Commodity thermoplastic elastomers are driving global growth for TPEs, according to a new report.
Consultants Smithers Rapra's report, "The Future of Thermoplastic Elastomers to 2020," examined the cutting-edge technologies affecting the TPE market and analyzed future trends in the automotive, building and construction, industrial, footwear, medical and healthcare sectors.
The global consumption of TPE was estimated to have grown from 3.7 million metric tons in 2013 to 4.2 million metric tons in 2015. It is expected to grow further to 5.5 million tonnes in 2020, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2015 to 2020 of 5.5 percent.
The automotive and building and construction markets represent more than half of global TPE consumption.
While the recession strongly affected these two markets, only the automotive sector seems to have made a partial recovery.
“Average growth rates are now settling down and with possible exceptions, they are nowhere near as high as they were ten years ago. This is a sign that TPEs are beginning to become a mature market as their acceptance increases globally,” said Patrick Ellis, author of the report.
Automotive and other transportation applications will continue to dominate the end-use market increasing their market share to 44 percent in 2020. Rising stars are medical and hygiene applications, as well as those for wire and cable. They are showing high CAGRs for the 2015-20 period and will jointly occupy more than 15 percent market share in 2020.
There will also be increased emphasis on bio-based TPEs and TPE-based rubber.
Asia continues to be the largest and fastest growth market, and China remains the dominant player in this region. Both Europe and North America are in slight recession, while some market share gains are being shown in the rest of the world.
The CAGR estimation for 2015 to 2020 for Asia/Pacific was 7.3 percent, North America at 4 percent and Europe forecast for 3.2 percent growth.