The global PVC Market demand was valued at 38.50 million tons in 2013. The decreasing dependability of PVC on non-renewable resources such as crude oil and natural gas as compared to other synthetic polymers is expected to drive the market growth. The demand for PVC in medical devices and automobiles owing to its characteristics such as high corrosion resistance, low price, workability, and effectiveness is expected to fuel market growth.
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is the third most widely produced synthetic plastic polymer globally after polypropylene and polyethylene. PVC is available in two forms, namely rigid and flexible. The rigid PVC has its application in bottles, doors & windows, non-food packaging, and construction of pipes. The flexible PVC is used in insulation of electrical wires and in the flooring of hospitals, homes, schools and areas where sterility is required. The attributes of the product such as resistant to alkalies & chemicals, resistivity to deformation, good tensile strength and easy availability contribute to the market growth. In addition, PVC is highly used for insulation of electrical cables in low and medium voltage applications owing to its high dielectric constant and volume resistivity.
The economic recession of 2009 resulted in a sharp decline in the demand of PVC on account of its effects on major application industries including electronics & electrical, transportation and construction. The application of the product in 3D printing, injection molding, and CNC machining is limited on account of its emission of toxic & corrosive gases while melting.
PVC is highly flammable and emits hydrogen chloride (HCl) while burning thereby rendering it hazardous for the environment and restricting its use in applications with the risk of fire hazard. The diversified characteristics of the product enable its recycling for over five times, which increases it overall lifespan to around 140 years. The increasing infrastructure and construction spending in the developing markets of Latin America and Asia Pacific are likely to drive global PVC demand. The fluctuating prices of raw materials together with the strict regulations in North America and Europe restrict the use of PVC to medical applications only.
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The major applications of PVC include electrical & electronics, construction, transportation, and consumer packaging. The product is used for car interiors such as dashboards and door panels owing to its high durability. In addition, PVC has its applications in the automotive industry as underbody coatings, sealants, floor modules, wire harnesses, passenger compartment parts and exterior parts on account of its inexpensive nature and abilities to reduce the vehicle weight and providing improved flexibility in designing.
Construction segment accounted for over 55.7% of the global market volume in 2013. The global events such as Summer Olympics and FIFA World Cup led to the increase in the construction spending in the BRICS nations which is likely to propel PVC demand in the industry.
The consumer applications including footwear, sportswear, and appliances contribute to over 12.0% of the global market volume in 2013. The wide use of PVC in footwear and clothing on account of its water resistance and inexpensive nature as opposed to rubber and leather is expected to bolster market growth over the forecast period.
The demand for PVC in electrical and electronics segment is expected to witness the fastest growth as opposed to its counterparts. This growth can be attributed to the increasing demand in the electronics market in Taiwan, China, and South Korea, which in turn is anticipated to fuel the demand of PVC over the forecast period.
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Asia Pacific emerged as the leader by contributing to over 58.1% of the global market volume in 2013. The infrastructural development and growth of the construction market in economies such as India, Indonesia and China owing to competent prices coupled with low labor cost is expected drive PVC market demand in the region.
Europe is expected to account for the second largest market share contributing to over 18.9% of the global PVC market volume in 2013. The rising demand for the product in Turkey and Russia is expected to drive the European market growth.
The demand for PVC in the Middle East & Africa is expected to witness the fastest growth as opposed to its counterparts at a CAGR of over 5.9%. The growth of the key end-use industries including electrical & electronics, automotive, and construction in South Africa and Saudi Arabia is likely to have a positive impact on the regional PVC demand.
The key players in the industry are Shin-Etsu Chemical Co. Ltd., Xinjiang Zhongtai Chemical Co. Ltd, Formosa Plastics Group, LG Chem, Axiall Corporation, ChemChina, Mexichem S.A.B., Westlake Chemical Corp., BASF, Ineos Chlorvinyls Ltd., Georgia Gulf Corp., Sinopec Group, Arkema S.A., Tianjin Bohai Chemical, OxyVinyls, Vinnolit GmBH & Co., Solvay S.A., and KEM One.
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