Global Thermoplastics Market: Global Size, Trends, Competitive, and Historical & Forecast Analysis, 2022-2028: The market will expand due to the growing demand for lightweight materials, increasing use of thermoplastics in the medical and healthcare industry, and increasing adoption of advanced technologies such as 3D printing.
Global Thermoplastics Market is valued at USD 26.45 Billion in 2022 and it is expected to reach USD 41.89 Billion by 2029 with a CAGR of 6.79% over the forecast period.
Thermoplastics are a class of polymers that can be repeatedly melted and solidified through heating and cooling without undergoing any significant chemical changes. This property makes them highly versatile and widely used in a variety of applications. The development of thermoplastics can be traced back to the early 20th century, with the invention of Bakelite, the first synthetic plastic. The discovery of other polymers such as nylon, polystyrene, and polyethylene led to the commercialization of thermoplastics in the 1940s. Since then, the production and use of thermoplastics have grown significantly, making them an essential material in many industries.
Thermoplastics have a wide range of applications, including packaging, automotive, construction, healthcare, and electronics. These are used in products such as bottles, containers, pipes, films, automotive parts, medical devices, and electronic components. The demand for thermoplastics is driven by the growth of these industries, as well as the increasing focus on sustainability and the use of lightweight materials.
COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the global thermoplastics market, with both positive and negative effects. On the positive side, the pandemic has led to a shift towards e-commerce and online shopping, which has led to an increase in demand for packaging materials. Thermoplastics are widely used in the packaging industry, and this has led to a surge in demand for these materials. It also increased demand for medical and healthcare products, including personal protective equipment (PPE), masks, and medical devices. This has led to a surge in demand for thermoplastics, which are widely used in the production of these products.
However, on the negative side, the pandemic has disrupted global supply chains, leading to a shortage of raw materials and a decline in production capacity. This has led to a decrease in the production of thermoplastics and an increase in prices. The automotive and construction industries have been negatively impacted by the pandemic, leading to a decrease in demand for thermoplastics.
Rest of Middle East and Africa
Increasing use of thermoplastics in the medical and healthcare industry: The increasing use of thermoplastics in the medical and healthcare industry is driven by their unique properties such as biocompatibility, flexibility, and durability. Thermoplastics are widely used in medical devices, surgical instruments, and implants due to their ability to withstand sterilization and cleaning processes. They offer benefits such as improved patient outcomes, reduced infection rates, and shorter recovery times. The use of thermoplastics in medical devices has increased significantly, with over 80% of medical devices made from plastics. And the demand for thermoplastic elastomers in the medical industry is expected to account for 6.7% from 2020.
Growing demand for lightweight materials: The growing demand for lightweight materials in the automotive and aerospace industries is driven by the need to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. Thermoplastics offer high strength-to-weight ratios and can replace heavier materials such as metals and composites, leading to improved fuel efficiency and reduced emissions.
Additionally, thermoplastics offer benefits such as corrosion resistance, flexibility, and design flexibility, making them attractive for use in automotive and aerospace applications. The use of lightweight materials in automobiles can reduce fuel consumption by up to 10%, resulting in reduced greenhouse gas emissions. And the use of thermoplastics in aerospace applications can result in weight savings of up to 50% compared to traditional materials.
Availability of alternative materials: The availability of alternative materials such as composites, which can offer better performance characteristics in some applications, is a restraint for the thermoplastics market. Composites offer benefits such as high strength-to-weight ratios, excellent durability, and resistance to corrosion and impact. While thermoplastics offer some of these benefits, they may not be suitable for all applications.
Additionally, composites are becoming more cost-competitive with thermoplastics, which may lead some manufacturers to switch to composites in certain applications. For example, The global demand for carbon fiber, a key component of CFRP composites, was 97,000 tons in 2019 and is expected to reach 153,000 tons by 2025
Fluctuating prices of raw materials: The fluctuating prices of raw materials, particularly crude oil, are a significant restraint for the thermoplastics market. Crude oil is a primary raw material used to produce thermoplastics, and any fluctuations in its prices can significantly impact the production costs of thermoplastics.
In recent years, the prices of crude oil have been volatile due to geopolitical tensions, supply and demand imbalances, and other factors. This volatility makes it difficult for manufacturers to plan their production costs and can result in higher prices for thermoplastics, which may reduce demand.
For example, in March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic led to a significant decrease in demand for crude oil, causing prices to fall sharply. Brent crude oil prices fell from around USD 50 per barrel in early March to around USD 20 per barrel in late April 2020.
The revenue generation model for the thermoplastics market is based on the production and sale of thermoplastic materials, as well as related services such as design, processing, and recycling. The market is highly competitive, with numerous manufacturers and suppliers competing for market share.
The supply chain for thermoplastics includes raw material suppliers, polymer manufacturers, compounders, processors, distributors, and end-users. The market is global, with suppliers and manufacturers located in various regions around the world.
The value chain for thermoplastics involves the production of raw materials, polymerization, compounding, processing, and distribution. The value chain also includes related services such as design, testing, and recycling.
The opportunity factors for the thermoplastics market include the increasing demand for lightweight and sustainable materials, the growing use of thermoplastics in various industries, and the increasing adoption of advanced technologies such as 3D printing.
Product and technology development trends in the thermoplastics market include the increasing use of bioplastics, the development of high-performance thermoplastics, and the adoption of advanced manufacturing technologies such as additive manufacturing. Customer trends include the increasing demand for sustainable and eco-friendly products, as well as the demand for customized products and services.
Competition in the thermoplastics market is intense due to the presence of several key players, as mentioned earlier. Some of the strategies adopted by key market players to remain competitive in the market include:
The North American thermoplastics market is expected to grow at a moderate rate during the forecast period, driven by the growth of end-use industries and the increasing demand for lightweight and eco-friendly materials. The automotive industry is a key end-use industry for thermoplastics in North America, with increasing demand for lightweight materials to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. For example, the American Chemistry Council found that the use of plastics in North American passenger vehicles has increased from an average of 225 pounds in 1970 to over 400 pounds in 2020, with thermoplastics being a significant contributor to this increase.
Europe is the second largest market for thermoplastics, is driven the growth of the European thermoplastics market is attributed to factors such as increasing demand for lightweight materials, growing use of thermoplastics in the medical and healthcare industry, and increasing adoption of electric vehicles in the region.
For example, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, passenger car registrations in Europe increased by 12.1% in August 2021 compared to the same period in 2020. Germany accounted for the largest market share in Europe, with a revenue of USD 10.15 billion in 2020.
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