The concept of engineering plastics has witnessed rapid involvement in both developed and developing countries in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region, owing to its superior features of having next best substitutability with the metals, since it possesses relatively lower weight. In a nutshell, the engineering plastics industry in Asia Pacific region grew at CAGR of 12.5% from 2008 to 2013, as per Ken Research, to augment at a CAGR of 15% during 2014-2018. In more developed markets of the APAC region, including countries such as Japan, South Korea and China, the offerings from the market players are expected to be diverse, focused mainly on customized demands. Additionally, the market is predicted to witness expansion in terms of the newer forms of engineering plastics resins, coupled with the development of their newer applications in end user industries.
China has evolved into the largest market for engineering plastics in the Asia-Pacific region. Chinese economy has entered into an inimitable stage of development, under which the economic growth has been slowing down, but the country has been heading towards a more sustainable path. Engineering plastics has been one of the major sectors which have escalated at a rapid pace in China over the last few years, especially since 2005. The overall market revenues of China engineering plastics resin market has enhanced at a substantial CAGR of 13.6% during 2008-2013. Primarily dominated by Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), the engineering plastics market of China expects to see revenues grow to US$242 bln by 2018. Moreover, with the development of electronics, automobiles and construction sector in the country, China has become the fastest growing country in terms of demand for engineering plastics in the world. Engineering plastics have gradually replaced traditional engineering materials such as wood or metal in many applications. In the midst of unique properties such as lower weight and higher strength, engineering plastics are much easier to manufacture, especially in complicated shapes. PET consumption is followed by ABS. Polycarbonate was the third largest segment of China engineering plastics market- its share has substantially enhanced as compared to 2008, owing to vibrant demand from end user industries such as automotive and electrical sectors.
The engineering plastic industry in Japan has been primarily dominated by PET, which has commanded a massive share of 18.4% in the overall revenues of the engineering plastic industry during 2013, and is likely to augment at a positive yet slow CAGR of 1.7% during 2013-2018, supported by surging growth of end user industries majorly automotive and electrical and electronics equipment industries. The engineering plastics industry of India has substantial growth potential in the country, since untapped opportunities still exist for metal replacement in cars, trucks, consumer appliances as well as in other applications. India engineering plastic market has considerably enhanced at a healthy CAGR of 25.0% during FY-09 to FY-14. The engineering plastic market revenues in the future are expected to augment at a CAGR of over 20% in the same period, reaching revenue worth US$5 bln in FY-19.
Engineering plastics typically possess superior properties, such as high dimensional stability, enhanced resistance to heat & chemicals and greater mechanical strength. Since each category of engineering plastic offers unique properties, their application in a range of end-use industries has been growing significantly. Increased demand for lightweight, flexible and durable materials has enabled the penetration of engineering plastics into the sectors that were hitherto unexplored or not thought viable. Some of the major end-users of this industry includes automotive, transportation, building & construction, consumer goods & appliances, electrical & electronics, industrial machinery and packaging, among others. In these sectors, engineering plastics are being increasingly utilized as substitutes for conventional materials, such as metals and wood.