Polycarbonate Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

The market is segmented by Product Type (Sheets and Films, Blends, and Other Product Types), End-user Application (Automotive and Transportation, Electrical and Electronics, Construction, Medical, and Other End-user Applications), and Geography (Asia-Pacific, North America, Europe, South America, and Middle East & Africa). The report offers market size and forecasts for polycarbonate in volume (kilo tons) and value (USD Million) for all the above segments.

Market Snapshot

Polycarbonate Market Overview
Study Period: 2016 - 2026
Base Year: 2020
Fastest Growing Market: Asia Pacific
Largest Market: Asia Pacific
CAGR: >2 %
Polycarbonate Market Major Players

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Market Overview

The polycarbonate market was valued at USD 8,693 million in 2020, and the market is projected to register a CAGR of over 2% in terms of revenue during the forecast period (2021-2026).

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has restricted the operating activities of several industries, including the end-user industries of the market studied. Construction activities across the world have been slowed down due to the shortage of labor, and in some cases, activities have been suspended owing to the lockdown regulations. The disruption of the global supply chain, due to the lockdown, has been a key factor behind the decline in construction activities and, in turn, the polycarbonate market. According to the OICA data, global automotive production declined significantly in 2020 due to COVID-19, registering a decline of -15.8% by the end of 2020. The top 20 OEMs in the global auto sector registered declined profits by approximately USD 100 billion in 2020, roughly a six-percentage-point decrease from just two years ago. It might take years to recover from this plunge in profitability. With automotive production slowing down and the COVID-19 pandemic further worsening the situation for the industry, the market for polycarbonate is expected to be affected, at least for short- to medium-term periods.

  • Over the short term, the factors driving the growth of the market studied are the growing demand from the medical industry and the increasing popularity of polycarbonate against conventional materials, such as glass and acrylic. With the COVID-19 pandemic, manufacturers of medical devices globally are focusing more on technologies like polycarbonate. The alarming shortages of medical supplies for doctors and nurses fighting the COVID-19 pandemic have augmented the need for more medical-grade polycarbonate.
  • On the flip side, apart from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on various end-user industries' growth and supply chain disruptions, the declining automotive industry is also likely to hinder the market's growth.
  • Product innovations for applications in the medical sector and the increasing commercialization of the bio-polycarbonate market are likely to act as opportunities in the future.
  • Asia-Pacific dominated the market across the globe due to the increasing demand from construction activities.

Scope of the Report

Polycarbonate is commonly formed with the reaction of bisphenol A (produced through the condensation of phenol with acetone under acidic conditions) with carbonyl chloride in an interfacial process. Polycarbonates are strong, stiff, hard, tough, transparent engineering thermoplastics that can maintain rigidity up to 140°C and toughness down to -20°C or special grades even lower. The polycarbonate market is segmented by Product Type, End-user Application, and Geography. By Product Type, the market is segmented into Sheets and Films, Blends, and Other Product Types. By End-user Application, the market is segmented into Automotive and Transportation, Electrical and Electronics, Construction, Medical, and Other End-user Applications. The report also covers the market size and forecasts for the polycarbonate market in 20 countries across major regions. For each segment, the market sizing and forecasts have been done on the basis of volume (kilo tons) and value (USD Million).

Product Type
Sheets and Films
Other Product Types (Tubes, Profiles, etc.)
End-user Application
Automotive and Transportation
Electrical and Electronics
Other End-user Applications
South Korea
ASEAN Countries
Rest of Asia-Pacific
North America
United States
United Kingdom
Nordic Countries
Rest of Europe
South America
Rest of South America
Middle East & Africa
Saudi Arabia
South Africa
Rest of Middle East & Africa

