Germany is the largest, as well as, the fastest growing market for engineering plastics in the entire continent of Europe, with a share estimated at over 30% in 2015. Its market growth forecast is compounded to an annual rate of 5.5%-6% between 2015 and 2020. The largest product segment is represented by styrene copolymers (ABS & SAN) and the largest application area is occupied by consumer goods & appliances. On the other hand, demand for engineering plastics in Germany is likely to record its fastest growth in automotive & transportation applications.
Companies have been engaged in extensive research and development activities focused on developing improved grades of engineering plastics, which is anticipated to increase the scope of their utilization to a greater extent. Innovation in products is the standard strategy adopted by major players in this sector, those, of whom, are also engaging in mergers and acquisitions, collaborations and expansions into unexplored markets.
Engineering plastics typically possess superior properties, such as high dimensional stability, enhanced resistance to heat and chemicals, and greater mechanical strength. For each category of engineering plastics offers unique properties, their application varies in a wide range of end-use industries which are growing significantly. Increased demand for lightweight, flexible and durable materials has enabled the penetration of engineering plastics into sectors that were, hitherto, unexplored or assumed to be impractical, including automotive & transportation, building & construction, consumer goods & appliances, electrical & electronics, industrial machinery and packaging, among others.
In terms of product, demand for styrene copolymers (ABS & SAN) is the largest, while by application area, consumer goods & appliances claim to have the highest number of end-users. Asia-Pacific constitutes the largest, as well as, the fastest growing global market for engineering plastics. The market is segmented by product types (Fluoropolymers, Polyacetal/Polyoxymethylene, Polyamides, Polycarbonates, Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA), Polyphenylene Oxide (PPO/PPE Blends), Polyphenylene Sulphide (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 (Asia-Pacific, Europe, North America, Middle-East & Africa). The key 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 a 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. This acts as a possible threat to this market.
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