TPE demand to increase 6.4% per year through 2007.
The study, "World thermoplastic elastomers," says TPEs will continue to find the majority of their use as replacements for natural and synthetic rubber, as well as for rigid thermoplastics and metals. TPEs are also gaining many new applications in which they are over-molded onto rigid plastic or metal components to enhance ergonomic or soft touch features on a wide range of products, particularly consumer goods.
Freedonia states that global TPE sales will remain concentrated in the developed markets of the U.S., Japan and Western Europe, particularly for higher performance materials such as copolyester elastomers (COPEs) and thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPVs). However, many developing countries, particularly in Asia, are rapidly expanding their positions in TPEs. These countries are initially focusing on low-cost styrenic block copolymers (SBCs), but are also diversifying into compounded thermoplastic polyolefins (TPOs) and thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPUs). In particular, China has emerged over the last dec-ade as a significant market for TPEs, with a large portion of initial demand related to SBCs and other TPEs used in the country's sizable footwear industry, the study says.
Motor vehicles will remain the largest market for TPEs at the global level, with demand expected to be near 630,000 mt in 2007. The sustained solid gains forecast for TPEs in this market are attributable to the development of new products for exterior (e.g., body seals) and interior (e.g, instalment and door panel skins) applications at the expense of ethylene-propylene diene monomer (EPDM) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). The fastest growing sectors through the time period will remain the consumer and sporting goods sectors according to Freedonia.
World thermoplastic elastomer demand ('000 metric tons) 1997 2002 2007 % annual growth 02/97 07/02 North America 446 561 752 4.7 6.0 Western Europe 335 450 558 4.9 4.4 China 163 288 449 12.1 9.3 Japan 110 131 158 3.6 3.8 Other 156 220 333 7.1 8.6 TPE demand 1,230 1,650 2,250 6.1 6.4 Source: Freedonia
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|Title Annotation:||Market Focus|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2004|
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