Global polyvinyl alcohol films market size was estimated at USD 229.6 billion in 2013. The increase in waste disposal problems coupled with stringent environment regulations is driving the need for biodegradable raw materials in the packaging industry. This factor is expected to drive the demand, particularly in the packaging industry. PVA films are environment-friendly, and they do not have a tendency to release toxic gasses upon incineration.The overall market for water-soluble applications is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.9% from 2014 to 2020.
Developments and packaging industries, particularly for detergents and agrochemicals in Asia Pacific countries such as India, China, and Taiwan, are expected to develop the demand in this region. Increasing application scope from end-use industries such as hotels, restaurants, and hospitals is expected to drive the detergent demand. Green packaging initiatives in developed regions such as North America and Europe are anticipated to increase consumption levels in these regions.
The global detergent consumption was approximately 30 million tons in 2012. Increasing detergent production and consumption are expected to grow packaging demand for this application. Water soluble PVA films are majorly preferred in detergent packaging applications owing to their non-hazardous and non-toxic properties.
Growing environmental concerns owing to hazards caused by disposal of electronic products are expected to drive the polarizer PVA films market growth. Polarizer application segment is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.4% from 2014 to 2020.
These films are preferred in applications such as LCD panels, optical filters, and sunglasses. Increasing demand for LCD panels in applications such as LCD TV and high-resolution cell phones is expected to drive the PVA films demand over the forecast period.
Fluctuating Vinyl Acetate Monomer (VAM) prices, a key raw material ingredient, is expected to curb industry participant’s growth. Fluctuating petrochemical prices are responsible for an unstable VAM pricing over the past few years Growing applications in the agricultural industry are expected to provide immense opportunities for industry participants.
North America PVA water-soluble film market volume by application, 2012-2020, (Tons)
Detergent packaging was the dominant application for water-soluble applications over the past few years. This application segment was valued over USD 80 million in 2013. Detergent packaging makes household & industrial detergents to be used without the user making any contact with it. Detergent packaging is expected to be the fastest growing application over the forecast period and is an attractive segment for industry participants.
Agrochemical packaging was the second largest application segment for water-soluble applications. This segment was worth over USD 65 million in 2013. Water-soluble films in embroidery application are still at their nascent stage and are expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.9% from 2014 to 2020. Their usage in embroidery increases the dimensional stability of the materials, whereas their usage in laundry bags eliminates contamination problems particularly in medical industry.
LCD panel was the largest application segment for polarizer PVA film. This application was worth over USD 5 billion in 2013 and is also expected to be the fastest growing application in this segment. Growing environmental concerns owing to hazards caused by disposal of electronic products are expected to drive this application segment market growth.
North America was the largest regional market for water-soluble applications and is expected to continue its dominance over the forecast period. This region was valued over USD 75 million in 2013 and is expected to register moderate growth rates over the forecast period for water-soluble applications. Increasing detergent demand from various end-use industries such as hospitals, restaurants, hotels, and domestic industries are expected to drive regional market growth.
Europe was the second largest regional market for water-soluble applications and was worth over USD 65 million in 2013. Asia Pacific is expected to register higher growth rates at an estimated CAGR of 4.7% from 2014 to 2020 in terms of volume. Stringent government regulations to promote water-soluble packaging systems are projected to drive market growth in this region.
South Korea dominated the regional market for polarizer applications and was valued over USD 2.0 billion in 2013. Growing electronics industry in South Korea is expected to drive the polarizer market. China was the second largest regional market for polarizer applications and is expected to be the fastest growing with an estimated CAGR of 5.2% from 2014 to 2020. LCD panels acceptance across multiple industries is a key factor presumed to aid the regional market.
The global market for water-soluble applications is oligopolistic in nature and is concentrated among top few market players. Top three participants accounted for around 68% of the total market in 2013. The market is characterized by the dominance of Asian companies.
Monosol LLC was the largest manufacturer of water-soluble PVA films and accounted for 40.6% of the total market in 2013. Monosol LLC was acquired by Kuraray but functions as an individual subsidiary.
The global market for polarizer applications can be considered as a duopoly with only Kuraray and Nippon Gohsei competing against each other. In 2013, Nippon Gohsei accounted for the remaining 18.5%, while rest 81.5% of the total polarizer market was captured by Kuraray. The polarizer market is mainly concentrated within Asia Pacific region on account of the presence of large electrical and electronic equipment manufacturers in this region.
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