Mulching is a technique used to cover the soil surface around crops to create optimum conditions for crop growth. The usage of biodegradable mulch films is an eco-friendly mulching technique to carry out controlled agriculture on limited arable land, with limited irrigation. With the ability to self-degrade at the end of the cycle, it avoids the removal and disposal of plastic. Biodegradable mulch films, without having any adverse impact on the environment, assist in improving crop quality and enhancing agricultural productivity by minimizing soil erosion, providing nutrients, increasing soil temperature, and suppressing the growth of weeds. MarketsandMarkets projects the global biodegradable mulch films market size to grow from USD 35.76 Million in 2016 to USD 52.43 Million by 2021, at a CAGR of 7.95% from 2016 to 2021. The need to increase agricultural production by eco-friendly means is boosting the demand for biodegradable mulch films.
The biodegradable mulch films market is diversified and competitive, with a large number of players. The key players in this market include BASF SE (Germany), Kingfa Sci & Tech Co Ltd (China), BioBag International AS (Norway), AEP Industries Inc. (U.S.), and RKW SE (Germany), while other players include British Polythene Industries PLC (U.K.), Armando Alvarez (Spain), Al-Pack Enterprises Ltd. (Canada), Novamont S.Pa. (Italy), and AB Rani Plast OY (Finland). These players have adopted various strategies to expand their global presence and increase their market share. Expansions, agreements, joint ventures, mergers & acquisitions, and new product launches & technological advancements are some of the major strategies adopted by the market players to achieve growth in the biodegradable mulch films market.
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The major players in the biodegradable mulch films market had done expansions, launched new products and offerings, and brought technological advancements to strengthen their product portfolio and to expand their offerings to newer clients. BASF SE (Germany) has gained market prominence through its biodegradable mulch films ECOVIO and ECOFLEX. The company strengthened its product portfolio through the inclusion of ECOVIO F MULCH. It also expanded geographically in emerging economies like China by providing biodegradable mulch films for agricultural land for the production of crops such as corn, tomatoes, and potatoes. Furthermore, the company increased the production of ECOFLEX through a new production site in Germany, which also helped the company to expand its biodegradable mulch film market.
Kingfa Sci & Tech Co Ltd (China) launched 30,000 metric tons of capacity of biodegradable EcoPond-branded polylactic acid/polybutylene succinic polymer, which helped it to develop a leading position in the market. Novamont S.Pa. (Italy) introduced Mater-Bi agricultural mulching films for strawberries. These mulch films are biodegradable in the soil and ensure mulching over the crop cycle. This launch has helped the company in catering the demand of its large eco-friendly customer base.
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The period 2011–2015 also witnessed a lot of expansions, agreements, and collaborations by key players. BASF SE (Germany) started operations in its new plant which increased the production of its biodegradable plastic, Ecoflex. This new expansion helped the company to increase its production capacity and maintain its market position. Kingfa Sci & Tech Co Ltd (China) launched a plant in Tianjin in north China that has an annual capacity of 100,000 metric tons and designed the total capacity of 400,000 metric tons. Another new plant in Kunshan in east China is nearing its completion and performing test runs. It has a designed capacity of 400,000 metric tons. The key players also adopted the strategy for mergers & acquisitions to increase their geographic presence and expand their product portfolio to untapped markets. RKW Group (Germany) acquired Biofol Film GmbH (Germany), a manufacturer of films for gardening and agriculture applications. The acquisition helped the company to increase and strengthen its product portfolio in the agricultural sector that also leads to growth opportunity for the biodegradable mulch film segment.
The biodegradable mulch films market traditionally brought innovations in raw materials used to ensure effective functioning of biodegradable mulch films. It is keeping pace with technological advances seen in the agriculture industry and is poised to attain economic and technological expansions in the near future.
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