Polybutylene Succinate Market is forecast to reach $110.3 million by 2026, after growing at a CAGR of 9.6% during 2021-2026. Polybutylene succinate (PBS) is a polyester-family thermoplastic polymer resin. Polybutylene succinate is highly heat resistant and highly compatible with fiber resins in the general biodegradability resin, owing to which it is extensively used in various end-use industries such as packaging, biomedical, agriculture, and more. The main growth drivers of the polybutylene succinate market are the increasing demand for biodegradable polymers globally, the growing agricultural sector, and the growing demand from the packaging industry. Besides, the growing popularity of bio-based polybutylene succinate is anticipated to create lucrative opportunities for the polybutylene succinate market during the forecast period.
Due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, numerous packaging plants, along with food and pharmaceutical plants across the nation were forced to be shut down, owing to the enforced lockdown. In addition, the nationwide lockdown has also resulted in a shrinking supply of raw materials, lack of workforce, logistic availability, and more, which is directly hindering the operation of the packaging, pharmaceutical, and food & beverages industry. And since polybutylene succinate are largely employed in the packaging, pharmaceutical, and food & beverages industry, the decreasing operation of these end-use industries is limiting the polybutylene succinate market growth during the covid-19 outbreak.
Polybutylene Succinate Market Segment Analysis – By Type
The conventional segment held a significant share in the polybutylene succinate market in 2020 and is expected to grow with a CAGR of 7.1% during the forecast timeframe, owing to the low cost of conventional polybutylene succinate when compared with its bio-based counterpart. However, the bio-based polybutylene succinate segment also holds a prominent share in the market. In the particular case of composite formulations, the higher cost of the polymers can be lowered with the addition of inexpensive fillers. Fillers also allow the modification or improvement of the thermal properties and mechanical properties of the polymer matrices, in addition to reducing costs. Furthermore, the addition of bio-based fillers results in the production of bio-based or compostable materials. Due to these advantages, a variety of different natural fillers have been used to create green composites, owing to which the demand for bio-based polybutylene succinate is projected to increase during the forecast period.
Polybutylene Succinate Market Segment Analysis – By Process
The trans-esterification segment held a significant share in the polybutylene succinate market in 2020. PBS is produced through direct esterification in open and closed systems, in the presence and absence of nitrogen, using two different monomers (succinic acid and anhydride). PBS is also produced through trans-esterification at different temperatures and using different metal catalysts. They are then characterized by gel permeation chromatography, nuclear magnetic resonance, fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, polymer melt rheology, and more. Based on the obtained results, it is projected that the best set of final properties is obtained when PBS is produced through trans-esterification as it provides polybutylene succinate with balanced mechanical properties, excellent biodegradability, and thermoplastic processability.
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Polybutylene Succinate Market Segment Analysis – By Plastic Process
The extrusion segment held a significant share in the polybutylene succinate market in 2020, owing to the various advantages associated with the extrusion grade of polybutylene succinate. Extrusion moulding has a low cost relative to other moulding processes, provides considerable flexibility in manufacturing products with a consistent cross-section, remains hot when it leaves the extruder, which allows for post-extrusion manipulation, and more. Extrusion is used for the production of food trays, carts, containers, cutlery, and similar items. All these advantages associated with extrusion grade of polybutylene succinate are driving the demand for extrusion grade of polybutylene succinate in the packaging industry during the forecast period.
Polybutylene Succinate Market Segment Analysis – By Application
The packaging film segment held a significant share in the polybutylene succinate market in 2020 and is expected to rise at a CAGR of 10.1% during the forecast period, owing to the increasing usage of polybutylene succinate for manufacturing polybutylene succinate. Polybutylene succinate has a high heat resistance among the general biodegradability resin, and polybutylene succinate has high compatibility with fiber. Polybutylene succinate exhibits many desirable properties including biodegradability, melt processability, as well as thermal and chemical resistance. Consequently, it is a potential candidate for various applications of packaging film. Thus, these extensive advantages of polybutylene succinate are the major factor driving its demand for the application of packaging films during the forecast period.
Polybutylene Succinate Market Segment Analysis – By End-Use Industry
The packaging industry held a significant share in the polybutylene succinate market in 2020 and is growing at a CAGR of 8.1%, owing to the increasing usage of polybutylene succinate in the packaging industry. Polybutylene succinates are extensively used for food packaging applications owing to their excellent gas barrier properties. They are generally used in food packaging such as disposable tableware, paper cups. Furthermore, according to the Biodegradable Products Institute, polybutylene succinate grade has been listed as certified compostable and are available in direct food contact grades. The biodegradability of PBS is an attractive attribute for single-use food packaging since it can degrade at high rates over short periods. This would then aid in decreasing landfill accumulation through industrial and home compostable end-of-life options. All these factors are driving the polybutylene succinate market growth in the packaging industry during the forecast period.
