The global polyethylene wax market size was valued at USD 953.2 million in 2018. The growth in this market can be attributed to rising shale gas production in China, and North America, coupled with growing demand from coatings and printing inks sectors is projected to drive the market over the forecast period.
Polyethylene (PE) wax is a type of synthetic wax prepared by ethylene polymerization and is nontoxic, hard, and white. PE waxes are available in the form of pellets, flakes, and powder. Key end-use industries for PE wax comprises the coating, textile, printing inks, polish, food packaging & processing, paints, oil & gas, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, paper, and leather.
The primary driver which is expected to boost the product segments in the U.S. is the expansion of shale gas reserves. Regional industry participants comprise of Chevron Phillips Chemical, INEOS, Williams Company, Dow Chemical, Formosa Plastics, Westlake Chemical, and LyondellBasell have undertaken expansion projects to enlarge their end-use productions and expand their consumer base.
Stringent regulations by various global agencies characterize the market. Unlike the well-established regulatory framework in Europe and North America, emerging regions like the Asia Pacific is still enhancing their regulatory structure to ensure proper protection of the environment, safety, health, and human rights.
REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals), EPA (Environment Protection Agency), and FDA (Food and Drug Administration) have formulated stringent emission standards on harmful automobile emission. This factor is estimated to drive demand for polyethylene wax for coating application areas.
The use of quality packaging in the foods industry will further drive demand for polyethylene wax. Industry players are focusing on incorporating advanced technologies for their manufacturing processes. Honeywell initially, adopted technology for PE wax production and its additives development, which is presently used by numerous other plastic and chemical manufacturers globally.
High density polymerized product segment was leading the market and accounted for a significant share of revenue in 2018. High density polymerized is the most commonly used PE wax with high density and tensile strength. They are used in diverse application areas as it has high market penetration and is expected to grow at a stable growth rate.
The product has found its wide application in manufacturing industries due to high performance properties like low melt viscosity and compatibility with plasticizers, lubricants, and stabilizers. LDPE and HDPE are obtained through high-density polymerization and are usually used as PVC processing lubricant, hot-melt adhesives modifier, and water-based emulsion additive to improve slip, friction, and scratch resistance.
Oxidized was the second-largest product segment, which is expected to grow on account of increasing application in the coating, plastics, inks, rubber, shoe, leather, lubricants, and masterbatches industries. Asia Pacific oxidized market is expected to witness significant growth due to rapid industrialization and rising R&D activities.
PE wax has gained significant acceptance in the coating industry and is being increasingly used in water-based wax emulsions, nonionic emulsions, and PVC processing in numerous manufacturing sectors such as textile industry, adhesives, packaging, automobiles, and paper coating.
Based on technology type, the market has been segmented into polymerization, modification, and thermal cracking. Recently, metallocene, a form of polymerization technology, is used by manufacturers as an enhanced and improved performance solution for the production of HDP and LDP. This is expected to bolster the polymerization technology growth in PE wax market.
Modification technology is used for co-polymer, oxidized, acid- modified, special monomer manufacturing. On account of high growth in acid-modified and oxidized demand, the technology share is also expected to show an increase over the forecast period.
Modification segment demand is proportionately influenced by growing demand for oxidized, special monomer, acid modified, and co-polymer product segment. The market volume is estimated to be driven over the forecast period by growth in the application segment of acid-modified coatings and oxidized in inks, adhesives, and masterbatches.
Based on application, polyethylene waxmarket is segmented into printing inks, adhesives, masterbatches, plastics, rubber, and others. The other segment includes cosmetics, leather, paper, candles, and textiles.
The masterbatches emerged as the largest application segment owing to its wide application as plastic additives have demonstrated high demand. The plastic consumption is expected to rise exponentially over the forecast period resulting in high consumption of masterbatches. Ascribed to the significant development in emerging economies such as India, Vietnam, China, and Korea, the segment dominated the overall PE wax demand.
