Specialty Polymers Market size is forecast to reach $253.77 billion by 2025 after growing at a CAGR of 6.7% during 2020-2025. Specialty polymers are additives that are used to enhance the desired properties of polymers. They display specialized properties that make them preferable over conventional polymers. Specialty polymers are categorized under specialty chemicals and are suitable for a wide range of applications. Furthermore, rising demand from the automotive sector are expected to drive the market growth.
Asia-Pacific dominates the specialty polymers market owing to increasing demand from growing construction industry in the region.
The need for high-performance delivery to produce specialized products has grown will drive the growth of market in the forecast period.
Fluctuating operational costs to derive feedstock and technological obsolescence due to constantly changing end-user needs are expected to hinder the growth of the market in the forecast period.
Specialty Polymers Market Segment Analysis – By Type
Elastomers segment held the largest share in the specialty polymers market in 2019. Elastomers are polymers that are having viscosity as well as elasticity and therefore are known as viscoelasticity. The molecules of elastomers held together by weak inter-molecular forces, generally they exhibit low Young’s modulus and high yield strength or high failure strain. They inherit the unique property of regaining original shape and size after being stretched to a great extent. Natural rubber segment held the largest share in the elastomers. Natural rubber are the elastomers which are obtained naturally. It is made up of solids particles suspended in milky white liquid, called latex that drips from the bark of tropical and subtropical trees. This latex rubber is mainly found in the countries like Brazil, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Sri Lanka. Natural rubber is a versatile material use in engineering for many years because it can take a beating and still perform crucial functions. Natural rubber combines high tensile and tear strength with an outstanding resistance to fatigue. These capabilities make natural rubber an ideal polymer for dynamic or static engineering applications such as tires, printer rollers, agitators, and other parts that will come into regular contact with abrasive surfaces or other damaging elements. This factor will drive the growth of the market in the forecast period.
Specialty Polymers Market Segment Analysis – By End Use
Automotive sector has been the primary market of specialty polymers in 2019 growing at CAGR of 8.5%. Specialty polymer materials in automobiles have experienced a real boom and their applications are increasing with a tendency of further growth. The polymers are finding their way deep inside most of the applications primarily because of light weight and relatively better properties. The average global specialty polymers penetration is 120 kg/vehicle and average Indian plastic penetration is 60 kg/ vehicle. A wide variety of plastic are used in vehicles. The basic functions of such wide use of specialty polymers materials in vehicles dictate the appearance of the automobiles, their functionality, economy and low fuel consumption. The application of polymeric materials allows more freedom in design and approximately 82 percent of an average vehicle’s weight gets recycled. According to International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers the total production of automobile (commercial as well as Personal) in Asia-Pacific in the year 2018 was 52,449,078 units compare to 53,395,211 units in 2017. The increase in the global automobile production is a major factor leading to the growth of polyurethane powder coatings in terms of volume across the globe. This factor will drive the growth of the market in the forecast period.
As the pandemic has spread around the globe, concerns have shifted from supply-side manufacturing issues to decreased business. South Korea, Italy and Japan are the most affected among the major industrialized economies. Consequently, 80 percent of automotive and related companies report that Coronavirus will have a direct impact on their 2020 revenues. 78 percent of companies do not have enough staff to run a full production line. More than 80 percent of the world’s auto supply chain is connected to China. In January 2020 China’s car sales plunged by 18 percent. The China Passenger Car Association (CPCA) considers that the first two-month sales could decline by 40 percent or more compared to the same period in 2019. Production shortfalls resulting from supply chain disruptions in China will impact global automakers for the year, but after situation became normal it will grow with a steady rate in the forecast period.
Specialty Polymers Market Segment Analysis – Geography
APAC dominates the specialty polymers market with a share of more than 40% followed by North America and Europe. The economy of APAC is mainly influenced by the economic dynamics of countries such as China and India, but with growing foreign direct investment for economic development of South East Asia, the current scenario is changing. Countries in South East Asia are witnessing high growth in building & construction sector. The growth of specialty polymers can be taken as directly proportional to the growth of building and construction industry. By 2020, construction output is estimated to grow by 70% to $12.7 trillion and will account for 14.6% of the world output with some of the larger emerging markets such as China, India, Russia, Brazil and Poland driving growth, along with U.S. Global GDP growth of 3.5% and 3.6% is expected in 2017 and 2018 respectively however the meteoric growth that outpaces global GDP will be concentrated in countries like China, India and U.S. India will overtake Japan as the third-largest construction market with annual growth averaging 7.4% annually in construction. This factor will drive the growth of the market in the forecast period.
Specialty Polymers Market Drivers
The Growth of the Aerospace will drive the growth of market in the forecast period
The growth of aerospace industry predominantly in North America and Europe is determined to drive the specialty polymers market globally. Polymer materials are widely used for many aerospace applications due to their many engineering designable advantages such as specific strength properties with weight saving of 20-40%, potential for rapid process cycles, ability to meet stringent dimensional stability, lower thermal expansion properties and excellent fatigue and fracture resistance over other materials like metals and ceramics. The need for specialty polymers is first choice for many aerospace applications. Such material can be tailored to give high strength coupled with relatively low weight, corrosion resistance, and offer long term durability under most environmental severe conditions. This factor will drive the growth of market in the forecast period.
Increasing applications in the construction sector will drive the growth of market
Specialty polymers have emerged as a key material in terms of their use in the construction industry. The design, technical and structural advantages of these construction polymers has driven their application in building walls and flooring with maximum strength. Advancements in civil engineering and construction technologies have propelled the application purview of construction polymers. Cost-effective production, feasible profit margins, and relatively easy procurement of raw materials is driving large chemicals companies towards construction polymer businesses. This factor will drive the growth of the market in the forecast period.
Specialty Polymers Market Challenges
High cost and complex fabrication of specialty polymers will hinder the growth of market
Cost of specialty polymers is relatively high. Manufacturing of it is complicated process that requires advanced technical equipment. Cost also depends upon the number of factors included market condition. Next disadvantage is complex fabrication. The material is not as integral as its alternatives that is why it is sometimes damaged when hit. Despite the fact that the surface of an object may remain unchanged, inner structure disintegrates. Another drawback is high repair cost. These factor will hinder the growth of the market in the forecast period.
Technology launches, acquisitions and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in the specialty polymers market. In 2019, the market of specialty polymers has been consolidated by the top five players accounting for xx% of the share. Major players in the specialty polymers market are Koninklijke DSM N.V., Evonik Industries, Solvay Group, BASF SE, Specialty Polymers, Inc., and Others.
Acquisitions/Technology Launches/Product Launch
In July 2020, SK Capital Partners LP, acquired the specialty polymer business from Baker Hughes. According to Mario Toukan, a Managing Director of SK Capital, “The specialty polymer business is a pioneer in the development of advanced polymerization technologies. The company see enormous potential for growth through the further creation of practical, solutions-oriented products that solve challenges and generate significant value for customers”.