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Key Market Trends

The Electrical and Electronics Segment to Dominate the Market

  • In the electrical and electronics industry, polycarbonates are used to make numerous corresponding equipment. Some of the most common parts include the switching relays, sensor parts, LCD sections, connectors, cell phones, and computers, owing to their lightweight and high impact strength. Hollow polycarbonates are perfect thermal insulators, making them a preferred choice in most wire insulation applications in the electrical and electronics industry.
  • Polycarbonate sheets are used in electrical accessories, hardware gadgets, and optical plates. Growing demand for more innovative and technologically advanced products is expected to augment the market growth.
  • The demand for spike temperature resistance, high service temperature, ductility and toughness in thin sections, and non-flammability features in the material being used in electrical and electronics has further increased the demand for polycarbonate since it is capitalized on its collective safety features. Furthermore, polycarbonate materials fulfill quality and safety requirements, such as heat resistance and electrical insulation.
  • The lightweight and impact and shatter-resistant qualities make polycarbonates a perfect choice for housing cell phones, computers, electrical chargers, fax machines, pagers, connectors, battery boxes, and others, as they efficiently withstand a collision with a hard surface and/or scratches that may occur in everyday use.
  • The global consumer electronics industry has been growing rapidly over the years, owing to the consistently increasing demand for cellular phones, portable computing devices, gaming systems, and other personal electronic devices.
  • The Asia-Pacific electronic industry grew rapidly in the recent past owing to the high demand from countries like India and China. China is a strong, favorable market for electronics producers, owing to the country’s low labor cost and flexible policies. Furthermore, the Indian electronics market is expected to reach USD 400 billion by 2025. India is also expected to become the fifth-largest consumer electronics and appliances industry by 2025.
  • Despite the migration of a significant proportion of the production to low-cost facilities, European and North American electrical and electronics production is expected to lead by a high-end product mix. Industrial, medical, communication, and defense are some key sectors demanding high-end quality products, and they are expected to offer new opportunities for various companies over the forecast period.
  • In North America, especially in the United States, the electronics industry is expected to grow at a moderate rate. An increase in demand for new technological products is expected to help the market expansion in the future.
  • The German electronic industry is Europe’s biggest and the fifth-largest globally. Germany was estimated to increase electronics production by 1%, with total sales exceeding EUR 200 billion in 2019, according to the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association (ZVEI).
  • However, the COVID-19 outbreak has impacted the electrical and electronics industry by disrupting the electronics components manufacturing and supply parts unit. The lockdown, followed by the strict guidelines and delay in shipments of the components, has completely halted the production section, further affecting the market studied due to the lockdown's impact on the electricals and electronics sector. However, recovery in manufacturing activities is expected in the latter half of the forecast period, which is likely to restore the growth trajectory, benefiting the market studied.
Polycarbonate Market Key Trends

China to Dominate the Asia-Pacific Market

  • In China, the economic and industrial manufacturing activities have been affected significantly by the onset of COVID-19. On the bright side, as of March 2020, China lifted the lockdown in the country, and it has resumed various industrial operations. Hence, from the above-mentioned factors, the demand in the market studied in China is likely to be affected in the short run compared to the other countries. The industrial demand is expected to normalize from 2021.
  • The construction industry is one of the largest industries in the country. The sector has witnessed significant growth even in the middle of an economic crisis. This is due to the country’s belief that infrastructure investment can boost economic growth during the slowdown. Similar investments are expected in the construction industry to push the economic growth back to recovery post-COVID-19. The construction activity in the country resumed from April, after the implementation of lockdown when almost all industries were shut down in January.
  • According to the National Development and Reform Commission, the Chinese government approved 26 infrastructure projects at an estimated investment of about USD 142 billion in 2019, which are estimated to be completed by 2023. The growing demand for housing is likely to drive the residential construction in the country, both in the public and private sectors. The new hotel projects in the country increased by about 15% in 2019; the increase in construction of tall buildings and hotels is driving the market studied.
  • The Chinese automotive manufacturing industry is the largest globally, with a production share of just over 28% in 2019. The industry witnessed a slowdown in 2018, wherein the production and sales declined. A similar trend continued in 2019, with the production declining to 25.7 million vehicles, dropping by about 7.5% year-on-year.
  • China is the largest consumer of electric vehicles, and in 2019 alone, there were about 1.2 million new electric vehicle registrations, up by 3% compared to 2018, which is very low compared to the growth rate of more than 75% for the past four years. There were about 2,000 fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) on the road in China by the end of 2019. The Chinese government is planning to have a minimum of 5,000 fuel cell electric vehicles by 2025 and 1 million by 2030. The government promoting the use of electric, hybrid, and fuel cell electric vehicles is expected to drive the market.
  • China is one of the largest manufacturers of aircraft and one of the largest markets for domestic air passengers. According to the International Air Transport Association, IATA, the domestic air passengers in China in 2018 were 515 million, which is expected to cross 600 million by 2020. The high demand for aviation has led to the government's decision to introduce an airport building program, which includes huge investments in terminals and runways. As of May 2019, China had approximately 235 airports, which the government plans to increase by 260 in 2020. Besides, the government’s long-term targets remain around 450 airports for the country by 2035. The aircraft parts and assembly manufacturing sector in the country is growing at a rapid pace, with the presence of over 200 small aircraft parts manufacturers.
  • China is the largest base for electronics production in the world. Electronic products, such as smartphones, TVs, wires, cables, portable computing devices, gaming systems, and other personal electronic devices recorded the highest growth in the electronics segment. The country serves not only the domestic demand for electronics, but also exports electronic output to other countries. In China, with the increase in the disposable income of the middle-class population and the rising demand for electronic products from countries importing electronic products from China, the production of electronics is projected to grow. With the growing electronics and construction industry, the demand for polycarbonate is expected to increase.
  • The medical device market in China is one of the fastest-growing market sectors, and it was estimated to cross over USD 95 billion by the end of 2020. The number of private hospitals in the country is relatively small, and the healthcare product procurement is majorly driven by large public hospitals, which has led to the increasing usage of medical devices in public hospitals, in turn stimulating the demand for polycarbonate in the sector. In 2019, the Chinese health expenditure was recorded to be ~USD 750 billion, which accounted for ~5.3% of the country’s GDP. The medical device market in China has been witnessing strong growth with a growing number of hospitals and increasing demand for medical assistance. According to the China Association for Medical Device Industry, the medical device market size was recorded to be around ~USD 80 billion in 2019. About 70% of the growth was majorly fueled by hospital procurement.
  • Hence, from the above-mentioned factors, the demand for polycarbonate in China is likely to remain affected in the short run; however, the market for polycarbonate is expected to recover in 2021.
Polycarbonate Market Growth Rate

Competitive Landscape

The global polycarbonate market is consolidated with top players. The top five players accounted for an estimated share of over 70% of the global market in terms of production capacities. The major companies include Covestro AG, SABIC, Mitsubishi Engineering-Plastics Corporation, LOTTE Chemical CORPORATION, and TEIJIN LIMITED.

