Global polyurethane (PU) market size was estimated at 16 million tons in 2015 and is likely to witness gains with an estimated CAGR of more than 5% up to 2023.
Global bio polyurethane market size was estimated at over 1,500 tons in 2014. It is obtained from reacting bio polyols with diisocyanates with biomass, varying from 30-70%.This variation depends upon the feedstock used for polyol production. Soybean oil, castor oil, rapeseed oil and sunflower oil are key raw materials for the green/bio polyols market.
Increasing application scope as thermal insulators, flooring materials and sealants in construction sector is likely to drive polyurethanes market growth. Among GCC nations in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia dominated the construction market with 43% of the total share and disclosed an estimated budget of over USD 1 trillion worth of projects planned in 2013. UAE was the second largest construction market in GCC nations with an estimated budget of USD 727 billion planned in 2013. Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain were the rest to follow with an estimated budget of close to USD 683 billion in 2013.
Key products include rigid foams, flexible foams, adhesives & sealants, elastomers and coatings. Flexible PU foam market dominated the overall consumption and accounted for over 38% of the total volume in 2013. These foams are widely preferred for its use in automotive seating, bedding, upholstery, textiles and tennis racquet grips.
Rise in industrial safety standards is likely to promote rigid foam growth due to its excellent insulation properties. These foams accounted for more than 25% of the total consumption in 2013. Automotive production growth, particularly in Asia Pacific and Latin America is likely to drive polyurethane market price and demand. Global automobile sale was close to 82.6 million units in 2012 and is likely to reach 104.6 million units in 2018 growing with an estimated CAGR of 4%. It is used for manufacturing seating, armrests, headrest, headliners and dashboard. It use in the automobile industry in the form of lightweight plastics can result in increase fuel efficiency and reduced carbon emissions.
Growing electronic consumable demand is likely to drive polyurethane market growth. Properties such as durability and abrasion resistance makes PU based varnishes to be preferred in hardwood floors applications. Coatings are widely gaining importance as it provides wood floor finishes, thereby likely to increase its demand.
Volatile raw material prices of MDI & TDI are likely to hamper industry profitability. In order to counter this, companies are increasing investments in research to develop bio polyurethane. Shift in trend towards adopting bio based products owing to decreasing fossil fuel reserves is also likely to provide opportunities for competent bio polyurethane market price.
Development of 100% bio-based PU may serve as drop-in substitute for their synthetic counter parts and also replace in most of the applications. Many companies are collaborating with biotechnology firms to produce bio PU.
In the bio-based polyurethane market, foams accounted for more than 75% of the total demand. The demand for CASE (coatings, adhesives & sealants and elastomers) are comparatively less and can be tailored made to be used in application such as waterborne urethanes, plastics and woods. More than 70% of vehicles by Ford Motor Company contains seat component derived from bio based PU foams.
Asia Pacific dominated the regional market and accounted for more than 45% of the total volume in 2015. Presence of large scale industries in countries such as China and India coupled with increasing construction spending is likely to drive regional demand. North America is likely to exhibit moderate growth rates owing to presence of automobile industries and shifting focus towards adopting bio based products.
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