The global 1,4 butanediol (BDO), polytetramethylene ether glycol (PTMEG) and spandex market size was estimated at 4,178.7 kilo tons in 2016. Rapidly expanding manufacturing and chemicals sectors as a result of GDP growth in emerging markets such as India, Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia, and Thailand is expected to be a key factor driving industry growth.
The shift in trend towards bio-based chemicals and sustainable technologies has driven ‘green’ production of butanediol. Derivatives of this chemical are also being derived using sustainable techniques which is likely to drive industry growth. Companies such as Genomatica & BioAmber have successfully developed bio-based BDO processing technologies.
U.S. BDO market revenue by application, 2014 - 2025 (USD Million)
BDO Application Insights
THF emerged as the dominant application segment in 2016, with over 50% volume share. The THF industry has witnessed rapid growth over the past few years owing wide application scope in spandex fibers, TPU, cast urethane elastomers, sealants, and surface coatings. The product exhibits superior attributes of fungus resistance, minimum heat build-up, low viscosity, and temperature flexibility.
Rising THF consumption in industrial applications as a resin solvent in inks for plastics, PVC and CPVC pipe cement, and PU coatings and also as a reaction solvent in alkali metals, specialty chemicals, solvents, and steroids are the major factor driving demand across the globe. This factor is positively influencing the BDO market growth since over 50% of THF is manufactured using BDO.
PU is another fast growing application owing to increasing demand for lightweight and durable products in the automotive industry. Additionally, increasing consumption of rigid foams with highly insulative properties especially in the building & construction industry, on account of increasing energy efficiency regulations & standards is also anticipated to spur BDO consumption in PU production.
PTMEG Application Insights
Spandex emerged as the largest application segment of PTMEG in 2016, with over 66% revenue share. Spandex fibers are witnessing high growth, especially in emerging economies of Asia Pacific, on account of increasing sportswear & athletic/leisure apparel demand. These extremely flexible fibers are capable of expanding over five times their original size, which lends them a significant advantage in such high-performance applications.
Around 80% of PTMEG is processed to obtain spandex, which finds application in various end-uses such as sports apparel & textiles, automotive interiors, interior decoration, medical diapers and bandages along with other niche applications.
Copolyester ether elastomer (COPE) is another high-growth application of PTMEG. This application segment is projected to grow at a CAGR of 10% over the forecast period. These engineering materials are widely utilized in airbag deployment, air intake ducts, hoses, seating, and tubing in automotive applications owing to its exceptional characteristics of chemical & oil resistance, low-temperature flexibility, and easy processability.
Increasing usage of high performance COPE in various industries since it is relatively easy to process, resistant to chemical and oils, and has low-temperature flexibility characteristics is another key factor expected to drive demand in upcoming years.
PTMEG-based urethanes offer flexibility at low temperatures, resistance to hydrolysis and fungus, high resiliency, low heat buildup, very low noise characteristics, and low viscosity, thus making them suitable for diverse applications such as forklift tires, automotive hoses and gaskets, industrial belts, roller skate wheels, tank & pipe liners, athletic shoes, and medical prostheses, catheters and other devices.
Spandex Application Insights
The global demand for spandex has seen a paradigm shift due to rapidly rising demand from textile industry backed by increasing disposable income among middle-class consumers. The growth of textile and apparel industry has, therefore, become paramount in determining the future trends for spandex market.
Global spandex market volume by application, 2016 (%)
Increasing investments in emerging markets, such as China, India, Indonesia, and Singapore, by major textile multinationals such as Bombay Dyeing, Dorothy Perkins, Invicta, Jack Wills and Ralph Lauren Corporation are expected to boost global textiles and fashion apparel industry growth over the forecast period.
Emerging markets in APAC such as China, India, Bangladesh, and Vietnam were the major beneficiaries of the phase-out of Multi-Fiber Agreement (MFA) in 2005. China and India have emerged as major textile & apparel consumers and exporters in recent years owing to their large population and exponential economic growth.
Besides this, the tremendous growth of digital and web-based technologies has also impacted overall textile manufacturing processes and machinery, creating lucrative growth opportunities for spandex market.
Spandex is also gaining popularity in automotive interiors since it can be used in various automotive applications such as in the manufacturing of the door panel fabrics, which stretch and adhere to the door. These synthetic fibers are also used in manufacturing solar control automotive window films.
Asia Pacific was the leading BDO market and accounted for nearly two-thirds of the volume share in 2016. Major spandex corporations that are dominant in North America and Europe are gradually shifting their production capabilities to cater to high potential markets in Asia Pacific owing to the availability of low-cost labor and ample raw material stocks.
China is expected to remain the dominant consumer over the forecast period owing to vast consumer base, growing sports apparel consumption, and increasing industrial production. However, fast-growing markets such as India, Thailand, Malaysia and other Southeast Asian countries are anticipated to outgrow China and generate higher consumer demand over the forecast period.
Asia Pacific was followed by North America which accounted for around 17% of the volume share in 2016. The advent of technological advancement in industrial segment coupled with robust recovery of end-use industries including automotive and construction are expected to remain the key drivers of industry growth.
Furthermore, presence of major sportswear brands such as Adidas and Nike along with increasing awareness among consumers regarding fitness are some other factors boosting spandex demand across the region. The U.S. textiles industry has also become highly competitive and stands at the third position in global exports, which in turn is projected to influence the demand positively.
The global 1,4 BDO PTMEG Spandex market is highly capital intensive with the raw material procurement being a critical challenge. The industry is also fairly regulated with stringent norms regarding product composition and specification. Key players include BASF, Mitsui Chemicals, Inc., Ashland Inc., Genomatica, DuPont and The Dow Chemical Company among others.
Presently, the industry focusses on the development and commercialization of environment-friendly automotive plastics; this could attract new participants shortly. Technological advancement coupled with various strategic initiatives adopted by the industry participants including mergers and acquisitions are expected to foster industry growth.
Base year for estimation
Actual estimates/Historical data
2014 - 2016
2017 - 2025
Volume in kilo tons, revenue in USD Million and CAGR from 2017 to 2025
North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Central & South America, Middle East & Africa
U.S., Canada, Germany, Spain, China, India, Brazil, Saudi Arabia
Revenue forecast, company share, competitive landscape, growth factors and trends
15% free customization scope (equivalent to 5 analyst working days)
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Segments covered in the report
This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional & country levels and provides an analysis on the industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2014 to 2025. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global 1,4 butanediol (BDO), polytetramethylene ether glycol (PTMEG) and spandex market on the basis of application and region:
1,4 BDO Application Outlook (Volume, Kilo Tons; Revenue, USD Million; 2014 - 2025)
Polybutylene terephthalate (PBT)
PTMEG Application Outlook (Volume, Kilo Tons; Revenue, USD Million; 2014 - 2025)
Co-polyester-Ether Elastomers (COPE)
Spandex Application Outlook (Volume, Kilo Tons; Revenue, USD Million; 2014 - 2025)
Medical & Hygiene
Regional Outlook (Volume, Kilo Tons; Revenue, USD Million; 2014 - 2025)
Central & South America
Middle East & Africa
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