Polybutylene Succinate Market Segment Analysis – By Geography
Asia Pacific region held the largest share in the polybutylene succinate market in 2020 up to 38.3%, owing to increased demand for the food and beverage industry, which bolsters the growth of the packaging industry in the region. Through the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI), the Government of India is taking all the steps necessary to boost investment in the food processing industry. The government has sanctioned 37 food parks funded under the Mega Food Parks Scheme, 20 are operational and 17 are under implementation as of 29th Oct 2020. According to Invest India, by 2025, India’s food processing sector is expected to be worth over half a trillion dollars. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), in 2018, the total value of all retail food and beverage sales in Japan was $479.29 billion (¥53,339 billion), an overall increase of 2.3 percent. China’s food and beverage (F&B) sector reached approximately $595 billion in 2019, a 7.8 percent increase over 2018, according to the China Chain Store & Franchise Association. Thus, the demand for packaged food and beverages is on an upsurge in Asia Pacific countries owing to the increasing population, rapid urbanization, and rising disposable income of individuals, which is further driving the growth of the polybutylene succinate market in the Asia Pacific region during the forecast period.
Polybutylene Succinate Market Drivers
Increasing Agricultural Initiatives By the Government
There is growing adoption of polybutylene succinate in agricultural applications such as mulch films. Mulch films are widely used to alter soil temperature, limit the growth of weeds, prevent loss of moisture, and improve crop yield and precociousness. And the governments are spending heavily on initiatives and investments in the field of agriculture as it is one of the most effective ways of enhancing environmental sustainability. The United States Department of Agriculture took an initiative – “The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI)” to ensure food safety and security and train the next generation of the agricultural workforce. AFRI is financed by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, at $415 million in 2019. Initiatives such as the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and Young Farmers have been undertaken by the European government. In May 2020, the government announced the launch of an Rs. 15,000 crore (US$ 2.13 billion) animal husbandry infrastructure development fund. Thus, the various agricultural initiatives by the government are booming the agricultural sector in various regions. And with the increasing agricultural sector, the demand for polybutylene succinate to manufacture mulch films will also increase, which acts as a driver for the polybutylene succinate market during the forecast period.
Increasing Automotive Production
Polybutylene succinate is often blended with natural fibers like switchgrass (SG) for applications in automotive products. Such novel composite materials are touted as potential bio-based alternatives to conventional petroleum-based plastics in the automotive industry owing to which they are extensively used in automotive manufacturing. China is the world’s largest vehicle market, according to the International Trade Administration (ITA), and the Chinese government expects automobile production to reach 30 million units by 2020 and 35 million by 2025. According to OICA, the production of light commercial vehicles in France has augmented from 4,95,123 in 2018 to 5,27,262 in 2019, an increase of 6.5 % in 2019, and in Spain has augmented from 4,96,671 in 2018 to 5,24,504 in 2019, an increase of 5.6 % in 2019. The production of passenger cars in Africa was 776,967 in 2018, which then rose to 787,287 in 2019, a total increase of 1.3%. Thus, with the increasing automotive production, the demand for polybutylene succinate will also gradually increase, which will act as a driver for the polybutylene succinate market.
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Polybutylene Succinate Market Challenges
Volatility in Crude Oil Prices
Polybutylene succinate raw materials, namely succinic acid and 1, 4 butanediols, are produced from petroleum feedstock. So, the price fluctuation of crude oils also hinders the price of polybutylene succinate raw materials. According to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, the price volatility of crude oil has increased in the past year. The crude oil price decreased from $98.95/bbl in 2014 to $52.39/bbl in 2015 and increased from $43.73/bbl in 2016 to $71.31/bbl in 2018 and then decreased to $64.21/bbl in 2019. And because of this uncertainty in crude oil prices, the price of polybutylene succinate also increases. Thus, the volatility in crude oil prices is expected to be a significant challenge for the polybutylene succinate market manufacturers, which will hinder the polybutylene succinate market growth during the forecast period.
Covid-19 Impact on the Polybutylene Succinate Market
Imports and exports of polybutylene succinate globally have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. Export restrictions on commodities have been imposed by the governments of different countries, which are significantly disrupting supplies. Polybutylene succinate producers also face problems such as delays in the receipt of raw materials such as succinic acid and 1, 4 butanediol, resulting in delayed customer shipments. In addition, the quality of certain raw materials has declined significantly and shipment orders are severely affected by the lack of vessel availability and blank sailing. The growth in the polybutylene succinate market is moderately limited by all these factors.
Polybutylene Succinate Market Landscape
Technology launches, acquisitions, and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in the polybutylene succinate market.Major players in the polybutylene succinate market are PTT MCC Biochem Co., Ltd., Succinity GmbH, Reverdia, Eastman Chemical Company, Showa Denko K.K., BioAmber Inc., DowDuPont, and Hexing Chemical.
Asia Pacific dominates the polybutylene succinate market, owing to the increasing agricultural investments by the governments in the region. NABARD announced a venture capital fund investment of Rs 700 crore (US$ 100 million) for equity investments in agriculture and rural start-ups in India in May 2019.
Polybutylene succinate is a biodegradable polymer. And the demand for biodegradable polymers across the globe is growing, which is projected to boost the polybutylene succinate market growth during the forecast period.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, nearly all of the countries have gone under lockdown, due to which the operations of various industries such as agriculture and packaging are disruptively stopped, which is hampering the polybutylene succinate market growth.
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