fuel economy standards around the world become more stringent. Healthy growth will also be fueled by advances in emerging markets, which will benefit from increased adoption of TPEs over competing materials in applications such as adhesives and industrial components.
The Asia-Pacific region will continue to be the largest market for TPEs through 2019, rising at an above average pace to account for over half of world demand. China, the world's largest consumer of TPEs in volume terms, will continue to see more than 7% annual growth in demand. Gains will also benefit from robust expansion in India and Southeast Asia, where manufacturing output is expected to rise strongly. TPE demand in North America and Western Europe will see modest slowing compared to the 2009-2014 period of economic recovery, although advances will remain solid. Other world regions will enjoy above-average gains in demand through 2019, particularly the Africa/ Mideast region, where current TPE consumption per capita is lowest.
Styrenic block copolymers (SBCs) will remain the leading TPE product type through 2019. SBC demand will benefit from healthy growth in adhesives and consumer products, although the large and mature footwear market will limit advances. The fastest gains are expected for thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPVs), which are penetrating new applications in motor vehicle, consumer, and medical product markets. Smaller volume TPEs including copolyesters, fluoropolymers, and silicones are penetrating markets with strict regulatory and performance requirements. A resurgent motor vehicle industry will propel demand for thermoplastic polyolefins (TPOs), although advances will be restrained by maturity in applications such as automotive bumper fascia.
Motor vehicles account for the largest portion of the world TPE market. Advances will be bolstered by increased automotive production in emerging markets, and by growth in the amount of TPE used per vehicle in North America and Western Europe. Automotive markets will also benefit from such technological enhancements as overmolding TPE thin skins to thermoplastics in interior components. Industrial products will experience the fastest gains in demand, as rising manufacturing activity in emerging markets will incorporate TPEs to improve ergonomic and soft-touch features for industrial equipment. Healthy growth will be seen in other market categories such as packaging, wire and cable, and consumer products. For these applications, TPEs offer property balance and a perceived environmental benefit over PVC.

As per an earlier report by Freedonia, global demand for thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) is forecast to rise 6.3% pa to 5.6 mln metric tons in 2015. Gains uptil 2015 will be fueled by rebounding motor vehicle production in the US and Western Europe, rising use of TPEs in the developing countries, and the ongoing push to reduce motor vehicle weight. Gains will represent an acceleration from the pace of the 2005-2010 period as motor vehicle production-the leading outlet for TPEs, rebounds in the US and Western Europe. Advances will also be fueled by the rising use of TPEs in the developing countries of the world, where these materials are continuing to penetrate new applications. Additionally, TPE demand will benefit from the ongoing push to reduce motor vehicle weight, particularly as oil prices rise and automotive fuel economy standards become more stringent. Limiting further gains, however, will be a high degree of maturity in slower growing markets such as footwear. Value gains will be limited by rising TPE production in developing areas such as China and the Middle East, where low labor and feedstock costs will restrain price growth for the TPE market overall. Motor vehicles account for the largest portion of the world TPE market, with 30% of total demand in 2010. Advances will be bolstered by a rebound in the TPE-intensive North American and West European automotive industries through 2015, as well as increased TPE use in emerging markets such as China, India and Brazil. Consumer goods markets will see slightly subpar gains, however, as rising use in applications such as appliances and household items will be countered by the large and mature footwear market. The fastest growth will be seen in smaller-volume TPE markets, driven primarily by the robust medical products industry, as well as emerging applications in the packaging market. The Asia-Pacific region will continue to be the largest and fastest-growing market for TPEs through 2015, when it will account for nearly half of global demand. China, which has become the world's largest consumer of TPEs, will continue to see robust growth in demand. Regional gains will also benefit from nearly double-digit annual expansion in India and a noticeable acceleration in the Japanese market. TPE demand in North America and Western Europe will see substantial improvement compared to the recession-plagued 2005-2010 period. Over the long term, however, these regions are expected to account for an increasingly smaller share of global TPE demand. Other world regions will enjoy above-average advances in TPE demand through 2015, particularly Eastern Europe with its expanding automotive production industry.


Thermoplastic elastomers market is estimated to be worth US$27.8 bln by 2020, at a CAGR of 8% as per MarketsandMarkets. The thermoplastic elastomers market is segmented into seven applications, automotive, building & construction, footwear, engineering, wires & cables, medical, and others. Among these applications, automotive accounted for largest market share in 2014 in terms of value as well as volume. Thermoplastic elastomers have region specific demands that are differentiated by placement, cost, and efficiency. These demands are also governed by the prevailing environmental laws, as in Europe and North America the stringent environmental laws calls for more environmentally friendly products, such as those of thermoplastic elastomers, which can be easily recycled. In terms of value, the thermoplastic elastomers market size in automotive application is projected to reach US$11.9 bln by 2020, at a CAGR of 8.5% between 2015 and 2020. The market in Asia-Pacific accounted for the largest share of the Thermoplastic elastomers in 2014 and is projected to be the fastest-growing market in terms of value, between 2015 and 2020. The growth is attributed to the increasing automotive sales in developing countries, such as India, China, and Indonesia. India is projected to be the fastest-growing country in the Asia-Pacific region followed by China. Asia-Pacific and North America accounted for approximately 70% share of the Thermoplastic elastomers market in 2014. Asia-Pacific was the major market of thermoplastic elastomers in 2014, which  is projected to register the highest CAGR between 2015 and 2020, owing to  the increasing demand of tire and other rubber products from end-user industries, such as automotive and building & construction. Asia-Pacific is expected to dominate the Thermoplastic elastomers market by 2020, with high investments from manufacturers in capacity expansion. North America was the second-largest market for Thermoplastic elastomers in 2014 and is expected to get support from increasing tire sales with the recovering automotive industry. The leading players in the thermoplastic elastomers manufacturing are Arkema SA (France), BASF SE (Germany), Bayer AG (Germany), Sinopec (China), Dow Chemicals (U.S), Evonik (Germany), Huntsman (U.S.). Thermoplastic elastomers are aimed at replacing natural and synthetic rubber in a variety of applications and have succeeded to a great extent.  Thermoplastic elastomers have become an important part of highly dominant end-user markets and their high market growth is driven by substituting rubber and PVC in various applications, discovery of new applications that demand evolving thermoplastic elastomers and demand from the automotive sector. Asian manufacturers employ European companies to distribute the products. This trend is witnessed, as China involves in excessive production and the European market has a supply-demand gap for the same.

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