The global plastic additives market is expected to reach US$ 64.6 Bn by 2021, as per BCC Research. The growing market demand for products made of polyvinyl chloride has spurred demand for the plasticizers used in PVC formulation.
BCC Research reveals in its new report that phthalates, the most widely used plasticizer, accounts for about 90% of the global market for plasticizers used in PVC production. Additives are vital for the mass production of plastic products. Not only do they improve the melting and molding properties of plastics, as well as their strength, stability and chemical properties, additives also protect plastics from losing their molecular properties to heat and high shear rates generated during the processing of plastics. Stabilizers and lubricants also help in the processing of rigid PVC, and antioxidants prevent the molecular structure of nylons from decomposing during molding.
The global market for plastics additives, valued at US$48.2 bln in 2015, is estimated to grow from nearly US$50.6 bln in 2016 to US$64.6 bln by 2021, reflecting a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5%. Property modifiers, the largest segment of this market, will grow from nearly US$27.9 bln in 2016 to nearly US$35.9 bln by 2021 with a CAGR of 5.2%. The next-largest segment, property extenders segment, will grow from US$9.3 bln in 2016 to US$11.9 bln by 2021 with a CAGR of 5.1%.
From 2002 to 2007, the plastics industry in developed countries experienced reduced profit margins, due to rapidly increasing feedstock prices, product life cycle maturity, loss of market share to emerging markets, and regulatory pressures. In 2007, the plastics industry regained some of its profitability; however, the global recession, in the second half of 2008, resulted in decreased production of plastics and subsequently a decrease in demand for plastics additives. These decreases continued through 2009.
The plastics industry recovered in 2010 and subsequently so did the market for plastics additives. In 2014 and 2015, the plastics industry has regained its momentum and is poised for a greater future, which will further stimulate the plastics additives industry. An increase in the construction of homes and other building structures and new design trends in housing construction have increased the market for the most commonly used type of plastic, polyvinyl chloride, and subsequently has increased demand for plastics additives like the plasticizers used in PVC formulation. Additionally, sales of rigid PVC products are growing more quickly than flexible PVC, which is expected to increase the market for additives such as impact modifiers and lubricants.
“Plasticizers are the most commonly used type of plastics additive, and their use is connected to the increase in the market for flexible PVC products. While phthalates are currently the most widely used plasticizer, phthalates with improved safety profiles will likely replace toxic compounds like diethylhexyl phthalate,” explains BCC Research analyst Srinivasa Rajaram. “The second most widely used additive, flame retardants, will experience very strong growth due to the surging electrical and electronics market. Phthalates account for a major portion of the plasticizers used.”