Specialty polymers are advanced engineered materials that possess enhanced mechanical, thermal and chemical resistance properties compared to conventional polymers. They are widely used in automotive, electronics, industrial and consumer good sectors owing to their high performance characteristics. The growing demand for lightweight and durable materials from automotive industry is driving the need for specialty polymers. The global Specialty Polymers Market is estimated to be valued at US$ 82.99 Bn in 2023 and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 6.4% over the forecast period 2023 to 2030, as highlighted in a new report published by Coherent Market Insights.
Market key trends:
Specialty polymers find significant usage in varied automotive components and parts such as tires, hoses, belts, gaskets due to their superior physical and mechanical properties. The thriving automotive industry worldwide especially in emerging economies and stringent regulations regarding fuel efficiency and emission standards are propelling the demand for lightweight vehicles. This in turn is favoring the growth of specialty polymers market as auto manufacturers are increasingly adopting advanced polymers to manufacture lightweight auto components. The low density and high strength characteristics of specialty polymers help reduce the overall weight of vehicles and improve their mileage.
- Strength: Specialty polymers offer superior properties such as durability, heat resistance, chemical resistance etc. compared to commodity plastics. This makes them suitable for various applications requiring high performance.
- Weakness: Specialty polymers have high production costs due to complex manufacturing processes involved. This limits their use only for applications where performance is a crucial requirement.
- Opportunity: Rising demand from end-use industries such as automotive, electronics, coatings etc. due to stricter regulations on emission reductions and fuel efficiency. Increasing R&D on bio-based specialty polymers also presents opportunities.
Threats: Volatility in raw material prices can squeeze profit margins for specialty polymer producers. Strong bargaining power of multinational companies can impact revenue of small players.
The global specialty polymers market is expected to witness high growth over the forecast period. The automotive industry is currently the largest end-user of specialty polymers accounting for over 25% of global demand. Factors such as lightweighting requirements, stringent fuel efficiency norms are driving specialty polymer consumption in the automotive sector. Asia Pacific currently dominates the global specialty polymers market with a share of over 40% in 2022. Rapid industrialization and growing automotive and electronics industries in China and India have been driving the specialty polymers market growth in the region.
Key players operating in the specialty polymers market are Croda International Plc, Evonik Industries, BASF, Solvay Group, Specialty Polymers Inc., PolyOne Corporation, AmeriLux International LLC, The Dow Chemical Company, Clariant, Arkema Group, 3M, A.Schulman, Inc., Ashland Inc., and Koninklijke DSM N.V. These companies are focusing on capacity expansions as well as new product developments catering to requirements of niche applications such as healthcare, energy, and advanced coatings to consolidate their position in the market.