Press Releases

Innovation a Key Trend, Growth Factor in Rigid Transparent Plastics Markets

October 13, 2016

Wellesley, Mass., Oct 13, 2016 – Innovation in raw material technology is spurring growth in the global markets for rigid transparent plastics outside North America. BCC Research reveals in its new report that breakthroughs in resin or raw material technologies are helping PS manufacturers to thwart the challenges of other resins and regain their market shares.

Rigid transparent plastics are made from transparent-grade PC, PMMA, PS, ABS, PVC, PP, PET and other resins. In this report, light transmission percentages above 80% are accepted as transparent. This report also includes a small volume of plastics with light transmission percentages of just below 80%.

The global market for rigid transparent plastics will grow from $16.5 billion in 2016 to nearly $21.4 billion by 2021, reflecting a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.3%. As the largest and fastest-growing segment, polycarbonate (PC) should grow from $6.3 billion in 2016 to $8.7 billion by 2021, demonstrating a five-year CAGR of 6.6%. Poly-methyl methacrylate (PMMA) as a segment is expected to reach $2.5 billion and $3.1 billion in 2016 and 2021, respectively, on a five-year CAGR of 4.4%.

Significant trends include increased merger and restructuring activities, expansion of oil and chemical producers through the industrial chain, alternatives from low oil price, improved production efficiency, innovative resin or raw material technologies, stricter emission laws, and solutions for environmental constraints.

Emission laws and regulations in Europe and Asia will inhibit the growth of some kinds of rigid transparent plastics. On the other hand, emission laws also require rigid transparent plastics manufacturers to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and other wastes. This trend will increase manufacturing costs while providing an incentive for technological innovation.

High oil prices force resin producers to source other raw materials besides oil. For example, as high oil prices boosted the cost of polyethylene, Chinese manufacturers were using calcium carbide instead of polyethylene to make PVC resins. As a result, most of the newly added PVC capacities in China before 2013 were calcium carbide-based. Now, as oil prices drop to a low level, manufacturers are reconsidering the polyethylene production option.

In value terms, the market has declined significantly since because the prices of rigid transparent plastics dropped greatly due to low oil prices. However, the market in volume terms still grew steadily in most parts of the world, except for some regions where economies fell into recessions.

"Manufacturers are developing new grades of rigid transparent plastics with better performance, such as better light transmittance, strength, stiffness, durability, yellowness resistance and thermal properties,” says BCC Research analyst Jason Chen. "These developments will help rigid transparent plastics grab more market shares and extend their applications in various industries, including medical devices, automobiles, electronics, architecture, housewares and appliances."

Rigid Transparent Plastics: Global Markets Outside North America (PLS075B) forecasts the size of the market in current U.S. dollars for rigid transparent plastics, in value terms for each material and/or in volume terms from 2016 through 2021. This study does not include the North American market. The report describes raw materials supplies and identifies important industry players. Global market drivers and trends, with data from 2015, estimates for 2016, and projections of CAGRs through 2021 also are provided.

Editors and reporters who wish to speak with the analyst should contact Steven Cumming at steven.cumming@bccresearch.com.

Rigid Transparent Plastics: Global Markets Outside North America( PLS075B )
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