Styrenic polymers are produced through the polymerization of styrene monomers and other chemical compounds such as acrylonitrile, butadiene, etc. Production of styrene-based derivatives is the growing trend in the market due to increasing applications in building and construction, packaging, appliances, and automotive industry.
Global Styrenic polymers market is emerging with a positive growth due to the increasing applications in building & construction, packaging, automotive, electrical & electronics, consumer goods, and marine accessories. The factors driving the growth of styrene-based products consumption in different regions are growth in end-use industries, high growth in wind energy applications (driving UPR demand), and increased SBR demand due to tire labeling regulations. The market is well established due to its diversified applications in various industries.
The factors hindering the growth of Styrenic Polymers Market are increasing environmental and health concerns due to usage of styrene and acceptance of other resins as substitute to UPR. However, research and innovation will improve these critical properties in the near future. Emerging economies, their future growth, and innovation in applications and products are the opportunities that the Styrenic polymers companies should be aiming for in the future.
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The global Styrenic polymers market is segmented in terms of types of polymers – Polystyrene (PS), Expanded Polystyrene (EPS), Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), Styrene Butadiene Rubber (SBR) and Unsaturated Polyester Resin (UPR). PS is the major polymer type among the Styrenic polymers, followed by ABS and EPS. Styrenic polymers such as XPS, EPS, ABS, UPR, etc. are unique in themselves. If two companies are offering same polymer say ABS, the chances of product differentiation is very low. Which makes same kind of polymer offered by different manufacturers almost the same. Also, there are number of manufacturers available for each Styrenic polymer.
1. Asia-Pacific holds major market share followed by Europe and North America
Due to rapid growth in infrastructure industry, Asia-Pacific dominates the market as the largest consumer of the global Styrenic polymers market in 2012. The factors driving the growth of styrene-based products consumption in different regions are growth in end-use industries, high growth in wind energy applications (driving UPR demand), and increased SBR demand due to tire labeling regulations. Asia-Pacific is the highest growing market, driving the global consumption of styrene-based polymers.
2. UPR: Economical over others
Unsaturated polyester resin is one of the most commonly used resins in the industry. Due to a competitive advantage of low price over other resins such as polyurethane, vinyl ester, and epoxy resins it is preferred in various applications.
UPR products are well established in the market. With their versatile properties, low price, and well established products by major global companies such as Royal DSM, Ashland Inc., Reichhold Inc., and CCP Composites, UPR has gained an advantage over high priced epoxy and other resins. Epoxy resins are the high priced high performance resins. But, due to the price, their usage is limited to specialized applications such as manufacturing aircraft components, defense applications, etc.
3. Building and Construction Industry driving the market
Due to an increasing need for sound and thermal insulations in newly constructed buildings, building and construction is the major application with the consumption of expanded polystyrene (EPS), growing at a CAGR of 5.1%. Packaging is expected to be the second largest application with the CAGR of 4.7%, particularly in Europe.
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