The growth of global adhesives industry on account of increasing demand from major end-use industries such as furniture automobiles and construction is expected to remain a key driving factor for global vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) market over the next six years. Vinyl acetate is one of the most important monomers widely used for manufacturing adhesives owing to the enhanced adhesive, fiber forming, optical and electrical properties. VAM is a precursor used in polymer and copolymer manufacturing for consumer and industrial products including PVA/PVAc (polyvinyl acetate/polyvinyl acetals), PVOH (polyvinyl alcohol), EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate), and EVOH (ethylene vinyl alcohol). Growing demand for paints & coatings on account of increase in infrastructure spending particularly in emerging economies of Asia Pacific and Latin America is expected to have a positive influence on the global VAM market growth over the forecast period. Vinyl acetate ethylene (VAE) copolymers are ideal for architectural coating owing to low environmental impact. Other benefits include low solvent demand, low monomer residue and developed without alkylphenol ethoxylate (APEO) raw materials & formaldehyde feedstock.
Increasing shale gas exploration & production (E&P) activities, particularly in the U.S. is expected to ensure a continuous supply of key raw materials for manufacturing VAM. Crude oil is major feedstock for ethylene production which in turn is feedstock for VAM. Natural gas derived from shale gas has a high percentage of ethane in comparison to crude oil for VAM production. This factor is expected to increase VAM production in the U.S. and further meet the export and domestic demand. Stringent regulations owing to growing environmental concerns and volatile prices of key raw materials are expected to remain key challenges for market participants. Increasing demand for photovoltaic (PV) cells and growth of global food packaging industry are expected to provide future opportunities to VAM market participants.
EVA copolymer resins are used for PV cells for providing protective, adhesive layer between the glass and electronic components. EVA also provides structural support and helps in insulating PV cells from harmful elements such as rain, dirt and wind.
About 80% of VAM produced is used for PVA and PVOH production. PVA and PVOH dominated the application segment of the VAM market. PVA is the largest derivative of VAM and is majorly used in adhesive applications owing to good adhesion properties to various substrates such as wood, paper, metals and plastic films. Other major use of PVA includes paints & coatings. PVOH is the second largest VAM consumer derived from PVA. PVOH is used in applications such as coatings, adhesives, and water soluble packaging. PVAc derived from PVA are used for producing magnetic wire insulation, safety glass interlayer, wash primers and coating. EVA is expected to grow at steady rates over the next six years owing to increase in demand from packaging industry segments. EVA is also used in the manufacturing of footwear and shower curtains. EVOH is expected to be the fastest growing application owing to usage as barrier resin for plastic bottles, food packaging, engineering polymers and gasoline tanks. VAM is also used in the manufacturing of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) and VAE. PVB are used in safety glass production used in buildings and automobiles.
Asia Pacific emerged as the leading regional VAM market and accounts for close to half of total market volume. Asia Pacific is expected to continue leading the global market on account of the growth of major end-use industries in the region. Emerging markets such as China and India are expected to witness higher growth rates owing to increasing adhesives and paints & coatings demand from infrastructure industry. Asia Pacific is followed by Europe and North America. North America is expected to overtake Europe to become the second largest VAM consumer by 2020. Positive outlook on U.S.’s packaging industry coupled with shale gas boom in the nation is expected to remain a key driving factor for the growth of the regional market.
Global VAM market is moderately consolidated with top four companies accounting for just over 50% of total market. Leading manufacturers compete on the basis of price differentiation and services offered. Some major companies operating in global VAM market include Celanese, Dairen Chemical Corporation, Sinopec and LyondellBasell Industries. Other companies include The Dow Chemical Company, Kuraray, Sipchem, Ningxia Yinglite and Wacker Chemie.
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