The global electronics & consumer goods plastics market size was estimated at US$32.78 bln in 2016, and is expected to reach US$53.5 bln by 2025, as per Grand View Research. Growing demand for plastics in consumer gadgets manufacturing owing to their lightweight, low cost and superior impact and corrosion resistance is expected to propel growth. Favorable demographics, growing affluence of middle-class population and changing lifestyle, especially in Asia Pacific, are expected to drive electronics industry growth, thus impacting the plastics industry on a positive note. The presence of numerous players coupled with the availability of multiple product options in the market is expected spur industry rivalry. As a result, low cost, and product quality with improved mechanical and physical characteristics are expected to be the key factors influencing the buyers’ decision.
China electronics and consumer goods plastics market by application, 2014 - 2025 (USD Million) (Grand View Research)
China has been dominating the consumer electronics industry over the past few decades in the production terms. Low product pricing offered by Chinese manufacturers in the international market, on account of low costs associated with raw materials, labor, land, and power, is expected to be a key factor for manufacturing industry growth in the region impacting the plastics demand on a positive note. The plastic manufacturers are expected to make high investments in the development of new products with superior strength, low environmental impact, and high durability to attract end-use demand. Increasing raw material prices coupled with high industry rivalry in the market is expected to hamper profit margin shares of the manufacturers. Growing demand for plastics in other applications including packaging, construction, and automotive, which is expected to lower its availability for electronics and consumer goods application. As a result, plastic manufacturers are expected to focus on increasing their production capacities to tap the growing consumer electronics market. The presence of alternate materials such as wood, glass, and rubber for manufacturing various consumer goods including sports equipment, toys, and jewelry is expected to hamper plastics market. However, higher durability, low cost, and light weight offered by plastic materials are expected to overcome the threat of substitutes in the above-mentioned applications.
Household appliances which include refrigerators, washing machines, and dishwashers were the largest application segment of the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.8% from 2017 to 2025. Polypropylene was the largest product segment used for manufacturing household appliances in 2016, accounting over 25% of the overall market. Polyvinylchloride demand in the lighting equipment is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.7% from 2017 to 2025 owing to its extensive use in manufacturing junction boxes, fixture houses, and containers. Growing urbanization and innovation in the lighting industry to develop products such as LED to support green initiatives are likely to be the key factors driving market growth.
Global household appliances market revenue, by product, 2016 (%) (Grand View Research)
Asia-Pacific was the fastest growing market for electronics & consumer goods plastics in 2016, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.2% from 2017 to 2025. The presence of numerous consumer electronics, appliances, sporting goods, and toy manufacturers across China, India, Japan, Korea and Taiwan has resulted in the high demand for plastics in the region. The consumer electronics industry in Germany has been a key sector contributing to the country’s GDP and is expected to witness a positive growth over the forecast period. The consumers in the region are in continuous search of innovative and technologically advanced equipment to replace the old ones, likely to influence the manufacturing of household appliance. Central & South America (CSA) is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.8% from 2017 to 2025, owing to the rapid growth of manufacturing industries in Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, and Peru. The governments of the countries in the region are taking initiatives to improve the manufacturing sector in the region, which is likely to open new avenues for industry growth. The Middle East & Africa (MEA) accounted for a smaller share in the electronics & consumer goods plastics market in 2016. The region has witnessed high demand for electronic gadgets and consumer goods. However, it is primarily dependent on the imports of these products. Though the demand for end-use products in the region is expected to grow at a significant rate, the plastics required for the goods manufacturing is expected to remain low as compared to other regions.
In January 2016, Panasonic Corp. developed a stretchable plastic film for electronic applications. The film offers 250% tensile elongation, has an ability to regain 98% of its original shape, and is expected to gain high popularity in the manufacturing of wearable gadgets. Increasing demand for innovative plastic materials for manufacturing technologically-advanced consumer electronics gadgets is expected open opportunities for new industry players. However, the presence of large-scale manufacturers with broad product portfolio coupled with high investments by existing players on R&D is expected to pose a threat for the new players in the market.
