Plasticizers are non-volatile organic substances and the most common additives used in the plastics industry. It helps to improve flexibility, extensibility, and processability when incorporated into a plastic or elastomer. Plasticizers increase the flow and thermoplasticity of a polymer by decreasing the viscosity of the polymer melt, the glass transition temperature, the melting temperature, and the elastic modulus of the finished product without altering the chemical character of the plasticized material. Plasticizers are majorly classified based on their chemical composition. Following are the most commonly used plasticizers across multiple industries:
Phthalate esters: These are produced by esterification of phthalic anhydride or phthalic acid obtained by the oxidation of orthoxylene or naphthalene.
Aliphatic dibasic acid esters: These types of esters include chemicals such as glutarates, adipates, azelates, and sebecates.
Benzoate esters: They are made by esterification of benzoic acid and alcohols.
Trimellitate esters: These are esterification products of trimellitic anhydride and C8-10 alcohols.
Polyesters: They are formed by many combination reactions of dicarboxylic acids and difunctional alcohols.
Citrates: They are made by the reaction of one mole of citric acid with three moles of alcohol.
Bio-based plasticizers: These are bio-based oil such as epoxidized soybean oil, castor oil, palm oil, other vegetable oils, starches, sugars, etc.
Plasticizers are the most widely used additives in the plastic industry as plasticizers are usually cheaper than other additives used in polymer processing. Hence, the procurement strategy development of plasticizers is becoming very important.
The global plasticizers market is valued at USD 18 billion in 2020 and it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4% from 2020 to 2025 due to increasing demand for flexible PVC products, made from plasticizers, in applications such as pipe, flooring, wall coverings, napkins, adhesive films, pool liners, extruded wires, automotive, synthetic leather coated textiles, and medical devices. APAC is the fastest-growing region in the plasticizers market due to the growing construction and automotive industries.
Plasticizers are produced by a reaction of an alcohol with an acid such as adipic acid, phthalic anhydride, etc. Hence, the price of these acids is considered the major cost driver of plasticizers production. The cost of acids holds the highest cost share of plasticizer production followed by machinery and labor cost.
Many companies are reducing the use of phthalates plasticizers due to their hazardous health effects. In addition, non-governmental organizations such as the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) are promoting the use of non-phthalates plasticizers due to their environmentally friendly nature. The application of certain phthalates in many consumer products is restricted in many countries. The European Parliament prohibits the use of DEHP, DBP, and BBP phthalates in children's toys and childcare items. These are also banned for use in sensitive applications.
Arkema S.A., BASF SE, Daelim Industrial Co. Ltd., Dow Chemical Company, LG Chem Ltd., Evonik Industries AG, ExxonMobil Chemical, Eastman Chemical Company, Ineos Group, and UPC Group are some of the key suppliers of plasticizers. The threat of forward integration from raw material suppliers is moderate in the market, as there are few plasticizer suppliers like BASF SE who has their in-house raw processing plant and use them for end-use in the industry. Moreover, leading suppliers are strengthening their presence through multiple mergers and acquisitions. Grand View Research will help our client identify the best-suited suppliers by mapping their core capabilities and operational efficiency.
Component wise cost break down for better negotiation for the client, highlights the key cost drivers in the market with future price fluctuation for different materials (e.g.: steel, aluminum, etc.) used in the production process
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Determining and forecasting salaries for specific skill set labor to make decision on outsourcing vs in-house.
A typical newsletter study by capturing latest information for specific suppliers related to: M&As, technological innovations, expansion, litigations, bankruptcy etc.
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