Caprolactam Market size is forecast to reach $18.1 billion by 2025, after growing at a CAGR of 5.1% during 2020-2025, owing to the wide usage of caprolactam as an intermediate in the production of nylon 6 fibers and resins. Caprolactam with a distinctive odor is a white ‘hygroscopic’ crystalline solid. Most caprolactam is used to produce 6 fibers of nylon, which is the starting material for fibers that have many uses in textile and industrial manufacturing. Owing to its properties like impact, high temperature, and abrasion resistance, an excellent balance of strength and resistance to bases, it is extensively replacing metal-based applications, which is the major factor driving the caprolactam market growth during the forecast period.
Caprolactam Market Segment Analysis – By Raw Material
The cyclohexane held the largest share in the caprolactam market in 2019. Cyclohexane is extensively utilized for the manufacture of adipic acid and hexamethylenediamine, which is then further used for the manufacturing of Nylon 66 and caprolactam. Cyclohexane is widely used as the raw material owing to its easy availability and low cost than other raw materials. Due to these advantages cyclohexane is extensively used as a raw material for caprolactam.
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Caprolactam Market Segment Analysis – By Application
The nylon 6 fibers application held the largest share in the caprolactam market in 2019, owing to the extensive usage of nylon 6 for manufacturing textile, and industrial fibers. Nylon 6 fibers are smooth and dimensionally stable and have properties like high elasticity and resistance to mildew and moths due to which it is extensively used in the textile industry. Nylon 6 fibers are used in numerous applications such as toothbrushes, raincoats, sport wears, bed sheets, curtains, ropes, racket strings, threads, and sleeping bags. And since the demand for nylon 6 is increasing in the textile industry, the demand for caprolactam is also anticipated to increase during the forecast period.
Caprolactam Market Segment Analysis – By End-Use Industry
The textile yarn industry held the largest share in the caprolactam market in 2019 and is growing at a CAGR of XX%. Textile yarn is widely utilized in various applications such as apparel and house furnishing. Rising demand for textile yarn coupled with the use of nylon 6 fibers in bedspreads, upholstery, curtains, and carpets is anticipated to have a positive impact on the industry over the next few years. Growing nylon fabrics demand owing to properties like high tensile strength, elasticity, scrub resistance, and heat resistance is projected to have a positive impact on the industry. According to U.S. International Trade Commission, the total capital expenditures in plants and equipment for the textile and textile product sectors increased by 36 percent in the 2013–16 period, rising from $1.6 billion in 2013 to $2.1 billion in 2016. With the increasing textile industry, the demand for nylon 6 is also increasing which is driving the caprolactam market growth during the forecast period.
Caprolactam Market Segment Analysis – By Geography
Asia Pacific region held the largest share in the caprolactam market in 2019 up to XX%, owing to the increasing demand for nylon 6 from the automotive and textile sectors in the region. The APAC region is witnessing increased demand for luxury cars due to the increase in the purchasing power of consumers. This has led to increased nylon 6 demand in the region, which, in turn, is driving the nylon 6 engineering plastics segment. In 2018, according to OICA, the automotive production in India, Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia has increased up to 5174645, 2167694, 1343714, and 564800, i.e., 8.0%, 9.0%, 10.3%, and 12.2% higher than the previous year due to rising per capita income of the individuals which further led to the massive demand for automotive manufacturing in the APAC region. According to India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), in 2018, the Indian domestic textiles and apparel industry stood at $140 billion (including crafts), of which $100 billion was consumed domestically, while the remaining $40 billion was exported to the world market. Exports in the textile and apparel industry are expected to reach $300 billion by 2024-25, which will triple India’s market share from 5 % to 15%. Thus, with the increasing automotive and textile production in the region, the demand for nylon 6 resin will also increase, which will then substantially propel the caprolactam market in the region during the forecast period.
Caprolactam Market Drivers
Stringent Emission and Fuel Economy Regulations
Strict standard emission and fuel economy regulations for vehicles have been imposed by several governments around the world. As the automotive industry is facing stringent environmental norms, Nylon 6 provides the advantage of better fuel efficiency by way of weight reduction and lower fuel emissions. These standard regulations have compelled automotive OEMs to increase the use of lightweight materials such as nylon resins, as these advanced lightweight materials assist in increasing the fuel economy of a vehicle while ensuring safety and performance. The emission regulations for light-duty vehicles, such as Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) and Greenhouse Gas Emission, set standards for vehicle fuel consumption. These regulations by the governments have made sure that the car manufacture henceforth might need to be manufacturing much lighter vehicles to obey as per these norms, which acts as a driver for the caprolactam market during the forecast period.
