Global emulsion polymer market size was estimated to be USD 29.77 billion in 2013. Strong demand from the end-use industries is projected to drive the market growth over the forecast period. Key applications include paints & coatings, adhesives and paper & paper board coatings. Paints & coatings was the leading application owing to high demand for acrylics. Construction is a major end-use industry for paints & coatings and emerging economies such as China, India and Brazil are increasing construction spending and taking initiatives to develop infrastructure.
Global emulsion polymer market volume was over 12,000 kilo tons in 2013 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.4% from 2014 to 2020. Applications such as adhesives are expected to witness rapid rise in demand over the forecast period on account of their growing demand from industries such as automotive coating. Water-based emulsion polymers are favored over their synthetic counterparts owing to the environmental benefits associated with them. Agencies such as EPA and REACH have set standards under the Clean Air Act for emissions of hazardous chemicals such as styrene, toluene, acrylonitrile and methyl chloride.
Crude oil and natural gas are the key raw materials and are thus any fluctuation in their demand or price has a major impact on the profitability and operating expenses. Volatile raw material prices are expected to be a key challenge for emulsion polymer industry participants.
Environmental concerns and stringent regulations have shifted customer focus towards bio-based products over the recent years. R&D initiatives to develop cost effective bio-based products promise ample opportunities for industry participants in the near future. Emerging economies such as India, Brazil and China also provide ample growth opportunities over the forecast period.
North America emulsion polymer market revenue by product, 2012-2020, (USD Million)
Key product classifications include acrylics, styrene- butadiene latex and vinyl acetate polymers. Among these, acrylics segment dominated with nearly 40% share in 2013 and is also expected to witness the highest CAGR at over 5% from 2014 to 2020. Such rapid growth and industry dominance can be attributed to favorable properties such as quick drying ability and water resistance.
Vinyl acetate polymers find applications as adhesives and are used for porous materials like paper, wood and fabric. Owing to the highest growth rate, acrylic products are presumed to increase their share by the end of the forecast period at the expense of other products.
Paints & coatings have emerged as the dominant application over the recent years, with revenue expected to grow at over 7% from 2014 to 2020. Such robust growth rate is a result of increasing acrylics usage in the paints & coatings industry. Regulatory framework favoring environment friendly applications with low VOC content is a key driver for this application.
Paper & paperboard coatings segment was the second largest application followed by Paints & coatings. Other applications include textile & non-woven, glass fibers, construction, carpet and gloves.
Asia pacific emulsion polymer market has been the largest regional consumer, followed by Europe and North America. Rapid industrialization, urbanization and massive construction spending initiatives are the key factors behind such dominance and growth opportunities. Asia Pacific demand is expected to experience a CAGR of 7.5% over the next six years.
North America and Europe are projected to witness moderate growth in the near future. Other regions such as Latin America and Middle East & Africa are expected to witness stable market growth over the forecast period.
Global emulsion polymer market share is highly fragmented with the top four companies catering to less than 35% of the overall demand. Key players are taking strong measures to increase their production capacity and develop their product portfolio with an aim to cater to the growing demand from emerging regions such as Asia Pacific. This industry is highly price sensitive and is characterized by companies following low cost leadership approach.
Some of the key players are Omnova Solutions, Nuplex Industry, Synthomer, Styron, Wacker Chemie AG, STI Polymer, BASF, Celanese Corporation, DIC Corporation Asahi Kasei and Clariant International Limited.