The Global Polyolefins Market is forecast to reach around $270 billion by 2025, after growing at a CAGR of 6.5% during 2020-2025. The diverse applications of polyolefins in a gamut of industries including packaging, consumer goods, and others propels the growth of Polyolefins market size during the forecast period. Whereas, an increase in sales of electric and hybrid vehicles led to more demand for vehicle and automotive parts also contribute to the market growth. The use of polyolefins in fashion, sports, and toys is growing due to its ability to resist physical stresses, durability, provide flexibility in packaging, and allow easy molding of products. In the agriculture industry, the application of polyolefins is growing owing to increasing demand for drippers, micro tubes, nozzles, and emitting pipes at irrigation fields. Consequently, an increase in the application of polyolefins in automotive, electrical and electronics, food and beverage, and consumer goods industries is also propelling the polyolefins market share during the forecast period.
Global Polyolefins Market Segment Analysis – By Type
The LLDPE segment is projected to witness the highest CAGR of 8.5% in the global Polyolefins market during the forecast period. This growth is due to widely use of LLDPE in the various applications include packaging, automotive, agriculture, medical, and electronics. Additionally, LLDPE is highly durable, chemical resistant, versatile, and customizable. Along with the protection, the various form of packaging like rigid, flexible, and semi-flexible types offers a great option to suit the product making it very adaptable. It offers different thickness and clarities as well as various designer colors for a more customized option.
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Global Polyolefins Market Segment Analysis – By Application
The films and sheet segment hold the largest share of more than 60% in the Polyolefins market during the forecast period due to wide use across various industry verticals like packaging, transportation, agriculture, construction, and health & hygiene. Whereas, growing demand for polyolefin films and sheets from agriculture sector in wide range applications including greenhouse, mulch and silage stretch films, and silage sheets, construction for window films, and medical sector drive the growth of this market. Moreover, Polyolefins based agricultural films not only protect vegetables from the effects of frost, wind and rain, pests, but also help fruit, vegetables and flowers to ripen faster, allowing farmers to cultivate several crops in a year. In addition, polyolefin films also reduce water consumption by lowering evaporation.
Global Polyolefins Market Segment Analysis – By End-Use Industry
The packaging segment hold the largest share of more than 35% in 2019 and is projected to witness the significant CAGR of 3.5% in the global Polyolefins market during the forecast period. This growth is attributed to the growing demand for polyethylene films as a substitute for glass and metal in the packaging industry further boosts the growth of the market. Moreover, an increase in demand for hygienic and flexible food packaging materials is also expected to drive the market growth. According to National Center for Biotechnology Information, 23 million tons of plastic packaging are produced each year in Europe and is expected to reach 92 million tons by 2050. Furthermore, the growing disposable incomes from developing regions like China and India and plastic packaging recycling in Europe also contribute to the market growth. For instance, in 2018, DoW Packaging and Specialty Plastics (P&SP) developed an innovative formulation of polyethylene (PE) resins, a fully recyclable polyethylene packaging solution in India
Global Polyolefins Market Segment Analysis – Geography
Among the regions, the APAC hold the largest share of more than 45% in the global Polyolefins market followed by North America and Europe during the forecast period. Growing uses of HDPE and LLDPE across packaging, medical, and automotive industry in the region is expected to drive the market, primarily in countries like China, India, and Japan. Increasing demand for advanced automotive interiors and need for superior vehicles is also contributed to the market growth in APAC region. Furthermore, the growing consumer and e-commerce sectors is also contributing for the growth of Polyolefins market share across the APAC region. Whereas, growing transportation sector, changing lifestyle, and rise in disposables income also propels the growth of this market in APAC region. Moreover, the growing plastic recycling plants across the country also contribute to the market growth.
Polyolefins Market Drivers
Highly adaptable due to polyolefins advance properties
Polyolefins has many useful properties which make it suitable for several applications. It has low strength and hardness, but is very ductile and has good impact strength; it will stretch rather than break. Polyolefins is water resistant and durable, so it is longer lasting when exposed to the elements compared to other polymers. Polyolefins is a good electric insulator, offering electric treeing resistance but can become electrostatically charged. Adding antistatic agents will prevent this. Depending on the thickness of the Polyolefins, it can be almost transparent to opaque. The clearness of low-density Polyolefins makes it suitable for packaging applications. Polyolefins as HDPE can be recycled into other products, which is more cost effective than manufacturing a new product from new plastic. The good heat resistant properties enable it to be used in high and low temperatures.
