The polyurethane (PU) market size was USD 53.94 billion in 2015 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 7% from 2016 to 2025. High demand for lightweight & durable materials from end-use industries such as furniture, construction, electronics & appliances, automotive, footwear & packaging has driven growth in recent years.
PU is widely utilized in cushion foams, interior components, and other lightweight automotive parts to foster fuel & energy savings. Seat frames molded from this material are about 35% lighter than metal stamped frames, while innovative matrix resins used in composites such as the Henkel Loctite glass-fiber reinforced leaf springs contribute to over 65% component weight savings.
U.S. polyurethane market revenue by product, 2014-2025 (USD Million)
Efficient & insulative foams are also being utilized in ‘green’ buildings & other sustainable infrastructure projects to lower energy costs in developed regions such as Europe & North America. Green building tools such as the LEED certification and the NAHB Model Green Home Building Guidelines are driving product innovation to meet credible & environmental building standards.
The industry is concentrated & oligopolistic in nature with the top manufacturers accounting for over 60% of the overall share. Product pricing & other strategies are highly dependent on the top players such as Covestro, BASF & The Dow Chemical Company, while major multinationals are entering into strategic alliances with smaller regional players to expand their activities in emerging economies.
However, growing environmental concerns and volatile raw material prices are expected to challenge manufacturers. MDI & TDI, the most widely used isocyanates used for PU production have witnessed price swings on account of fluctuation in their precursor markets, namely petrochemicals such as benzene.
Rising carbon emission levels due to the release of hazardous gases from processing facilities have also attracted attention from numerous regulatory bodies such as the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Companies are thus compelled to modify their existing processes in order to boost efficiency and lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emission levels to combat alarming pollution levels across the globe.
The industry may be segmented by product into foams, coatings, adhesives & sealants, elastomers, and other products. Inherent properties of rigid & flexible foams such as structural stability allow the production of thermally insulating products, leading to high penetration.
However, elastomers are expected to emerge as the fastest growing product with over 6 % CAGR over the forecast period. These polymers offer combined benefits of plastics & rubbers, which allows high flexibility, and impact & shock resistance for high performance applications. The development of PU elastomers with intrinsic self-healing properties has also contributed to segment growth in recent years.
The development of environment-friendly coatings with poly-aspartic & 2K waterborne PU technology has also opened up new avenues for growth. Coatings are expected to occupy over 15% revenue share by 2025, as their usage amplifies in the expanding construction & automotive industries of Asia Pacific & CSA.
Construction is likely to remain the dominant end-use industry with over 30% volume share in 2015. Growing residential & commercial construction spending in emerging countries such as India, Thailand, Indonesia, South Africa & Venezuela is expected to remain a key factor driving product consumption in insulation, flooring & roofing applications.
Polyurethane market share by end-use, 2015
Furthermore, furniture & interiors are also consuming these products in bedding, upholstery, seating & other applications. Increasing disposable income & rising standard of living are driving growth in the luxury furniture segment and providing new opportunities for aesthetic products.
Fast-growing consumer electronics sector in emerging economies are also providing profitable prospects for manufacturers. Encapsulation of electronic components in miniaturized & wearable electronics along with other products such as circuits and sensors are driving growth.
Asia Pacific was the dominant regional market owing to the vast pool of skilled workforce, raw materials & local government support. Recent initiatives such the introduction of ‘Make in India’ scheme and the favorable buyers’ incentive scheme in Thailand are fostering investments in the domestic automotive & manufacturing of these countries respectively.
Manufacturers are thus adopting low cost, innovative, & lightweight materials to manufacture high performance automobiles & construction materials. Polyurethane manufacturer associations in Asian countries are also encouraging recycling & endorsing sustainability practices to promote safe & eco-friendly applications in these industries.
Central & South America (CSA) witnessed steady growth over the past few years especially on account of increasing consumption from Colombia’s automotive OEMs. The region is expected to grow at over 5.5% CAGR, as manufacturers are becoming more competitive & adopting such materials to lower production costs.
Countries such as Peru & Paraguay are expected to emerge as top performers in terms of economic growth, manufacturing output and present several lucrative opportunities for new entrants as well.
Key players include BASF SE, The Dow Chemical Co., Covestro, Huntsman Corp., Mitsui Chemicals Inc., Eastman Chemical Co.,Nippon Polyurethane Industry Corp Ltd., Mitsubishi Chemical Corp, Woodbridge Foam Corp., Lubrizol Corp, Rampf Holding GmbH & Co. KG, DIC Corp & RTP Company.
BASF SE is a major manufacturer & supplier of polyurethane solutions for systems & specialties. The company caters to several industries such as automotive, construction and footwear and has introduced several innovative products such as sandwich plate system & first TPU for the automotive exterior.
Other companies are also following suit, engaging in extensive R&D to introduce new products & technologies. This is expected to boost internal competition and rivalry over the forecast period, compelling existing companies to collaborate with each other and lower operating costs.
Base year for estimation
Actual estimates/Historic data
2014 & 2015
2016 - 2025
Volume in Kilo Tons , Revenue in USD Million & CAGR from 2016 to 2025
North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Central & South America & Middle East & Africa
U.S., Canada, Mexico, Germany, France, Russia, Spain, UK, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Brazil, Saudi Arabia
Volume & revenue forecast, competitive landscape, growth factors and trends
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Segments covered in the report
This report forecasts revenue growth and provides an analysis on the latest trends in each of the sub-segments from 2014 to 2025. For the purpose of this report, Grand View Research has segmented the polyurethane market on the basis of product, end-use and region:
Product Outlook (Volume, Kilo Tons; Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
Adhesives & Sealants
End-use Outlook (Volume, Kilo Tons; Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
Electronics & Appliances
Regional Outlook (Volume, Kilo Tons; Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
Central & South America
Middle East and Africa
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