The global plastics market was valued at USD 381.83 billion in 2013 and is expects to expand at an 8.1% CAGR from 2014 to 2020, according to a report by Grand View Research, Inc. The availability of raw materials, ease in manufacturing, and low production cost are factors influencing the use of plastic for manufacturing various products. The industrial sectors using the material include packaging, automotive, construction, electronics, and others.
The plastics market is anticipated to scale at a significant growth rate from 2012 to 2020 (forecast period) owing to increasing demand for sustainable products by consumers. The growth of sectors such as construction and packaging are expected to provide an impetus to market during the forecast period. Fluctuating raw material prices and growing environmental concerns are expected to pose a challenge to market growth. However, industry manufacturers have shifted their focus to developing bioplastics in order to overcome this hurdle.
Bio-based or drop-in plastics are gaining prominence due to the use of sustainable materials and minimizing the damage to the environment. For instance, the Coca-Cola Company has used this material since July 2017 for packaging purposes of its trademark drink and other beverages. Its PlantBottle packaging uses materials derived from plants to produce plastic in more than 40 countries. In 2018, German company FRIMO created an innovative system in order to expedite the production of vehicles in the automotive sector. This system can handle the production of thermoforming plastic for complex components in vehicle interiors. Companies in the market for plastics are focusing on innovations which reduce the dependence on crude oil and focus on organic materials.
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The worldwide plastics market is segmented by product, application, and region. Products in the market include polystyrene (PS), polypropylene (PP), polyethylene (PE), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), and engineering plastics. Major applications include packaging, construction, transportation, textiles, injection molding, and film and sheet.
Regions covered in the market report include Asia Pacific (APAC), Europe, North America, Middle East and Africa (MEA), and Central and South America (CSA). The APAC market accounted for over 40% share of the global market in terms of demand in 2013. The economic development of countries such as India and China is expected to provide the market new avenues for expansion over the forecast period. The Malaysia market has high growth potential owing to change in trade policies in the country. The increasing per capita income of consumers, growing automotive sector, and trade agreements with Europe, China, and Japan are expected to drive market growth.
The CSA market for plastics is projected to exhibit a 6.3% CAGR from 2014 to 2020 due to rise in infrastructural projects in Brazil and Argentina. The boom in the regional automotive sector is anticipated to contribute to market revenue in the forthcoming years. The MEA market has high growth potential owing to rapid industrialization in its economies. Many market players are organizing seminars to create awareness about the latest trends in plastics and their various production methods. They plan to avoid the mishaps faced in the oil and gas sector and to replace steel pipes with plastic to avoid corrosion.
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The North America and Europe markets have attained maturity and may experience a slower growth compared to other regions. The demand for bioplastics and engineering thermoplastics is anticipated to drive demand in these markets. Europe, in particular, is emphasizing on production of bioplastics and has increased the production of biopolymers such as polylactic acid (PLA) and polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA). The recyclable nature of these plastics is expected to make it a primary raw material in the food and beverages sector.
Key players in the plastics market include Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), The Dow Chemical Company, BASF SE, E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, and Total S.A. These players are forming partnerships or collaborations with biotechnology companies to produce bioplastics. For instance, SABIC has entered into a joint venture with CTE Petrochemicals Company in January 2018 to kickstart the production of polyacetal (POM) in Jubail, Saudi Arabia. Polyacetal is a thermoplastic with the potential to replace metal components in construction and automotive sectors. Other prominent players are shifting their base to regions with lax regulations to increase their capacity and lower production costs.
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