Apart from being the largest global market for engineering plastics with an estimated share of nearly 40% in 2015, Asia-Pacific is also likely to emerge as the fastest in terms of growth, with an envisaged CAGR of over 10% between 2015 and 2020. China forms the largest and also, the fastest growing regional market for engineering plastics in Asia-Pacific, while India follows as a close second. By product, demand for styrene copolymers (ABS & SAN) is the largest in the region. In terms of application, though consumer goods & appliances dominate the scenario, growth and demand are anticipated to be highest in automotive & transportation and building and construction end-use sectors. These industries are growing at a rapid pace in Asia-Pacific, witnessing a marked shift from the use of traditional materials, such as wood and metal to high quality engineering plastics.
Engineering plastics typically possess superior properties, such as high dimensional stability, enhanced resistance to heat and chemicals, and greater mechanical strength. Since each category of engineering plastics offers unique properties, they find their application in a range of end-use industries, which, in turn, has led them to grow significantly. Statistically, the global market for engineering plastics is expected to register a CAGR of over 8.2% between 2015 and 2020.
The increment in the demand for lightweight, flexible and durable materials has enabled the penetration of engineering plastics into sectors that were previously unexplored or assumed to be unrealistic. These distinct sectors include automotive engineering & transportation, construction, consumer goods & appliances, electrical & electronics, and industrial machinery & packaging, among others. In these industries, engineering plastics are used as substitutes for conventional materials like metal and wood.
Additionally, the companies, which are focused on developing improved grades of engineering plastics, are always engaged in extensive research and developmental activities. This is anticipated to increase the utilization scope of engineering plastics to a greater extent. Innovation in products has become the standard strategy adopted by prime companies in this sector. These key companies are also involved in other activities like mergers and acquisitions, collaborations and expansions into the unexplored markets.
In terms of product, demand for styrene copolymers (ABS & SAN) is the largest while, on the application front, consumer goods & appliances have the highest number of end-users. Asia-Pacific constitutes the largest, as well as, the fastest growing global market for engineering plastics. However, the developed markets of North America and Europe are likely to exhibit slower growth over the analysis period. Automotive & transportation and building construction are two of the more promising application areas for engineering plastics. The market is segmented by product types (Fluoropolymers, Polyacetal/Polyoxymethylene, Polyamides, Polycarbonates, Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA), Polyphenylene Oxide (PPO/PPE Blends), Polyphenylene Sulfide (PPS), Styrene Copolymers (ABS & SAN), Thermoplastic Polyesters (PET & PBT) and Other engineering plastics), by their application (Automotive & Transportation, building & construction, consumer goods & appliances, electrical & electronics, industrial & machinery and packaging) and by their geography (North America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Middle East & Africa and South America). The prime players in this market are BASF SE, Bayer Material Science, Poly Plastic Co. Ltd, Mitsubishi Engineering Plastic Corporation.
Engineering plastics are replacing the traditional materials as there is demand for lighter, more flexible and innovative products.
The raw materials used in this industry are expensive and there are strict environmental norms curbing the use of plastics.
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