The market for thermoplastic elastomers is expected to register a CAGR of 5.11%, during the forecast period of 2019-2024. One of the major factors driving the market studied is the extensive demand from the automotive industry. Volatility in raw material prices and market saturation in applications are expected to hinder the growth of the market studied.
Automotive and transportation application dominated the market in 2018, and is expected to grow further during the forecast period, owing to the increasing applications, such as manufacturing of high-quality automotive instrument panels, wheel covers, dashboard components, pillar trim, door liners and handles, seat backs, and seat belt components, among others.
Increasing applications in the medical industry is likely to act as an opportunity in the future.
Asia-Pacific dominated the market across the world, with the largest consumption from countries, such as China and Japan.
Key Market Trends
Increasing Demand from the Automotive and Transportation Industry
Thermoplastics elastomers (TPE) are high-performance materials that are increasingly replacing standard plastics and traditional elastomers. About 40% of all TPE products, consumed worldwide, are used in vehicle manufacturing, especially in the automotive industry.
Thermoplastic elastomers are primarily used in belts and hoses, bellows, gaskets, sound management inside the car, floors, and instrument panel skins. Moreover, outside the car, it can be used in tires (base tire, side walls, treads) and wire, cables, and coatings in almost all parts of the car.
Owing to properties, such as lightweight, ease-of-processing, greater design freedom, versatility, and ability to be recycled, TPEs are predominantly used in the automotive and transportation industry. Therefore, the development of the automotive and transport industries, as well as their parts, components, and OEM suppliers, is an important indicator for the future TPE demand.
High-performance thermoplastic elastomers offer manufacturers the advantages of design and comparable strength of steel, which help in reducing the overall weight and controlling greenhouse gasses emissions.
Furthermore, factors, such as corrosion resistance and aesthetic appearance properties, are expected to positively influence the thermoplastic elastomers market growth in the automotive industry, during the forecast period.
China to Dominate the Market in the Asia-Pacific Region
China dominated the Asia-Pacific TPE market in 2018. China is the largest producer of automobiles in the world. In 2017, the country recorded 3.19% increase in the production of vehicles, where the commercial vehicle and passenger vehicle production increased by about 13.94% and 2.4%, respectively.
The Chinese automotive industry caters to the demand for vehicles, in both domestic and foreign markets. During the forecast period, the automotive production in the country is expected to be driven by the rising demand for SUVs, and lightweight and fuel-efficient vehicles, along with the increasing popularity of electric vehicles across the world.
In 2018, the Chinese construction industry developed rapidly, due to the central government’s focus on infrastructure investment, as a means to sustain economic growth.
The Chinese government rolled out massive construction plans, including making provision for the movement of 250 million people to its new megacities over the next 10 years, despite efforts to rebalance its economy to a more service-oriented form.
Additionally, there are numerous airport construction projects, which are either in the development or planning stage. These include Beijing Capital International Airport, Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport, Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport, Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, etc.
Therefore, with such construction projects coming up in the country, the application of thermoplastic elastomers is expected to increase. This is likely to drive the demand for thermoplastic elastomers in the near future.
The major companies for the thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) market include Kraton Corporation, LCY Chemical Corp., DowDuPont, BASF SE, and PolyOne Corporation.
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