Outlook for PVC in Major Markets: Competitive Scenario

Published - Dec 2000| Analyst - Melvin Schlechter| Code - PLS013B
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Report Highlights

  • The PVC market is estimated at over 11 billion pounds in 2000. Growing at an AAGR (average annual growth rate) of 3.9% during the 5-year forecast period, this market is expected to reach 13.4 billion pounds by 2005. The PVC market does not have any serious problems in spite of trade press to the contrary. Its market growth over the next five years is pegged at 3.9% simply because PVC's main driver is the building/construction industry.
  • The construction market, consisting of pipe, window profiles and siding, accounts for over 75% of the total market. Siding, with an AAGR of 7.1% is the fastest growing segment and will reach 3.1 billion pounds by 2005. Pipe will remain the largest single construction segment, reaching 6.7 billion pounds by 2005.
  • Medical, packaging, and wire and cable are the next largest markets with medical showing the largest AAGR at 5%, reaching almost one billion pounds by 2005 in spite of environmental pressures. The PVC packaging market will remain flat, while wire and cable, at about 500 million pounds in 2000, will show moderate growth.


The objective of this study is to provide a current analysis of PVC, its applications, and its probable future.


A realistic appraisal of PVC is needed to properly assess its future in a variety of applications in light of environmental pressures exerted over the past decade. Replacement of PVC in several critical markets has been forecast, although in almost all cases, PVC has performed effectively.

The cost of potential PVC replacement must be weighed application by application and not in its totality and in an objective and realistic manner. Only by quantitatively analyzing performance, effectiveness of replacement materials, economics, and substantiated impact on the environment can a truly realistic appraisal of PVC's future be evaluated.


This report will focus on those major PVC applications that are seriously threatened by "superior" replacement materials whether driven by performance or environmental pressures. Replacement of PVC based on economics is a very remote consideration because cost is a very critical issue in the "replacement scenario."

This report is not meant to be an exhaustive study of PVC and its markets. It will focus on resins, as opposed to fabric and elastomeric moieties, and will quantitatively cover building/construction (pipe, siding, window profile, etc.), packaging, wire and cable, medical, automotive, appliances, electronic enclosures, hose and tubing, and key selected consumer/institutional markets such as toys and garden hoses.

Qualitative discussions will include such markets as flooring, roof liners, upholstery, and wall coverings, among others. Minor applications such as shower curtains, carpet backing, footwear, sports and recreation products, credit cards, luggage, handbags, tapes, outerwear apparel, etc. will not be covered. A clear picture of the current and future key PVC markets will emerge after taking all market factors into consideration.


Following an exhaustive review of PVC technical, company, and trade literature, all sources of information will be carefully analyzed to provide objective and reliable information. Producers, compounders, end users, and environmental groups all have their own vested interests, which must be carefully evaluated to develop an objective appraisal.


To ease reading of the report, well-accepted and familiar acronyms are used. These are shown below:

ABS acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene copolymer
APET amorphous PET
ASTM American Society for Testing Materials
BOPP biaxially oriented PP
CPE chlorinated polyethylene
CPVC chlorinated PVC
DEHP diethylhexyl phthalate
DIHP diisononylhexyl phthalate
DWV drain, waste and vent (pipe)
EIP ethylene interpolymers
EPDM ethylene propylene diene monomer
ETPs engineering thermoplastics (engineering resins)
ESCR environmental stress crack resistance
ESL extended shelflife
EtO ethylene oxide
EVA ethylene vinyl acetate
EVOH ethylene vinyl alcohol
FBV fabric-backed vinyl
FR flame retardant
FRP fiber reinforced plastics
HDPE high density polyethylene
HDT heat deflection temperature
HIPS high impact polystyrene
Ips instrument panels
Ivs intravenous
LDPE low density polyethylene
LLDPE linear low density polyethylene
LSFOH low smoke and flame zero halogen (compounds)
M metallocene
MA methyl acrylate
MAP modified atmospheric packaging
MLS multilayer structure
PBV paper-backed vinyl/solid sheet
PAN polyacrylonitrile
PC/ABS polycarbonate-ABS alloy/blend
PE polyethylene
PET polyethylene terephthalate
PETG PET glycol-modified
POEs polyolefin plastomers
POF plastic optical fiber
PP polypropylene
PPO/HIPS polyphenylene oxide-HIPS alloy/blend
PUR polyurethanes
PVC polyvinyl chloride
PVDC polyvinylidene chloride
SBC styrene block copolymer
SMA styrene maleic anhydride
TP thermoplastic
TPEs thermoplastic elastomers
TPOs/TPVs thermoplastic olefins/thermoplastic vulcanizates
TPUs thermoplastic urethanes
UL Underwriters Laboratories
UTH under-the-hood (auto)
VA vinyl acetate
VCM vinyl chloride monomer
VCP vinyl coated paper
XPE crosslinked PE

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