PE waxes have lubricating properties which support the resin processing. Furthermore, these waxes are extensively used for dispersing colors in plastics and other additives. Increasing demand for PE plastics by food and other packaging industry is likely to boost the segment growth over the forecast period. Besides, westernization in emerging economies is positively impacting the demand for quality products and is expected to surge printing inks sales in the Asia Pacific.
On the basis of region, PE wax is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, and Central & South America. North America further includes the U.S., and Europe includes Germany. Asia Pacific was the leading global polyethylene market and is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the projected period.
Rapid industrialization and high polyethylene supplies from India and China have resulted in the growth of PE wax market in the region. China’s well-established polyethylene wax infrastructure along with the presence of significant players in the country fueled the dominance of Asia Pacific in 2018. Owing to the rapid industrial growth in India and Vietnam, the region will experience surged PE wax demand over the forecast period.
Middle East & Africa is also projected to observe a significant gain in its revenue share on account of the prevailing oil & gas infrastructure and low product prices. North American market is anticipated to be driven by the considerable demand for shale gas and crude oil from the U.S. Europe is also expected to witness stable growth owing to the development of end-use industries like coating, printing inks, and adhesives coupled with stringent food regulations by the FDA and REACH.
The U.S. is a booming market space in terms of technological advancements and expanding end-user industries. HDP demand is expected to experience a steady development over the upcoming years due to the saturation product segment and will grow at a stagnant rate for plastic manufacturing. The oxidized product segment is expected to witness remarkable development due to increasing plastic and elastomer applications in this region.
Major competitors include Baker Hughes; BASF; Clariant; Honeywell; Mitsui Chemicals; Hase Petroleum Wax Co.; Zell Chemie International; Marcus Oil & Chemicals Private Ltd.; Trecora Chemical; and OPI Inc. The players like Nanjing Tianshi offers a high degree of integration with enhanced distributing networks for manufacturing PE wax.
GMT is a global PE wax manufacturer and a significant exporter of PE wax. Also, Coschem is indulged into manufacturing and selling the business while EPChem International Pte. Ltd. is a global industry participant who is into PE wax distribution and marketing business. Huber Group, an international holding group, has launched its product portfolio which includes printing inks, coatings for printing applications, press chemicals, and services.
The adoption of Nanotechnology in the coating industry is anticipated to emerge as a significant market driver owing to its high-end properties like UV resistance, wear, scratch, corrosion and mar, metallic & micro-ceramic particles will be used in paints & coating products. Along with technological advancements, stringent environment regulations will boost demand for high solid, UV curable, and waterborne coatings in the global market.
Expansion of operations by commissioning new plants is another market strategy adopted by industry participants. In 2012, BASF opened a new manufacturing plant in Ludwigshafen, Germany for oxidized PE wax production, which has helped it strengthen its foothold over the PE wax market.
Base year for estimation
Actual estimates/Historical data
2014 - 2017
2019 - 2025
Volume in Kilotons, Revenue in USD Million and CAGR from 2019 to 2025
North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Central & South America, Middle East & Africa
U.S., Canada, Mexico, Germany, UK, France, Italy, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Brazil, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, South Africa
Volume forecast, revenue forecast, competitive landscape, growth factors and trends
15% free customization scope (equivalent to 5 analysts working days)
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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 polyethylene wax market report on the basis of technology, product, application, and region:
Technology Outlook (Volume, Kilo Tons; Revenue, USD Million; 2014 - 2025)
Product Outlook (Volume, Kilo Tons; Revenue, USD Million; 2014 - 2025)
High Density Polymerized PE Wax
Low Density Polymerized PE Wax
Oxidized PE Wax
Acid-Modified PE Wax
Low-Density Cracked PE Wax
Application Outlook (Volume, Kilo Tons; Revenue, USD Million; 2014 - 2025)
Regional Outlook (Volume, Kilo Tons; Revenue, USD Million; 2014 - 2025)
Central & South America
Middle East & Africa
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