Plastic Industry Insights

Plastics is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. It is helping in fast economic recovery in the USA, and various other regions of the world. In 2016, the plastic compounding market size across the globe was 26.73 million tons. Increasing prices of metals and alloys are the main reason for the easy adoption of lightweight plastic parts,which offer the same strength and performance as their metal counterparts. This post provides insights into various aspects, which will ensure continued growth of plastic in the future, too.

Product Insights

The following facts will help you understand the rising popularity of various commodity plastic materials and engineering plastics materials across the globe.

Commodity Plastics Market

Global commodity plastics market is expected to reach USD 493.74 Billion in 2022. This growth is attributed to the following materials:

  • Polyethylene (PE) and Polypropylene (PP) are the popular commodity plastics used across the globe. In 2016, PP claimed the largest market volume share, which was estimated over 32%, whereas PE claimed 22.4%.
  • Easy processability and wide availability are the two factors that have contributed to the growth of PE market. The material is colorless, transparent, and offers easy machinability, while remaining strong.
  • PP compounds are employed in industries like electrical and electronics, as well as automotive, whereas PE compounds are largely employed in packaging, construction, electrical and electronics industries.
  • There is also a demand for Polyetheylene terephthalate (PET) in the packaging industry, where they are used for making containers and bottles.
  • Other commodity plastics such as thermoplastic olefins (TPO), thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPV), polycarbonate, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polystyrene, and polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) are gaining importance across various industries.

Engineering Plastics Market

Various studies suggest that global commodity plastics market will be USD 108.68 Billion in 2026. The following materials are the key drivers of this growth:

  • Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) leads the choice of material in the engineering plastics segment. The material is favored for its properties such as high temperature and chemical resistance, extreme rigidity, and easy processability. These properties make it a perfect choice for applications in electronic and electrical parts, transportation and automotive, fittings and piping, and several other consumer products.
  • Nylon and polycarbonate are two engineering plastics, which along with ABS will contribute to the three-quarters of plastics demand in 2019. Automotive industry is the key driver of growth for the nylon plastics. Nowadays, they are being largely used for underhood motor vehicle applications. However, polycarbonate is set to benefit from their increasing use in
    the medical and construction industry.
  • The demand for lesser-known engineering plastics such as polyphenylene sulfide, fluoropolymers, sulfone polymers, and polyketones will exhibit continuous growth till 2024.

Application Insights

Nowadays plastic parts are becoming a common sight across various industries. The following facts will provide you insights on their widespread utility.

  • In 2015 and 2016, automotive sector claimed 24% of total market share of plastic parts. It was the highest revenue-creating segment. Various plastic materials are used for manufacturing automotive components including drive systems, windshields, under-the-hood components, fog lamps and headlamps, etc. Rising consumer demand for fuel capacity and regulations concerning the weight reduction of vehicles are the key factors that is driving the increasing use of plastics in this segment.
  • Electrical and electronic segment claimed 18.15% of market share in 2016. Various types of plastics are used to make electrical applications, including enclosures, semiconductors, sockets, and switches. The demand for plastics will increase in the said industry owing to increasing requirements such as flame retardancy, improved serviceability, and heat resistance.

In addition to the above-mentioned applications, construction, packaging, and medical devices manufacturing are major industrial segments that utilize plastic parts.

Regional Insights

Various studies suggest that usage of plastic products is more in certain regions than others. The following facts will introduce you to regions, which are the largest consumers of plastic products.

  • Asia-Pacific region emerged as the largest consumer of plastics in 2015 and 2016. This region features growing economies such as China, India, as well as several South East Asian countries like Indonesia and Thailand. Emergence of several small and medium-sized businesses, and increasing demand for plastic products in industries such as chemicals, automobile manufacturing, power generation, electrical and electronics have contributed to this growth.
  • In 2015 and 2016, Europeans were the second largest consumers of plastics after Asia-Pacific Region. In countries like France, Germany, UK, and Spain, as well as Eastern European Countries like Romania, Slovakia, and Czech Republic plastics were mainly utilized for automotive manufacturing.
  • North America has played a significant role in the growth of global plastic industry. Construction and automotive are two industrial segments, which employ plastic parts more than others. In the US, the plastics is the third largest manufacturing industry. In 2012, plastic manufacturers have shipped plastic goods worth $373 billion. The success of the industry in the US, depends on the quality measures imposed through stringent regulations. American plastics are exported to countries like Canada, Mexico, and China.

All the above information suggest that plastics market is getting stronger by day. It is exciting to see how they are becoming key growth drivers in various economies across the globe. As a leading plastic resin supplier for injection molding and compounding, Mid Continent Plastics has immense experiences serving a wide range of industrial clients in the USA, and other regions of the world.