Recent Developments

  • In January 2020, Covestro AG signed a deal with Serafin Group for the sale of its European polycarbonate sheets business. It includes manufacturing units in Belgium and Italy, central management operations, and sales support in Europe.
  • In January 2020, Exolon Group signed a deal with Covestro AG for the acquisition of its European polycarbonate sheets business, including manufacturing units in Belgium and Italy, central management operations, and sales support in Europe.
  • In July 2019, Lotte Chemical and GS Energy agreed to invest around KRW 800 billion in a large-sized petrochemical business. The deal was to ensure a stable supply of polycarbonate materials and for the growth of the C4 oil business.

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Drivers

      1. 4.1.1 Growing Demand from the Medical Industry

      2. 4.1.2 Increasing Popularity of Polycarbonate Against Conventional Materials

    2. 4.2 Restraints

      1. 4.2.1 Declining Automotive Industry

      2. 4.2.2 Negative Impact of the COVID-19 Outbreak

    3. 4.3 Industry Value Chain Analysis

    4. 4.4 Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.4.1 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      2. 4.4.2 Bargaining Power of Consumers

      3. 4.4.3 Threat of New Entrants

      4. 4.4.4 Threat of Substitute Products and Services

      5. 4.4.5 Degree of Competition

    5. 4.5 Manufacturing Process for Polycarbonate

      1. 4.5.1 Manufacturing Process

      2. 4.5.2 Technology Providers for Polycarbonate

    6. 4.6 Patent Analysis

    7. 4.7 Price Trends

    8. 4.8 Technological Snapshot


    1. 5.1 Product Type

      1. 5.1.1 Sheets and Films

      2. 5.1.2 Blends

      3. 5.1.3 Other Product Types (Tubes, Profiles, etc.)

    2. 5.2 End-user Application

      1. 5.2.1 Automotive and Transportation

      2. 5.2.2 Electrical and Electronics

      3. 5.2.3 Construction

      4. 5.2.4 Medical

      5. 5.2.5 Other End-user Applications

    3. 5.3 Geography

      1. 5.3.1 Asia-Pacific

        1. China

        2. India

        3. Japan

        4. South Korea

        5. ASEAN Countries

        6. Rest of Asia-Pacific

      2. 5.3.2 North America

        1. United States

        2. Canada

        3. Mexico

      3. 5.3.3 Europe

        1. Germany

        2. United Kingdom

        3. Italy

        4. France

        5. Russia

        6. Nordic Countries

        7. Spain

        8. Rest of Europe

      4. 5.3.4 South America

        1. Brazil

        2. Argentina

        3. Rest of South America

      5. 5.3.5 Middle East & Africa

        1. Saudi Arabia

        2. South Africa

        3. Rest of Middle East & Africa


    1. 6.1 Mergers and Acquisitions, Joint Ventures, Collaborations, and Agreements

    2. 6.2 Market Share Analysis**

    3. 6.3 Strategies Adopted by Leading Players

    4. 6.4 Company Profiles

      1. 6.4.1 Chi Mei Corporation

      2. 6.4.2 Covestro AG

      3. 6.4.3 EXOLON GROUP GmbH

      4. 6.4.4 Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corp.

      5. 6.4.5 LG Chem

      6. 6.4.6 LOTTE Chemical CORPORATION

      7. 6.4.7 Mitsubishi Engineering Plastics Corporation

      8. 6.4.8 Ningbo Zhetie Daphoon Chemical Co. Ltd

      9. 6.4.9 SABIC

      10. 6.4.10 SAMYANG CORPORATION

      11. 6.4.11 TEIJIN LIMITED

      12. 6.4.12 Trinseo SA

    5. *List Not Exhaustive

    1. 7.1 Product Innovations for Application in the Medical Sector

    2. 7.2 Increasing Commercialization of the Bio-polycarbonate Market

**Subject to Availability

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Polycarbonate Market market is studied from 2016 - 2026.

The Polycarbonate Market is growing at a CAGR of >2% over the next 5 years.

The Polycarbonate Market is valued at 8693 Million USD in 2016.

Asia Pacific is growing at the highest CAGR over 2021- 2026.

Asia Pacific holds highest share in 2020.

Covestro AG, SABIC, LOTTE Chemical CORPORATION, TEIJIN LIMITED, Mitsubishi Engineering-Plastics Corporation are the major companies operating in Polycarbonate Market.

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