Polyurethanes Market size is forecast to reach US$90.6 Billion by 2026, after growing at a CAGR of 5.9% during 2021-2026. The growth of the polyurethanes market is mainly attributed to its wide-ranging applications across various construction and automotive sectors. Polyurethanes are commercially available in various forms, ranging from flexible or rigid lightweight foams to tough, stiff, and strong elastomers. This enables their use in a wide variety of consumer and industrial applications such as thermal insulation of buildings, refrigerators, household furniture, automotive seating, shoe soles. Additionally, the growing demand for polyurethane in spandex is expected to boost the polyurethanes industry. Furthermore, increasing government investments in the upcoming construction industry growth in the coming years is estimated to upsurge the polyurethanes industry over the forecast period.
Impact of Covid-19
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many end user industries globally. As a result of the pandemic situation, several firms across regions had to shut down their production facilities and services as countries adopted partial or absolute lockdown policies to deal with the pandemic. Furthermore, companies throughout the world also halted or postponed large M&A ventures in the year 2020.In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic also affected crude oil prices, well-drilling and production activities, and the oil and gas supply chain. The decline in production activities further negatively affected the prices for polyurethanes in the short to medium term.
Polyurethanes Market Segment Analysis -By Product Type
Flexible foam held the largest share in the polyurethanes market in 2020. Polyurethane plastics are available in different forms with different uses for a countless number of applications. It has its maximum usage of Flexible Foam material with 34% of market share being widely used in mattresses, cushions, car seats and others. Furniture and bedding, including carpet underlay accounted for nearly 18% of total U.S. polyurethanes consumption. It is the largest end-use market for flexible polyurethane foam (FPF), accounting for 79% of all flexible polyurethane slab stock foam consumption. These foams are used to create the soft cores of sofas and other upholstered household furniture, commercial/institutional furniture such as office chairs and sofas, and seating for theaters, and stadiums. Flexible foams are well suited for this purpose because of their resiliency, durability, comfort, support and other favorable properties. High resilience flexible polyurethane foams are also used extensively in bedding as the trend towards thicker, firmer mattresses grows. Increasing demand for flexible foamowing to its alluring properties is estimated to drive the growth of the market.
Polyurethanes Market Segment Analysis -By End Use Industry
Building and construction(as insulation)segment held the largest share with 41% in the polyurethanes market in 2020 and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 5.43% during the forecast period 2021-2026. The rigid and spray polyurethane foam sector plays a major role in the building and construction industry. Building developers and consumers are increasingly looking for building solutions that provide long-term stability and energy savings, owing to the growing number of energy-efficient building rules. The stiff foam has unique insulating properties that make it suitable for both new construction and renovation of existing structures. Insulation is usually required in cavity walls, towers, floors, pipes, and boilers. Polyurethane is a cost-effective, durable, and environmentally friendly way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well. Thus, the rising application of polyurethanes in the building and construction industry would further drive the market growth in the forecast period.
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Polyurethanes Market Segment Analysis – By Geography
Asia-Pacific region dominated the polyurethanes market in terms of revenue with a share of 43% in 2020 and is projected to dominate the market during the forecast period (2021-2026).With large industrial capacity, high purchasing power and highly advanced infrastructure, the countries such as China, India, and Japan, tends to become a potential market for polyurethanes during the forecast period. Automotive industry is one of the most significant and prominent industries in APAC countries. According to the India Brand Equity Foundation, India was the fourth-largest vehicle market in 2018, with revenue increasing 8.3% year on year to 3.99 million units. It was also the eighth largest commercial vehicle manufacturer in 2018. Thus, with the growing demand for polyurethanes in various end use industries in this region will further drive the market growth in the forecast period.
Polyurethanes Market Driver
Increasing demand for Hosiery, Active Wear and Athletic Apparel will lead to growing need for Polyurethanes (Spandex)
Consumers continue to alter lifestyles and purchasing patterns. Baby Boomers, the oldest of whom now are approaching early retirement, driven by health consciousness and self-interest, look to an increasingly casual lifestyle supplemented by exercise to tone their bodies. Increasing demand for use in active wear and sportswear is another major factor expected to fuel growth of the spandex market over the forecast period. Also, growth in demand from the healthcare sector, especially for use in diapers and compression stockings & surgical hoses, is expected to drive growth of the spandex market throughout the forecast period.
Polyurethanes Market Challenges
Fluctuating Prices of Raw Materials
Higher raw material prices for isocyanates, resulted in compressed margins for polyurethane manufacturers, as most were unable to raise their end-product prices quickly enough to match the upward movement in isocyanate costs. MDI and TDI are key isocyanates used as raw materials for polyurethane elastomers. These compounds are highly toxic and hence polyurethane industry is highly regulated as well as heavily dependent on crude oil dynamics. Benzene and toluene are the key feedstocks for methyl di-p-phenylene isocyanate (MDI) and toluene di-isocyanate (TDI). Hence fluctuations in the crude have direct impact on the pricing of isocyanates and generally all petrochemicals.
Polyurethanes Market Landscape
Technology launches, acquisitions, and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in the polyurethanes market. Major players in the polyurethanes market are BASF SE, Chemtura Corporation (Lanxess AG.), Tosoh Corporation, KURARAY CO., LTD., WANHUA CHEMICAL GROUP CO., LTD., Era Polymers Pty Ltd, Lubrizol, The Dow Chemical Company, COVESTRO AG, and Huntsman Corporation among others.
In July 2020, Yutong Bus Co., Ltd. (Yutong), the world’s largest bus manufacturer, has collaborated with BASF SE to develop improved polyurethane (PU)-based seating for high-end, new-energy buses.
In September 2019, Huntsman Corporation opened a new polyurethanes system facility in Dubai. The purpose for building the facility is to boost Huntsman’s downstream capabilities in the Middle East and North Africa by increasing its capacity to create polyurethane systems and polyester polyols for customers throughout the area.
Asia-Pacific region dominated the polyurethanes market owing to the rising production of automotive and increasing government emphasis on building and construction growth.
Increasing preference for cast polymer polyurethane elastomers for use in shoe sole, boot, and other sports shoes, in the footwear industryis anticipated to drive the market growth.
Rising usage of flexible polyurethane foam in the furnishing segment on a very large scale in furniture, bedding, carpet as they are more durable, lightweight, comfortable and also supportive, will raise the demand for polyurethane in the upcoming years.
Moreover, the fluctuating prices of raw materials such as methyl di-p-phenylene isocyanate (MDI) and toluene di-isocyanate (TDI) is estimated to hinder the growth of the market.
A. APAC Polyurethanes Market
B. UV Stabilizers for Polyurethanes Market
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