C3s have become very costly as a result of the switch to lighter cracker feeds in the US, the predominance of gas as a feedstock in recent steam-cracker capacity additions and above GDP demand-growth for PP. Important factors include challenges of benzene pricing, benzene market volatility, benzene capacity additions. Despite these challenges, price of benzene is predicted to remain competitive, propping up derivatives. Read in Polystyrene regains cost position vs Polypropylene as feedstock gets more expensive
After two-and-a-half tough years for the C6 aromatics value chain, some optimism prevails for the long-term future of this business. Users of C6 value chain are confident that the materials and products made from or with aromatics will continue to be in demand, with new applications driving growth in a number of markets. There are numerous and complex challenges to be met, some relating to competition, others to supply, cost or sustainability issues. But, there are also significant opportunities for future growth if the supply chain remains flexible, competitive and creative. To know about the demand drivers, growth sectors, growth rates, growing applications, industry-wide issues and challenges, etc, read How bright is the future of C6 aromatics chain?
Sales of propylene will surpass the 2008 peak value of over US$90 bln as early as in 2012. An important factor that will impact the global propylene market is the massive capacity expansions for propylene and downstream products in the Middle East and China. Supply and demand in Middle Eastern countries is expected to double by 2014. However, the Asia-Pacific region will continue to dominate the market. To know more about the demand growth regions, the important applications of propylene, developments in steam cracking, capacity additions, growth in supply, etc, read Dynamic development of global propylene demand to lead to increase of over 20 mln tons by 2017
Despite the global recession, global demand for thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) is forecast to rise 6% pa through 2013 to 4.2 mln metric tons. China will account for 42% of new TPE demand between 2008 and 2013. Growth prospects through 2013 will be strongest in the BRIC countries. In addition, there are numerous factors that lend an element of uncertainty to market forecasts, including the health of the global automotive industry, the continuing evolution of new high-impact polypropylene polymers, and the global recovery rate from the 2008–09 world recession, among others. To know about leading market, global TPE sales, growth prospects, growth in developed countries, leading applications and growing sectors, etc, read Improved TPE provides enhanced properties, has a lion share in automotive
TPEs combine the processing advantages and recycling potential of thermoplastics with the flexibility, low modulus and soft touch of elastomers. They reduce part count, shorten process time and improve product durability. TPEs find application in medical, electronics, sporting goods, consumer products, and automotive, etc. Their building-block polymers vary and can include styrenic block copolymers, olefins, thermoplastics, and other materials. Researchers continue to introduce complex new TPEs like metallocene-catalyzed polyolefin plastomers (POPs) and elastomers (POEs). Read more in Applications of thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) continue to grow
In the last few years, concerted steps have been taken to reduce filler addition costs in polyolefins. It is quite clear that as compared to the PVC industry, the high compounding costs is a major barrier to filled Polyolefins from finding wider applications and market share. Only if compounding costs come down drastically and cheaper GCC is used, is there any chance of Volume costs of Filled PP/HDPE to be lower than the base polymer. Read more in Volume Cost and its importance in Plastic applications: Part 3. Filled Polyolefins, Recent scenario
EPDM based medium voltage distribution cables have been growing at a healthy pace over the past forty years despite introduction of XLPE insulation cable. This robust growth can be credited partly to the overall healthy market growth for distribution cable, as well as the attribute of EPDM of having a proven record of service life of over 40 years without any failure. To know why EPDM cables are better than XLPE cables, the advantages of EPDM, etc, read EPDM based insulation for medium voltage distribution cable offers advantages over XLPE
Bio based plastics will continue to offer important contributions by reducing dependence on fossil fuels and the related environmental impacts. In this decade many new polymers from renewable feedstocks have been developed. The developments in the past five years in emerging bio-based plastics are spectacular from a technological point of view. Many old processes have been revisited, and recent technology breakthroughs substantially improved the properties of novel bio-based plastics enabling a much wider range of applications. To know about the plant capacities, growing demand, global capacity, challenges that need to be successfully addressed, etc read Product overview and market projection of emerging bio-based plastics