Rising demand for Polyolefins across various industry verticals
The demand for Polyolefins is gaining momentum in various industries such as automotive, electrical and electronics, food and beverage, and consumer goods. Polyolefins properties such as high rigidity, good moisture, and chemical resistance makes Polyolefins suitable for industrial uses, mainly for packaging of automotive and electrical spare parts. Whereas, in the automotive industry, manufactures are focusing on increasing the efficiency of vehicles by reducing the weight of the vehicles. Polyolefins material is preferred as it is light in weight, offers easy process ability, sealing and stiffness properties. In the food and beverage industry, consumption for polyethylene is growing at a rapid pace due to the rising demand from production of packaging materials for food and beverage. The use of polyethylene in fashion, sports and toys is growing due to its ability to resist physical stresses, durability, provide flexibility in packaging, and allow easy molding of products.
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Polyolefins Market Challenges
Increasing environmental protection and plastic ban imposed by various countries
Globally, plastic production is estimated to be 380 million tons in 2018. Since 1950 to 2018, plastics of about 6.3 billion tons have been produced worldwide, 9% and 12% of which have been recycled and incinerated, respectively. Globally, plastic has been estimated by researchers that by 2050, oceans might contain more plastics than fish in terms of weight. Plastics from Polyolefins are non-biodegradable in nature, made from non-renewable resources and it can be remained in the environment for several years. The usage of plastic from polyolefin such as HDPE, LLDPE, and LDPE bags is one of the major reasons for the environmental and health hazards. The worldwide production of plastics and the accompanied environmental pollution have shown that plastic wastes have constituted a major environmental issue. The effect of plastic wastes on marine organisms, humans, and the environment at large is of public concern, and calls for the need to salvage the ecosystems and lives therein. Thus, the growing environmental concern is resulting in more stringent regulations, which is hinder market growth. Whereas, Governments all over the world have taken action to ban the plastic. For instance, in 2016, in France, the country passed a ‘Plastic Ban’ law. The law aims at cutting the usage of plastic bags in the country by half by 2025.
The emergence of COVID-19 pandemic
The polyolefins market is witnessing a period of low demand from its downstream derivatives. The continuing wave of capacity expansions in polyethylene led to oversupply and squeezed profit margins, further putting pressure on producers. For manufacturers, who were already reeling under supply chain disruptions caused by the U.S. and China trade war, COVID-19 further added lead time to cargo deliveries. The emergence of COVID-19, which is declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation, is having a noticeable impact on global economic growth. According to International Monetary Fund, the global GDP is expected to decline by 0.3% in 2020. According to World Trade Organization (WTO), global trade volumes are projected to decline between 13% and 32% in 2020 as a result of the economic impact of COVID-19. The pandemic is affecting operations of various industries such as automotive, oil and gas, construction, aerospace, and others, as most of countries have issued “stay at home guidance” i.e., lockdown. And it is expected that the outbreak of COVID-19 will be seen in the whole year of 2020, and a few months in 2021. As Polyolefins products are extensively used in these industries, the declining operations of these industries is directly affecting Polyolefins market growth.
Technology launches, acquisitions, and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in the Polyolefins market report. In 2019, the market of Polyolefins top 10 companies accounting for xx% of the share. Major players in the Polyolefins industry outlook are The Dow Chemical Company, Exxon Mobil Corporation, LyondellBasell Industries N.V., SABIC, China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec Group), Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, BASF SE, INEOS, Borealis AG, Chevron Phillips Chemical Co., Braskem S.A., and Formosa Plastics Corp., among others
In March 2020, LyondellBasell Industries NV signed a 50-50 joint venture with Liaoning Bora Enterprise Group (Bora) in Panjin, China, to build a 1.1 million-tons/year ethylene cracker and associated polyolefin derivatives complex.
In 2019, Neste Corporation and LyondellBasell jointly announce the first parallel production of bio-based polypropylene and bio-based low-density polyethylene at a commercial scale. The project successfully produced several thousand tonnes of bio-based plastics which are approved for the production of food packaging and being marketed under Circulen and Circulen Plu.
In November 2019, LyondellBasell was begun the commissioning works of its new high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plant in La Porte, Texas. The new plant utilized LyondellBasell’s patented Hyperzone technology to produce 500,000 tons/year of HDPE.
In North America region, the US polyethylene export volumes to China fell by 9% to 584,157 metric tons in 2018, bucking the overall trend because of the trade war.
In Brazil, the growing demand for lightweight materials in the automotive industry, in order to provide increased efficiency and design flexibility, is primarily responsible for the growth of the polyethylene industry.
Colombia is one of the largest automotive markets in South America, after Brazil and Argentina. Auto parts sales totaled USD 4.21 billion in 2018, a 9.5 percent annual increase over 2017. Thus, the growth of automotive sector further drives the market growth.
The volatile crude oil prices, unstable economy, and stringent environment norms are hampering the growth of Polyolefins market share during the forecast period.
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