South America is slated to emerge as the second fastest growing market for engineering plastics after Asia-Pacific, with a forecast compounded annual rate of about 8.5%-9% between 2015 and 2020. In addition to being the largest regional market, achieving an estimated share of nearly 45% in 2015, Brazil is also expected to have the fastest growing market for the same. By product means, demand for styrene copolymers (ABS & SAN) is the largest in South America; it also finds itself to have the fastest growing market. Though the largest share of demand is occupied by consumer goods & appliances in the region, the automotive & transportation and building & construction industries are anticipated to witness, the fastest growth in demand over the 2015-2020 analysis period.
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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