The COVID-19 induced subdued momentum, especially in construction and automotive sectors, is likely to hurt the interests of polypropylene market stakeholders in the short run, opines a new study by Future Market Insights (FMI).
Revising its market forecast to negative 2.1% (volume) for 2020, the ESOMAR-certified market research and consulting firm remains bullish on the long-term prospects of the market.
According to the study, “despite a bearish rally for polypropylene over the last three months, a more positive outlook for oil will pave way for brighter polypropylene settlements in the near term.”
Polypropylene demand decline has been more pervasive vis-à-vis its other plastic variants in automotive and this will continue till resumption of manufacturing operations. However, high sales of spun-bound and meltblown polypropylene grades in the production of PPE and masks can offset some of the losses, opines FMI’s new study.
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“The production of polypropylene requires a substantial amount of capital investment. Re-use and recyclability will not only reduce overall investment cost but also substantially reduce carbon emissions” says an FMI analyst.
Key Takeaways of Global Polypropylene Market Study
- Polypropylene, being 20%-25% lighter than conventional plastic variants will witness robust demand in lightweight automotive category in the long run
- With crude oil prices moving well below the US$ 30 per barrel, low purchase costs of feedstock such as propylene will offer lifelines to polypropylene manufacturers
- Innovations in polypropylene packaging solutions continue to offer material savings to manufacturers up to 60%
- Superior Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) additives for optimizing feedstock yields of propylene are set to expand profit pools of refineries thus having a positive impact on overall growth of polypropylene market
Competitive Landscape of Polypropylene Market
Borealis, one of the key players has been continuously extending support to all its partners in the polypropylene value chain to make the shift to polypropylene solutions that are viable in sustainable packaging.
Both Sabic and BASF have engineered newer processes to recycle polypropylene from a low-value, low-quality plastic to a pre-consumer plastic that can be effectively used in a number of food packaging applications. BASF has also collaborated with Jaguar to convert plastic waste into high-end automotive parts.
SCG has come out with a technology called as SMX that minimizes the utilization of plastic and paves way for applications in film packaging and chemical drums with more impact resistance and perforation.
Lucrative Market Conditions in China and India Make East Asia a Regional Goliath
East Asia’s prominence in the polypropylene market is likely to continue unabated owing to its fast growing automotive and construction sectors.
Another key factor driving growth of polypropylene market in East Asia is the focus of manufacturers on customization of product portfolio as per specific applications. In East Asia, polypropylene is being prominently used in BOPP film, injection moldings, and Raffia/Thermoforming.
With viral epicenters having shifted to countries such as India, demand for polypropylene grades is robust in packaging and medical applications. Production appetite for bottle caps and closures in medical, hygiene and pharmaceutical applications has led to significant improvements in the demand outlook for East Asia.