Polypropylene Market: Key Facts and Latest News
20 Aug 2018 • by Natalie Aster
LONDON – Nowadays, polypropylene is one of the most in-demand polymers in the world owing to its low cost and excellent properties. This translucent, semi-rigid material doesn’t pose any stress-cracking problems and has superior electrical and chemical resistance at high temperatures. Moreover, it is characterised by small weight, low density, and high durability. Besides, it can be coloured in different ways without damaging the original quality of the plastic. Moreover, as polypropylene doesn’t contain Bisphenol A (BPA), it is viewed as a nice alternative to other types of plastics.
Structure of global polymer demand by type, 2016
Due to its versatile nature and unique properties, polypropylene has found a great number of applications across a range of various industries, including Automotive, Food & Beverage, Toys, Construction, Carpeting, Geotextiles, Electrical & Electronics, Paper, Medical, Packaging, etc. The mounting demand for the material from an array of end-use industries acts as the major engine of the world’s polypropylene market growth. Today, the Packaging industry ranks as the leading consumer of polypropylene accounting for around 26% of the world’s total consumption volume. It is followed by the Automotive and Electrical & Electronics industries.
Regionally, Asia is at the forefront of the global polypropylene production, capturing a share of above 50% of the world’s total volume. It is anticipated to maintain the dominant position in the offing. This is majorly attributed to the robust growth of the emerging economies and considerable upturn of polypropylene end-use industries in this region. China contributes over half of the Asian polypropylene production and takes the position of the leading polypropylene producing country both in the Asian region and worldwide.
Europe is the second largest producer of polypropylene globally. The demand for the material in the European region is poised to go up in the coming years, as local manufacturers tend to shift to polypropylene instead of other conventional materials, for instance, metal and glass.
World’s polypropylene production in 2016, by region (in million tons)
The production of polypropylene is growing on a YoY basis, encouraged by the escalating demand from the key end-use sectors and the ongoing shift to polypropylene from other conventional materials due to its superior properties. In the wake of the surging “eco-friendly” trend, a host of lucrative growth opportunities is arising in the bio-based polypropylene sector.
The value of the world’s polypropylene market added nearly 5.7% YoY and totaled around USD 95.6 billion. This year, it is poised to go beyond USD 101 billion. In the medium to long term, the global polypropylene market value is slated to continue increasing at a modest single-digit CAGR of about 5-7%. By 2023, it will likely cross the USD 133 billion mark.
World’s polypropylene market value over 2014-2023 (in billion USD)
The world’s polypropylene market has a highly competitive environment due to the presence of a great number of global and regional players. To remain competitive and retain the market share, manufacturers are focusing on the modernization of production assets, higher quality, technological advancements, and product diversification.
LyondellBasell and Sinopec Group are the dominant manufacturers of polypropylene, their production volume was estimated at appr. 6.52 million tons and 6.46 million tons, respectively, in 2016. The third spot on the list of the leading global polypropylene manufacturers is held by PetroChina Group; its production volume was some 4.61 million tons in 2016.
Top 10 polypropylene manufacturers, 2016 (in million tons)
SOME LATEST POLYPROPYLENE INDUSTRY UPDATES
- New Polypropylene Compounds Company to Be Built in the Netherlands
In the wake of the growing demand for light-weight autos along with the strengthened environmental regulations, Mitsui Chemicals and Prime Polymer decided to build a new polypropylene compounds unit in the Netherlands, which is scheduled to start ops in June 2020.
Presently, Mitsui Chemicals operates 8 polypropylene production bases and 5 research bases worldwide. The Company continues to enhance its production processes, boost sales, and improve R&D of high-performance polypropylene compounds. Mitsui Chemicals’ light-weight solutions are widely recognised by automotive manufacturers around the globe. The establishment of the polypropylene production unit in the Netherlands will open further growth opportunities for the Mitsui Chemicals to expand its business in the European region.
- Polypropylene Production in Russia Dropped in H1 2018 whilst Imports Jumped
The overall production of polypropylene in Russia fell by 1% YoY in H1 2018. The country’s production volume during January-July 2018 totaled around 829,000 tons.
Meantime, the imports of polypropylene to Russia jumped by 24% YoY in H1 2018. Nearly 114,900 tons of polypropylene were imported to the country during the first 7 months of the current year.
- Borouge to Start Operations at New Polypropylene Plant in the UAE by 2021
Borouge is building a new polypropylene production unit in Abu Dhabi (the UAE). This plant will boast the production capacity of 480 thousand tons per year. This Borouge’s project is scheduled to be finished by the year 2021.
- Neftekhim Has Shut Down Polypropylene Production in Kazakhstan for Scheduled Maintenance
The only manufacturer of polypropylene in Kazakhstan, Neftekhim, put on hold its production capacities in late July 2018 for a scheduled maintenance. The current production capacity of this polypropylene unit is estimated at 30 thousand tons per year. The polypropylene production on Kazakhstan’s unit is planned to be resumed after August 20, 2018.
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