Global polyethylene furanoate (PEF) market is likely to witness growth with increase in the consumer awareness towards eco-friendly products. This shift to eco friendly substitutes from synthetic derived chemicals is likely to drive the market growth for PEF. Increase in the expenditure towards development of bio-based chemicals by chemical manufacturers aimed at reducing dependence on petrochemical feedstock is likely to stimulate the market growth. Rising production of shale gas in the U.S. and Canada has resulted in reduction of crude oil prices is expected to impede the PEF market. The production of PEF is complicated and the yellow color occurrence during its manufacturing is preventing its application in packaging which is likely to hinder the market growth.
Polyethylene Furanoate is a 100% bio-based and recyclable polymer derived from plants which has the potential to replace conventional fossil resources based durable material, PET. PEF has certain advantages over PET including high barrier to carbon dioxide, water and oxygen, along with reduced production costs and extended product shelf life. These advantages are likely to augment the growth of PEF market. Avantium, a Dutch based company has developed its YXY technology platform for manufacturing bio based chemicals, bio based plastics and bio fuels. YXY technology incorporates carbohydrate feedstock such as corn, sugar and starch. This technology can be used to produce a range of bio based products such as polyamides and furanoate compounds at competitive market prices. The company has patented a technology to convert biomass into furanics which is used to manufacture PEF. Avantium established partnership with Coca-Cola, ALPLA and Danone to develop and commercialize bio-based polymers derived from PEF. Avantium has its pilot plant in Geleen, Netherlands which manufactures FDCA, PEF and methyl levulinate with an engagement of ALPLA, the Coca-Cola Company and Danone. In June 2014, ALPLA, Coca-Cola, DANONE, Swire Pacific and Avantium signed a consortium of USD 50 million investments with an aim at developing and commercializing the alternative to PET for packaging purposes. In November 2014, Avantium demonstrated the use of PEF to manufacture fibers for making 100% bio based t-shirts for textile manufacturers.
Europe is likely to be a promising PEF market over the forecast period in vague of popularity of sustainable packaging and stringent regulations towards consumption of non-recyclable plastics. Supportive government policies including Europe 2020 strategy for promoting bio-economy thus encouraging public authorities to shift the preference towards procurement of bio-based products and tax reduction towards application of bio-based products to member states. In 2012, the European Commission published an action plan on bio-economy intended for promoting production and consumption of bio-based polymer at domestic level. This plan is aimed for increasing the domestic output level by promoting development of new processes and technologies through enhancing public private partnerships and financing pilot plants for the production of bio-based chemicals.
Asia Pacific is expected to be a potential market in near future in light of growing packaging sector in India and China in vague of positive outlook on food and beverage, pharmaceutical and consumer goods industries. The government of China announced 12th five year plan, intended for reducing carbon footprint and enhance chemical output at domestic levels by focusing on renewable resources is expected to have a positive impact on market over the forecast period. In 2011, the government of Australia launched Australian Packaging Covenant aimed at promoting sustainable packaging and thus in turn opening opportunities for PEF market players. North America is likely to be growing market for bio based chemicals on account of increase in environmental concerns to reduce green house gas emissions coupled with stringent regulations towards consumption of non-recyclable plastics. In 2011, the US government published National Bioeconomy Blueprint aimed at promoting bio based consumption by investing in renewable resources and enhancing development in technologies and processes.
In 2014, M&G and Indorama, major suppliers of PET resin announced the expansion of existing facility of production of PET which is expected to bring down the prices of PET in the market. This reduction of PET prices is likely to impede the PEF market. Growing consumption of bio-based PET in application of packaging, textile and plastic industry is likely to hinder availability of bio-based MEG raw material for PEF. Lack of cost-effective technology and raw material availability are expected to pose high market barriers for new entrants in the near future.
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