Expanded Polystyrene Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Expanded Polystyrene Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Product (White, Grey), By Application (Construction, Automotive, Packaging), By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2020 - 2027

  • Published Date: Oct, 2020
  • Base Year for Estimate: 2019
  • Report ID: GVR-1-68038-603-5
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Historical Data: 2016 - 2018
  • Number of Pages: 81

Report Overview

The global expanded polystyrene market size was valued at USD 9.7 billion in 2019 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.6% from 2020 to 2027. Increasing demand for sustainable and lightweight solutions that provide extreme durability, coupled with improved thermal insulation, is projected to boost the growth of the market over the forecast period. Rising demand for acoustic and thermal insulation in the building and construction industry in developing economies, including China and India, is expected to increase the demand for high-quality polymers. Furthermore, rising demand among consumers for durable commercial and residential buildings, which can easily withstand extreme changes in the external environment, is expected to propel the market growth over the forecast period.

U.S. expanded polystyrene market size

In recent years, green buildings have been gaining more popularity over conventional ones. Advantages including improved air quality, reduction in operating expenditure, reduction in the overall load on metal frames, and efficient use of energy and water when compared to conventional buildings are driving the demand for green buildings. The growth in the demand for green buildings is being propelled by the increasing influence of social factors, such as creating a sense of environmental responsibility in the community, improving physical health awareness, and growing trend of sustainable business practices.

Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) is used in the construction industry to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Excellent insulation offered by EPS is significantly boosting its demand in green buildings. With the rising demand for green buildings, the market for EPS is expected to witness substantial growth over the forecast period.

Expanded polystyrene is lightweight, strong, and recyclable. The market for expanded polystyrene is expected to grow in the years to come owing to the increasing application scope of EPS in various sectors. The rising popularity of lightweight, reusable, and chemically stable materials in automotive components, packaging solutions, and furniture is projected to positively impact the demand for expanded polystyrene.

Product Insights

The white EPS product segment led the market and accounted for more than 57.0% share of the global revenue in 2019. This is attributed to the growing demand in packaging applications, such as food packaging including drink cups, food trays, and clamshell containers, consumer goods packaging, and electronics products packaging.

White EPS also finds applications in furniture, sports helmets, construction, and automobiles. Moreover, the growing food service industry, increasing number of eatable outlets, and demand for better quality of packaged food are projected to propel the demand for white expanded polystyrene in the packaging sector.

Grey expanded polystyrene offers enhanced performance as compared to white expanded polystyrene. Graphite is added to the mixture in grey expanded polystyrene, which improves the performance of expanded polystyrene. Grey expanded polystyrene is majorly used in construction applications and is costly as compared to white expanded polystyrene.

Application Insights

The construction application segment led the market and held a revenue share of more than 45.0% in 2019. The demand for expanded polystyrene in construction applications is expected to witness significant growth over the forecast period owing to various beneficial characteristics of EPS, including excellent thermal insulation, lightness, chemical inertness, and bacterial and pest resistance.

The COVID-19 outbreak across the globe has severely impacted the market growth in the construction sector. Stoppage or slowdown of construction projects, restriction on movements, production halts, and labor shortages to contain the COVID-19 outbreak have led to a decline in the growth of the construction industry, which, in turn, is anticipated to hamper the demand for expanded polystyrene in construction applications.

Global expanded polystyrene market share

The packaging application segment accounted for the second-largest revenue share in 2019. This is attributed to the excellent shock-absorbing properties of expanded polystyrene, thus making it ideal for the storage and transportation of products, such as electronics equipment, consumer goods, wines, healthcare, and chemical products. Excellent moisture resistance and thermal insulation offered by expanded polystyrene help retain the freshness of perishable products, such as seafood and fruits and vegetables.

Furthermore, compression resistance offered by expanded polystyrene makes it ideal for stackable packaging goods. Thus, excellent properties offered by EPS are significantly increasing its demand for packaging applications. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to have less impact on the packaging industry over the forecast period. The demand for packaging for healthcare products and food has increased sharply, while the demand for luxury, industrial, and some B2B-transport packaging has declined on account of the slowdown and halt in industrial operations.

