Polymer Market Research Report: By Type (Thermoplastics, Thermosets, Elastomers), Base Material (Polyethylene, Polypropylene, Polyvinyl Chloride, Polyethylene Terephthalate, Polystyrene, Polyurethane), Application (Packaging, Construction, Automotive, Agriculture, Electrical & Electronics, Textile) – Global Industry Analysis and Growth Forecast to 2030

  • Published: January 2021
  • Report Code: CM10644
  • Available Format: PDF
  • Pages: 194

Polymer Market Overview

The global polymer market was valued at $533.6 billion in 2019, and is projected to witness a CAGR of 5.1% during the forecast period (2020–2030), to reach $838.5 billion by 2030. This is majorly attributed to the increasing demand for the product in the packaging, automotive, and electronics industries. Furthermore, plastics are those polymers that are highly demanded in the packaging industry, owing to their attributes, such as lightweight, flexibility, strength, transparency, impermeability, ease of sterilization, low cost, easy manufacturing, and great resistance to physical ageing and biological degradation.

The COVID-19 impact has been witnessed by every industry all over the globe. During the pandemic, the polymer industry has been impacted due to the reduction in demand and production of light vehicles, where polymer-based products are highly needed. Besides, other industrial sectors, such as packaging, food processing, personal care, and pharmaceutical, have continued to be in operation, which has generated the demand for polymers.

Polymer Market Outlook

Thermoplastics Dominated the Market Due to their High Demand in Food Packaging Industry

In 2019, the thermoplastics category accounted the largest share in the polymer market, on the basis of type. This is attributed to the increasing demand for thermoplastics in the food packaging industry, owing to their high mechanical strength, cost efficiency, and ease of manufacturing. Furthermore, these attributes have pushed the demand for thermoplastics in other industries, such as construction for lightweight structures, storage tanks, and window frames and panels.

Polyethylene Category to Witness Fastest Growth Due to Rising Manufacturing Activities

The polyethylene category, based on base material, is projected to witness the fastest growth in the polymer market, during the forecast period. This can be fueled by an acceleration in consumer spending and manufacturing activities in various sectors, such as automotive, construction, and packaging. Owing to its relatively outstanding mechanical properties, such as high flexibility, good stability, high-heat resistance, and high-impact resistance, it is highly demanded for packaging products, tubing products, connectors, bottles, and plastic surgery implants.

Technological Advancements Led the Packaging Industry in Application Segment

During the historical period (2014–2019), the packaging industry dominated the polymer market, based on application. This is because polymers are replacing traditional materials, owing to their key properties, such as high flexibility, protective packaging, and high resistance to shock/vibration and surface abrasion. Besides, due to technological advancements by the addition of nanofillers in polymer matrices have enhanced the physical, mechanical, and barriers properties of the polymers, which have further pushed their demand in this category.

APAC – Largest & Fastest-Growing Regional Market

During the historical period, APAC led the polymer market, and the region is expected to retain its market dominance in the forecast period. The healthy growth of the regional market is primarily due to the high adoption of polymers in wide application areas of the automotive, construction, packaging, agriculture, electronics & electrical, and textile industries, in APAC. These application areas include flexible bottles, battery parts, film wrapping, bearings, gears, cams, bushings, handles, jacketing for wires and cables, safety helmets, and anti-corrosive seals. Furthermore, growth in the automotive and construction industries in India, China, and Indonesia, is expected to drive the demand for polymers. This is also attributed to their resistance to heat distortion, good electrical properties, low coefficient of friction, and high mechanical strength.

Polymer Market Geographical Insight

Shifting Focus Toward Recyclable and Sustainable Products ­– a Key Market Trend

Historically, polymer products were disposed of after use, which led to the increased amount of waste accumulation in landfills, resulting in harmful environmental effects. With the passage of time, manufactures of polymers have started using advanced technologies in mechanical and chemical methods for recycling of these products. The major advantage of recycling of polymer materials is that it helps in reducing the cost of manufacturing, due to the reduction in consumption of new or fresh raw materials. Thus, optimal resource utilization through the recycling of polymer materials to reduce wastage and create a sustainable environment is the key trend being observed in the polymer market.