The major industry players including BASF SE, Bayer AG, DuPont, and Exxon Mobil Corporation, are engaged in manufacturing raw materials as well as plastics for end-use applications. Whereas, the players including LG Group and Honeywell are integrated across the complete value chain from the raw material supply to the production of consumer goods. Rising consumer demand for environmental friendly plastics is expected to compel the manufacturers to divert their focus to the production of bio-based and degradable product over the forecast period. The companies in the electronics and consumer goods plastics industry are expected to establish strategic partnerships with end-use industries to maintain their customer base and the foothold in the market. Increasing raw material prices and strong foothold of the existing players in the market are expected to be the key factors challenging the entry of new players. Growing concerns towards e-waste management coupled with stringent government regulatory framework for plastic waste disposal is likely to hamper product demand over the projected period.
Further key findings from the report suggest:
- The demand in consumer electronics industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.9%, owing to the increasing plastic usage for manufacturing electronic gadgets such as smartphones, laptops, CD players, TVs and computers
- Household appliances accounted for 23.9% of the total revenue generated by the industry and is expected to grow on account of increasing demand for product for manufacturing structures and bodies of washing equipment, refrigerators, and air conditioners
- The demand for plastics in winter sports was valued at US$1.62 bln in 2016 and is expected to grow on account of rising product penetration to replace traditional wood and metal sports equipment to gain superior performance, durability, and lightweight
- Asia-Pacific was the largest market, accounting for 37.9% of the overall demand, owing to robust growth of end-use industries including consumer electronics, appliances, sporting goods, and toys, especially in China, Japan, and India
- Rapid growth of electronics industry in Mexico owing to high investments, low manufacturing cost and increasing exports by the country in the international market is expected to drive demand for plastics in the North America
- In July 2015, Sharp Corporation launched Aquos Crystal, a new smartphone which uses bio-based engineering plastic for manufacturing its front panel. The bio-based plastic, Durabio, employed for this purpose was developed by the Mitsubishi Chemical and offers high heat, weather, and impact resistance
As per Transparency Market Research, the global market for plastics in electronics components will witness tremendous growth as plastic is being increasingly used in electronics and electric components across the globe. The automotive, medical, telecommunications, and electronics industries are some of the key application areas. Nylons, polyketones, polyamides, epoxy resins, polyethylene, polycarbonates, polysulfones, polyesters, and polyphthalamides (PPA) are some major forms of plastics that are deployed in electronic components. As plastic boasts insulation properties, it is widely used in electronic and electric components of several machines and devices. Some of these are printed circuit boards, bobbins, ignition components, and connectors.
As conventional fabrication procedures of electronic circuits are costly and time consuming, a vast number of manufacturers of electronic devices have been displaying high preference for plastics in electronics components. Also, as the demand for electrical devices increases, the demand for plastics in electronics components will grow simultaneously. Plastics in electronics enable printing of ultra-thin, highly efficient products that have long shelf lives. The emergence of cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT) has also been boosting the demand for plastics in electronics components. The deployment of these products in infotainment systems, automobile control, and driver assist has been escalating. Several technological advancements such as the development of polyphenylene sulfide compounds and liquid crystal polymer (LCP) that have replaced ceramic components are propelling demand. Nylon and several other polymers are being developed. On the other hand, as growing environmental concerns about the disposal of plastic arise, the growth of the market might slacken. However, the emergence of printed electronics and the trend of usage of more eco-friendly (organic) plastic components in devices such as smartphones will furnish substantial growth opportunities.
Based on geography, the global market for plastics in electronics components has been segmented into Asia Pacific, North America, Europe, and Rest of the World (RoW). North America and Europe are the leading regional markets. The region of Asia Pacific has been exhibiting growing demand for electronics components that use plastic, as these components are easily available at lower prices, reducing the cost of production of electronic devices and thereby increasing profit margins. A vast array of electronic components that use plastic are used in construction and building activities. Because of large-scale industrialization and the boom in the construction sector in particular, the market in countries such as India and China is likely to represent a significant share in the global plastics in electronics components market.