The automotive application segment is anticipated to witness considerable growth over the forecast period on account of increasing demand for expanded polystyrene in automobile parts, such as storage compartments, headrest and seats, footpads, and bumper systems. Expanded polystyrene is used in the automotive application on account of its properties such as lightness, impact resistance, and shock absorption.

Regional Insights

Asia Pacific led the market and accounted for more than 54.0% share of the global revenue in 2019. This is attributed to ascending demand for the product from key applications, including automotive, packaging, and construction, in emerging economies such as China and India.

The construction industry in Asia Pacific is the fastest-growing market across all regions. Rising urbanization, rising disposable income, and government initiatives such as the “housing for all” project in India, are boosting the growth of the construction industry in this region.

Europe is the second-largest consumer of expanded polystyrene owing to high demand from the automotive, packaging, and construction sectors. EPS finds application in several industries due to its versatile benefits, lightweight, easy molding, and desired shape formation. In recent years, the demand for expanded polystyrene from green building design applications in the European market has witnessed a significant increase owing to its excellent environmental advantages that can provide improved indoor environmental quality, maximized energy efficiency, and enhanced durability.

Central and South America region is expected to witness substantial growth over the forecast period owing to the region’s economic growth in the past few years. The recovering residential building and construction sector in Central and South America is expected to fuel the demand for EPS in the construction sector. Significant new investments in housing and public works by the government and green building construction initiatives are expected to boost infrastructural growth in Colombia, thereby propelling the demand for EPS over the forecast period.

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

The majority of the players in the EPS market are engaged in vertical integration across the value chain, expansion of manufacturing facilities, and mergers & acquisitions. These initiatives provide companies to have a competitive edge over other players, cater to the increasing global demand, ensure competitive effectiveness, enhance sales and operations planning, develop innovative products and technologies, lower the production costs, and expand customer base.

For instance, in June 2019, BASF SE increased its global production capacity of Neopor (a graphite polystyrene rigid foam and a type of EPS) by 40,000 metric tons per year. The capacity addition was done at two production sites, namely Ulsan (Korea) and Ludwigshafen (Germany). At the Ulsan production facility, the company switched the entire 85,000 metric tons capacity from classic white EPS (Styropor) to grey EPS (Neopor) to enhance the insulation property of the raw material. This move allowed BASF SE to cater to the surging demand for grey material in the Asian market. Some of the prominent players in the expanded polystyrene market include:



  • Total

  • NOVA Chemicals Corporate

  • Ravago


Expanded Polystyrene Market Report Scope

Report Attribute


Market size value in 2020

USD 9.5 billion

Revenue forecast in 2027

USD 12.9 billion

Growth Rate

CAGR of 4.6% from 2020 to 2027

Base year for estimation


Historical data

2016 - 2018

Forecast period

2020 - 2027

Quantitative units

Volume in kilotons, revenue in USD million/billion, and CAGR from 2020 to 2027

Report coverage      

Volume forecast, revenue forecast, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends

Segments covered

Product, application, region

Regional scope

North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; Central & South America; Middle East & Africa

Country Scope

The U.S.; Germany; The U.K.; China; India; Brazil

Key companies profiled

BASF SE; KANEKA CORPORATION; Total; NOVA Chemicals Corporate; Ravago; SABIC

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Segments Covered in the Report

This report forecasts revenue and volume growth at the global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends and opportunities in each of the sub-segments from 2016 to 2027. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global expanded polystyrene market report on the basis of product, application, and region:

  • Product Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • White

    • Grey

  • Application Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • Construction

    • Packaging

    • Automotive

    • Others

  • Regional Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • North America

      • U.S.

    • Europe

      • Germany

      • U.K.

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • India

    • Central & South America

      • Brazil

    • Middle East & Africa

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