Agricultural films market is expected to expand owing to growing food needs along with biodegradability of the product

Posted On May, 17, 2016

The global agricultural films market is anticipated to witness rapid growth over the forecast period primarily on account of increasing food demand from an ever-expanding population. Agricultural films are high-quality polymer films used for various agricultural applications including greenhouses, silos, mulching, fumigation, and underlays to protect, preserve and enhance the quality and productivity of farm produce. The use of agricultural films in these practices along with the increasing requirement for optimal agricultural productivity is likely to augment product demand over the forecast period.

The need to fulfill the food essentials of a mounting world population makes it imperative to improve the overall agricultural productivity, and using agricultural films is a cost effective method to achieve that. Declining areas of arable land along with rising high-quality crop requirements are estimated to fuel industry growth over the next few years. Increasing awareness amongst farmers regarding the advantages of using these films is a driving factor for industry growth. More and more farms are undertaking controlled agriculture techniques to reduce dependence on natural elements which is expected to impact the agricultural films industry positively. Furthermore, the demand for organic and off-season crops is likely to assist market growth. Technological innovations in horticulture along with the development of multi-layer, UV protection, and particle films to enhance agricultural productivity are expected to boost product demand in the coming years. The increasing popularity of nano-greenhouses for domestic, commercial, and laboratory uses is likely to expand the market for these products further.

Disposal of polymer films and the environmental impacts associated with their consumption are significant challenges expected to hamper industry growth over the forecast period. Furthermore, the high cost of installation and government regulations regarding the use of plastics are anticipated to affect product demand adversely. However, the introduction of environmentally friendly bio-based and biodegradable polymer films is likely to offer lucrative opportunities for market expansion over the next few years.

Raw materials can segment the agricultural films industry into HDPE, LLDPE, LDPE, EVA, and reclaims. LLDPE is expected to dominate the market and witness rapid growth rates over the forecast period on account of its high durability, tensile strength, excellent chemical resistance, thermal conductivity, and low cost of production. Moreover, the improvement of bio-degradable LLDPE films is anticipated to boost this market segment further over the next eight years. LDPE is expected to account for the second largest market share over the forecast period owing to natural processing and excellent flexibility. These properties are extremely beneficial for agricultural applications in areas with harsh climatic conditions or limited water supply. EVA and HDPE are expected to show moderate growth as they are chiefly used in applications where rigidity is desired such as fumigation and poly pipes. With the increasing focus on recycling and bio-sustainability, reclaims could witness substantial demand. However, their high cost makes them an unattractive option.

Greenhouse films are expected to be the largest application segment for this market and projected to show the fast growth over the upcoming years. Greenhouse films help improve crop yields and quality by regulating temperature, humidity, and sunlight inside greenhouses. Rising awareness regarding their benefits in Asia, Western Europe, and the Middle East is expected to have a favorable impact on product demand over the forecast period. Development of specialized fields including horticulture, floriculture, and seed and herb farming coupled with uncertain climatic conditions are other factors expected to fuel growth in this application segment. Mulching is anticipated to account for the second largest application segment over the forecast period owing to the rising demand for high-quality crops, increasing awareness regarding benefits, and decreasing soil quality.

Asia Pacific is expected to dominate the agricultural films market on account of a large cultivable area coupled with government initiatives pushing for adoption of controlled agriculture practices. Innovations in agricultural technologies, rising awareness, and requirement of high productivity is likely to increase market penetration in several emerging economies including China, India, and Indonesia. Europe is predicted to witness slow growth over the forecast period as a result of unfavorable economic conditions along with stringent environmental controls in the region. However, the shifting trend towards the use of biodegradable materials is likely to spur sales and favor industry growth.

The global agricultural films market is highly fragmented on account of the presence of various regional and small-scale players in Asia Pacific, particularly in China. The market is characterized by major companies participating in mergers, acquisitions, and strategic partnerships with biotechnology firms to increase their market share. Major industry participants include ExxonMobil Corp., BP Industries (BPI), Trioplast AB, Barbier Groupe, Britton Group, Armando Alvarez, BASF SE, Kuraray Co., Ltd., and Ab Rani Plast Oy, Novamont S.p.A.

Key players have invested heavily in research to develop innovative products namely agricultural bags for storage purposes and collapsible pipes to increase industry presence.

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