Shawbury, Shrewsbury – Commodity applications are driving significant global in the global thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) market, according to Smithers Rapra.
In a new report, titled "The Future of Thermoplastic Elastomers to 2020," the consultancy examined trends and technologies impacting the TPE market.
Global consumption, the study reckoned, reached 4,200 kilotonnes (kt) in 2015 – up from 3,700kt in 2013 – and with a growth rate (CAGR) of 5.5 percent will hit 5,500kt in 2020.
Smithers Rapra also analysed future trends in the automotive, building and construction, industrial, footwear, medical and healthcare sectors.
The automotive and building and construction markets represent more than half of global TPE consumption.
While the recession strongly affected these two markets, only the automotive sector seems to have made a partial recovery.
“Average growth rates are now settling down and with possible exceptions, they are nowhere near as high as they were ten years ago,” said report author Patrick Ellis.
"This is a sign that TPEs are beginning to become a mature market as their acceptance increases globally,” he noted.
Automotive and other transportation applications will continue to dominate the end-use market increasing their market share to 44 percent in 2020. Rising stars are medical and hygiene applications, as well as those for wire and cable. They are showing high CAGRs for the 2015-20 period and will jointly occupy more than 15 percent market share in 2020.
There will also be increased emphasis on bio-based TPEs and TPE-based rubber.
Asia continues to be the largest and fastest growth market, and China remains the dominant player in this region. Both Europe and North America are in slight recession.
For Asia/Pacific growth was estimated at 7.3 percent, North America at 4 percent and Europe forecast for 3.2 percent to 2020.