Increase In Automotive Production
The automotive industry is one of the largest markets for Nylon resin and compounds due to its excellent properties like tensile strength, chemical resistance, heat resistance, abrasion resistance, and more. Nylon 6 is extensively utilized in the automotive sector in under the hood, chassis, exterior, and interior applications. Nylon 6 reinforced compounds are being used for many metal replacement applications in the car engine components like intake manifolds, gears, bearings, and more, which is expected to increase the demand for thermoset resin during the forecast period. According to the International Trade Administration (ITA), the Chinese government is expecting that automobile production will reach 35 million by 2025. In 2017, the Australian market sold 1.2 million new passenger cars, SUVs, and commercial vehicles, an increase of 0.9 percent from 2016. According to OICA, the production of light commercial vehicles has increased from 2,249,348 in 2018 to 2,254,153 in 2019, an increase of 0.2% in Europe. Thus, the increasing automation production will require more nylon 6, which will act as a driver for the caprolactam market.
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Caprolactam Market Challenges
Moisture Absorption Properties
Nylon 6 is made from caprolactam polymerization and is known to have properties such as strength, stiffness, high thermal resistance, and high resistance to abrasion, but the key parameter considered during its selection is moisture absorption. Polyamide-containing products absorb moisture, thereby reducing their physical characteristics and making the product stiff. This drawback has to be taken into account by the manufacturers when producing polyamide end application parts. Different grades of polyamide have different moisture absorption rates. These moisture absorption properties of nylon 6 are anticipated to hinder the caprolactam market growth during the forecast period.
Covid-19 Impact on The Caprolactam Market
Due to the covid-19 pandemic, the import and export of textile commodities have significantly fallen during the course. There’s been a supply chain disruption in the global and local enterprises which are dealing with the manufacturing of caprolactam. Also, the productions in textile sectors are expecting to experience difficulties like untimely deliveries of caprolactam and there’s been a delay in the shipment consignments. All of which are affecting the caprolactam market during the outbreak.
Caprolactam Market Landscape
Technology launches, acquisitions, and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in the caprolactam market. In 2019, the market of caprolactam has been consolidated by the top five players accounting for xx% of the share. Major players in the caprolactam market are AdvanSix Inc., Alpek S.A.B. de C.V., The Aquafil Group, BASF SE, Capro Co., China Petrochemical Development Corporation, Domo Chemicals, Grupa Azoty, Gujarat State Fertilizers & Chemicals Limited, Highsun Group, KuibyshevAzot PJSC, Lanxess AG, Luxi Chemical Group Co. Ltd., China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation, Spolana, Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd., Toray Industries, Inc., Ube Industries, Ltd., and Zhejiang Hengyi Group Co., Ltd.
In February 2018, Aquafil signed an agreement with INVISTA, one of the world’s largest integrated producers of chemical intermediates, polymers, and fibers, to acquire certain tangible and intangible assets related to INVISTA’s nylon 6 business activities in APAC. This will accelerate Aquafil’s investment program in APAC, which has the highest potential, in terms of demand growth for synthetic fibers.
In April 2017, Lanxess expanded its production capacity for polyamide and precursors for plastics in Lillo-Antwerp (Belgium) to strengthen the competitiveness of this site. Caprolactam is a key precursor for the production of high-tech plastics and is used in the automotive and electrical & electronics industries.
Asia Pacific dominates the caprolactam market, owing to the increasing demand and production of lightweight vehicles that require nylon 6 resins. According to OICA, in 2018 the production of light commercial vehicles has increased by 10.2 % in the APAC region.
Nylon 6 offers chemical resistance, resistance to damage from oils and resistance to abrasion. In a wide range of applications across the textile, automotive, and electrical and electronics industries, the benefits have increased the utilization of nylon 6.
Nylon has high-temperature resistance and can be dyed for aesthetic appeal with the desired color. Nylon is also used in the manufacture of sports equipment, ropes, and fishing nets, in addition to apparel. With the growing commercial significance of nylon, the global market for caprolactam is set to grow significantly over the forecast period.
Due to the COVID – 19 pandemic, most of the countries have gone under lockdown, due to which operations of various industries such as textile and automotive has been negatively affected, which is hampering the caprolactam market growth.
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