The Plastics Compounding Market
The estimated distribution of compounded thermoplastic resins in North America reached 89.82 billion pounds in 2012. This total is expected to grow 90.92 billion pounds in 2013 and 102.36 billion pounds in 2018 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.4% for the period of 2013-2018.
- An overview of the plastics compounding market.
- Analyses of global market trends, with data from 2012, estimates for 2013, and projections of compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) through 2018.
- Coverage of the major thermoplastic resins and thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs); the resins include high-density polyethylene (HDPE), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), polypropylene, polystyrene, and engineering thermoplastics (ETPs): the major representatives being nylons, polycarbonates, polyacetals, PET, and PBT; the report also includes bio compounds, or plastics that are made from plants instead of hydrocarbons.
- Identifications of major resin producers, key plastics processors, and independent compounders, along with activities, product lines, and estimated sales for the major independent compounders.
- Reviews of key plastics additives used in plastics compounding and advances in plastics compounding machinery/equipment.
- Information on major fillers/reinforcements.
- Developments in carbon fiber and carbon nanotubes, and advances in natural fibers.
SCOPE OF THE REPORT
This report covers the compounding of major thermoplastic resins. The high-volume commodity resins include high-density polyethylene (HDPE), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), polypropylene (PP), polystyrene (PS), polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and thermoplastic polyesters (primarily PET). Engineering thermoplastics (ETPs) covered include PBT, nylons (polyamides), polycarbonates, ABS and some real specialties such as polyacetals and polysulfones. This report also includes an introduction to thermoplastic elastomers and some bio compounds, plastics that are made from plants instead of hydrocarbons.
The plastics compounding market is segmented by each of the above resins and by each of the three plastics compounding groups. Applications and markets by volume in pounds are estimated for the years 2012, 2013 and five-year forecast to 2018. Major resin producers, key plastics processors and independent compounders are identified. We discuss the activities, product lines and other information for the major independent compounders.
Our market estimates are mostly for markets for the United States or North America. Other features in this report include the following.
- Review of key plastics additives used in plastics compounding.
- Important information on major fillers/reinforcements.
- Developments in carbon fiber and carbon nanotubes for reinforcement of thermoplastics.
- Advances in natural fiber reinforcements.
- Regulatory and environmental developments shaping compounds, ranging from phthalate plasticizers to halogenated flame retardants.
- Key suppliers of plastics additives and fillers/reinforcements.
- Notes of some recent advances in plastics compounding and machinery.
Dr. J. Charles Forman has been a research analyst for BCC Research covering polymers and chemicals for more than two decades. His work in the industry includes 21 years at Abbott Laboratories in R&D and manufacturing management. Dr. Forman has researched and written more than 70 multi-client market research reports on a variety of subjects, ranging from building construction materials and spectroscopy to several studies on plastic packaging. He holds a B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and an M.S. and Ph.D. from Northwestern University, all in chemical engineering. He is also a licensed Professional Engineer (P.E.).
- The North American market distributed 98 billion pounds of plastic compounds in 2008. The market decreased to an estimated 91 billion pounds in 2009, but is projected to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.4% to 107 billion pounds in 2014.
- The largest segment of the market, resin producers, distributed 64 billion pounds in 2008. It decreased to an estimated 60 billion pounds in 2009, but is projected to increase at a CAGR of 3.3% to 71 billion pounds in 2014.
- The processors segment distributed 21 billion pounds in 2008. That figure was expected to decrease to 20 billion in 2009, but was expected to grow to more than 23 billion pounds in 2014, for a 5-year CAGR of 3.4%.
In viewing the entire thermoplastic market, the resin producers account for the majority of the compounding activity (producing around 44.585 billion pounds in 2006), followed by plastic processors (12.964 billion pounds) and independent compounders (8.173 billion pounds). Independent compounders, though, will show the highest average annual growth rate (AAGR) at 5.3%.
When viewing this market by the individual thermoplastics covered in this report, these ratios can be vastly different. For example, the major polyethylene variants, HDPE, LDPE and LLDPE along with polystyrene are compounded mostly by resin producers, while PVC is compounded mostly by processors.
There are several key trends within the plastic compounding business which will take some time to become significant. They are: forward integration of resin producers into compounding; increased backward integration of large plastic processors into compounding; increased specialization of independent compounders; continued movement of compounding production.