Polymer Market Drivers

Increased Replacement of Conventional Materials in Automotive Sector

The rising adoption of lightweight materials as a replacement for conventional materials, such as ceramics and metals, has increased in the automotive and other manufacturing industries. This is majorly due to outstanding mechanical, electrical, and chemical properties, such as strength-to-weight ratio, elasticity, insulating and optical properties, and corrosion resistance. Further, it is estimated that around 10% reduction in weight of vehicle causes proportional reduction in fuel consumption, which leads to high volumetric adoption of polymers in automobiles, which, in turn, propels the polymer market globally.

Rising Use of Smart Polymers in Healthcare Industry

The considerable rise in the use of smart polymers in the healthcare industry is due to the increase in demand for biosensors, artificial body parts, and hydrogels for targeted drug delivery. The demand for smart polymers witnessed a year-on-year (Y-o-Y) growth of around 14% in 2019. Behavior of smart polymers, such as chitosan, polysilamine, and poly(hydroxyproline), toward stimulus is non-linear in nature. They are strong yet flexible and biocompatible in nature. Owing to these characteristics, the demand for these polymers is expected to increase, which, in turn, drives the polymer market.

Polymer Market Report Coverage
Report Attribute Details
Historical Years 2014-2019
Forecast Years 2020-2030
Base Year (2019) Market Size $533.6 billion
Forecast Period (2020-2030) CAGR 5.1%
Report Coverage Market Trends, Revenue Estimation and Forecast, Segmentation Analysis, Impact of COVID-19, Company Share Analysis, Regional and Country Breakdown, Companies’ Strategic Developments, Key Offerings of Major Players, Company Profiling
Market Size by Segments Type; Base Material; Application; Region
Market Size of Geographies U.S., Canada, Germany, France, Italy, U.K., Spain, Japan, China, India, Brazil, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa
Secondary Sources and References (Partial List) American Chemical Society, Chemical Industries Association, Color Pigments Manufacturers Association, China Plastics Processing Industry Association, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry, International Cast Polymer Alliance, International Monetary Fund, Japan Association for International Chemical Information, Personal Care Products Council, Saudi Arabia International Chemical Sciences Chapter of American Chemical Society, United Nations Comp Trade Database


Market Players Are Merging and Acquiring to Gain Competitive Edge

The global polymer market is fragmented in nature with presence of a large number of players, such as Exxon Mobil Corporation, BASF SE, Dow Inc., Covestro AG, Huntsman Corporation, Mitsui Chemicals Inc., Royal DSM, Eastman Chemical Company, and Evonik Industries AG.

In recent years, the players in the industry have adopted strategies, such as mergers and acquisitions, in order to stay ahead of their competitors. For instance:

  • In October 2020, LyondellBasell Industries N.V., a global plastic and chemical company, announced its decision to acquire 50% of Sasol’s 1.5 million metric (MM) tons ethane cracker, 0.9 MM ton low and linear-low density polyethylene plants, and associated infrastructure in a deal worth a total consideration of $2 billion. The deal would take place via LyondellBasell Industries’ 50:50 joint venture with Sasol, an integrated energy and chemical company based in Sandton, South Africa.
  • In October 2020, Indorama Ventures Public Co. Ltd. (IVL), a Thailand-based global chemical company, acquired IMP Polowat, a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) recycler in Poland. IMP Polowat has a capacity to produce around 27,000 metric tons (MT) of recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) flakes and pellets

Polymer Market

Some of the Key Players in Polymer Market Include:

  • Dow Inc.
  • Evonik Industries AG
  • Royal DSM
  • Eastman Chemical Company
  • Covestro AG
  • Mitsui Chemicals Inc.
  • Exxon Mobil Corporation
  • Clariant International Limited
  • Huntsman Corporation

Polymer Market Size Breakdown by Segments

The polymer market report offers comprehensive market segmentation analysis along with market estimation for the period 2014–2030.

Based on Type

  • Thermoplastics
  • Thermosets
  • Elastomers

Based on Base Material

  • Polyethylene
  • Polypropylene
  • Polyvinyl Chloride
  • Polyethylene Terephthalate
  • Polystyrene
  • Polyurethane

Based on Application

  • Packaging
  • Construction
  • Automotive
  • Agriculture
  • Electrical & Electronics
  • Textile

Geographical Analysis

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
  • Europe
    • Germany
    • France
    • U.K.
    • Italy
    • Spain
  • Asia-Pacific (APAC)
    • China
    • India
    • Japan
  • Latin America (LATAM)
    • Brazil
    • Mexico
  • Middle East and Africa (MEA)
    •  South Africa
    • Saudi Arabia
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