"Increasing demand from footwear industry to drive market growth"
The global styrenic block copolymers (SBCs) market size was USD 5.82 billion in 2015 and is expected to witness considerable growth owing to its usage in industries such as paving & roofing, footwear, adhesives & sealants, and wires & cables. The industry is expected to witness a surge in demand due to factors such as increasing per capita disposable income along with the growth of the manufacturing sector in emerging economies of Asia Pacific and Central & South America.
Styrenic block copolymer is the most predominantly consumed member of TPE family. These polymers are utilized in a wide range of applications which demand for high performance. They possess properties identical to that of rubber but are developed as polymers. Due to their bulk usage in comparison to other TPEs, they are the lowest priced thermoplastic elastomers.
Infrastructure spending, particularly in Southeast Asia and the Middle East, is expected to emerge as a primary driver for market growth over the next eight years. Increasing demand for polymer modified bitumen (PMB) from paving & roofing applications along with rising adhesives & sealants usage for structural bonding purposes is likely to positively influence the growth trend.
SBC was introduced more than four decades back and have reached saturation point concerning their composition, properties, and relatively mature applications. However, companies involved in the global market continued to focus on improving their physical properties using molecular tailoring. In addition, research is also being carried out to develop materials which match the specific requirements arising from the end-use industries.
All the key products of thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) including styrenic block copolymers are derived from crude oil and natural gas. Crude oil price volatility poses pressure on downstream derivatives such as SBC and is expected to hamper industry growth. However, technology advancement and development of green & environment friendly materials are expected to open new avenues over the forecast period.
U.S. Styrenic Block Copolymers (SBCs) Market Revenue By product, 2014 - 2024 (USD Million)
"SBS product was the largest segment in 2015"
Styrene butadiene styrene (SBS) is most widely utilized in applications such as polymer modification, asphalt/bitumen modification, vulcanized compounding, and adhesives & sealants. They are also considerably used across various applications such as bookbinding, disposables, furniture, footwear, and packaging. The product segment was valued at over USD 850 million in 2015.
Styrene isoprene styrene (SIS) copolymer finds elective usage in the field of adhesives where it represents the basis of pressure sensitive & hot melts adhesives. Furthermore, high demand from applications such as polymer modification and wires & cables is further expected to boost the product growth. Growing awareness regarding the benefits of SIS is driving the substitution of PVC & other toxic compounds with this eco-friendly alternative.
HSBC is projected to grow at a CAGR of over 7%, in terms of volume, over the next eight years. HSBC have a different compatibility with formulation ingredients than the SIS and SBS. This allows the use of more stable hydrogenated formulating ingredients, providing systems of overall high stability, transparency & clarity.
"Asia Pacific is expected to continue its dominance over the forecast period"
Asia Pacific styrenic block copolymers (SBCs) market led the global industry in 2015 owing to several factors including high infrastructure development, the growth of medical/healthcare industry along with significant plastics manufacturing in countries such as China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. Favorable government regulations coupled with increasing foreign direct investments in manufacturing sector is anticipated to compliment overall industry growth in the region
North America & Europe both closely followed Asia Pacific in terms of overall consumption. Both regions have witnessed the recovery of automotive & construction industries recently and are expected to strengthen over the forecast period. Approvals from FDA and U.S. Pharmacopoeia to use the material in the medical industry to reduce dependency on plastics containing phthalates is slated to propel demand.
Increasing footwear manufacturing coupled with strong demand from paving & roofing applications is anticipated to boost SBC market in developing regions of Central & South America and the Middle East & Africa.
"The market is highly consolidated in nature"
The development of bio-based SBC is expected to create lucrative opportunities for industry participants. Competition is expected to intensify owing to the shifting trend towards development of renewable materials. A large number of manufacturers are expected to expand their production capacity as a result of continuously rising demand.
Leading companies operating in the global styrenic block copolymers market include BASF SE, Zeon Corp., Versalis, Ineos Styrolution, Sinopec, LCY Chemical Corp., and Dynasol Elastomers. Other prominent players include JSR Corp., Denki Kagaku Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha (DENKA), En Chuan Chemical Industries Co. Ltd., Kumho Petrochemicals Co. Ltd., Eastman Chemical Company, Chi Mei Corp., Kraton Performance Polymers, TSRC, Momentive Specialty Chemicals, LG Chemicals, Chevron Philips, and Asahi Kasei.
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