• Increasing environmental awareness and government regulation is leading to an increase in global consumption of PLA. Interestingly, the global PLA market currently faces a supply crunch created by a paucity of manufacturers. PLA finds application in packaging, textile, agriculture, transportation, bio-medical, electronics and others. Ongoing technological development and research on production process could lead to better performance properties and newer applications. Low-cost and easy availability of raw materials are key factors that are contributing to the cost-effectiveness of PLA. The production costs are however, expected to further reduce with research focused on identifying alternative sources of raw materials. To know more about the regions and application sectors that are the leaders and laggards, growth drivers, the challenges faced, etc, read Global Polylactic Acid market to reach US$5.2 bln by 2020 growing at a CAGR of 19.5% from 2013
  • Packaging forms an integrated and vital component in the medical device market, as it maintains sterility and provides effective protection to the product. Coping with emerging trends and cost reduction is one of the major challenges faced by the healthcare market, device manufacturers struggle to maintain profitability amidst the increased raw material, transportation, and production costs. To meet this requirement, packaging manufacturers need to develop new packaging materials and packages that deliver optimum performance at a reduced cost. The fastest growing markets include India, Mexico, China, Africa and Mideast countries. The North American medical device packaging market is experiencing steady growth with rise in demand in the healthcare sector coupled with greater focus on R&D to provide innovative, customized and cost-effective packaging. Read more in USA leads medical device packaging demand set to rise 5.9% pa through 2017 globally
  • Carbon fibers have gained importance in a range of applications in industrial sectors, with demand being mainly driven by wind energy, aerospace and defense, automotive, and sports and leisure sectors. Fiber-reinforced plastic composites will continue to supplant conventional materials such as aluminum and steel due to their light weight, stiffness, corrosion resistance and design flexibility. To know more about the high growth potential sectors for carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) and carbon fibers in the near future, read Demand growth in USA lower than global demand for carbon fibers, CFRP- projected to grow at over 15%
    • Plasticizers render brittle materials soft, flexible or ductile. Plasticizers are grouped into categories like phthalates, aliphatics, epoxy, terephthalates, trimellitates, polymerics, phosphates and others. The by far most important application area for plasticizers is PVC products. In 2012, over 80% of global plasticizers consumption was processed in plastic products, the majority being films and cables. Highest growth rates we continue to expect for the BRIC countries with likely increase in demand from USA. Demand in Western Europe is anticipated to hardly exceed stagnation. The major end-use markets include construction/remodeling, automotive production and original equipment manufacturer (OEM). Communication and building wire and cable, film and sheet (calendered and extruded), coated fabrics and dispersions (flooring and other) are the largest markets for plasticizers. Read more in Global market for plasticizers to grow by over US$19.5 bln in 2020; driven by growth in Asia-Pacific and East Europe
  • Shale gas development in North America has led to energy revival in USA. Less than a decade ago the international gas market was largely shaped by US imports. Currently, USA is about to become a gas-exporting nation. The low priced coal has led to a disruption of the industry in Europe and is starting to impact supply dynamics in the continent. This could indirectly impact Russia’s position as leading supplier to Europe In shale oil, Russia tops the list with about 75 bln barrels, but has no plans for shale gas development. Read more in Will shale gas development impact Russia’s energy and petrochemical industry?