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Growing Concerns and Tightening Standards to Underpin the Demand for Alternatives
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Plasticized PVC accounts for nearly a third (around 14 million tonnes) of the total global PVC resin consumption and is among the most versatile, cost-effective, durable, and pliable plastics. It continues to be a material of choice for a wide range of applications including flooring, wall coverings, films, sheets, and artificial leather used across a diverse set of industries. Over 7.5 million tons of plasticizers (i.e., chemicals that convert rigid plastic into a flexible form) were consumed for the production of flexible PVC in 2018. Although flexible PVC exhibits exceptional properties and performance, the EHS-related issues associated with exposure to certain conventional plasticizers (particularly orthophthalates) render the ‘selection of plasticizer’ among the most contentious aspects associated with flexible PVC. While government agencies and authorities in Europe and North America continue to witness tightening in regulations and standards associated with the use of plasticizers, marked growth in preference for safer alternatives in developing countries (especially China) is expected to impact the global plasticizer product mix over the forecast period. Such a shift in preference toward non-classified phthalates and non-phthalate alternatives is expected to be more prominent in applications that involve direct human contact (for instance, flooring, wall coverings, and consumer products). Although the demand for flexible PVC (and hence that for plasticizers) is closely linked to the overall economic performance and particularly to the growth in construction activity, the ever-evolving regulatory scenario and growing concerns are likely to result in above-average growth in demand for certain chemistries, whereas sluggish growth or decline in that for certain others.This study is an attempt to quantify the consumption of various plasticizers and to gauge the level of impact that the market developments are expected to have on the demand for plasticizers over the next seven years. The study quantifies the consumption of various plasticizers on the basis of product types, prominent applications, and end-use industries from 2018 to 2025. The key product types considered in the study include phthalates, terephthalates, epoxide, aliphatic, trimellitates, and Others (benzoates, citrates, and phosphates, among others). The end-use industries considered in the study include construction, transportation, toys & medical, and Others (consumer goods, electrical & electronics, and packaging, among others). Furthermore, the various applications under consideration in the study include wire & cables, flooring & wall coverings, film & sheet, coated fabrics, profile & tubes, and Others (coatings, adhesives, and sealants, and rubber compounds, among others).APAC continues to dominate the global plasticizers market. In 2018, the region accounted for nearly 60% share in the overall global plasticizer consumption. The ever-increasing urbanization and middle class population, coupled with growth in electrification and evolving energy dynamics, are expected to drive the demand for flexible PVC (and that for plasticizers) in the region. Furthermore, tightening standards, especially in China, are expected to invigorate the demand for alternatives to conventional products.The study analyzes the current market size in terms of volumes and revenues based on the weighted average prices of products in the marketplace. It also presents a seven-year growth forecast (CAGR) for the segments under consideration.
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