Polyurethane Market Forecast to Reach $53.8 Billion by 2026

(I-BusinessNews.Com, July 27, 2021 ) Polyurethane Market is forecast to reach $53.8 billion by 2026, after growing at a CAGR of 5.2% during 2021-2026. A diverse range of polyester polyols enables formulators to create high-quality polyurethanes. The growing demand in the automobile, construction and electronics industries for lightweight and durable goods is projected to stimulate the global market growth of polyurethane. Increasing demand for flexible foams owing to its durable, light, supportive, and comfortable properties in growing end-use industry is expected to drive the market growth. The rising production and sales of automotive in various regions has further raised the demand for polyurethane coatings, and is estimated to lead the growth of the market in upcoming years. Furthermore, the expanded use of innovative polyurethane (PU) processing processes with advanced features is anticipated to create new opportunities for the growth of the global polyurethane industry in the forecast era.

Impact of Covid-19

The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting government-ordered lockdowns have led to a profound recession impacting virtually every region of the world in 2020; the already slowing construction markets were especially hard hit, impacting consumption and production of raw materials, and thus, declining the demand for polyurethane.

Polyurethane Market Segment Analysis – By Raw Material

Polyol is widely used raw material in the polyurethane market. The vast array of isocyanate-reacting polyols contributes to a wide variety of polyurethane fabrics, which range from cushioning and insulation to coatings, garments and electronics. The properties of the PU depend on the molecular mass (MW) of the starting polyol and the degree of cross-linking in addition to structural components. While highly branched polyols produce solid PU with good heat and resistance to chemical, less branched polyols offer polyurethane with good flexibility (at low temperature) and low chemical resistance. Low-MW polyols likewise produce rigid PU, and long-chain high-MW polyols produce flexible PU products. Also, the rising use of polyester polyols owing to its better abrasion resistance and tensile and tear strength, and excellent resistance to oils and fuels, compared to polyether-based polyurethanes is estimated to raise the demand for polyurethane market.

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Polyurethane Market Segment Analysis – By Product Type

Foams held the largest share in the polyurethane market. The benefit of polymeric foams compared with counterparts materials can be seen almost anywhere. Polyurethane foams are likely the key category of polymer foams, as they provide excellent thermal and sound insulators along with structural and comfort materials due to their low density and thermal conductivity, along with their fascinating mechanical properties. As polyurethane foams technology for processing is developed as comparison to foam derived from other polymers, PUFs are equivalent to 50 percent of global PU intake. PUFs are usually classified as flexible and rigid foams. Hence, due to the factors mentioned above, the foam segment is expected to dominate the polyurethane market during the forecast period.

Polyurethane Market Segment Analysis – By Application

Building and construction sector held the largest share in the polyurethane market in 2020 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 6% during the forecast period 2021-2026. Polyurethane is the most important application in buildings. In the building and construction industry, the rigid and spray polyurethane foam is by far the main producer. With a growing array of energy-efficient building codes, building developers and consumers are increasingly moving towards building solutions that offer long-term reliability and energy savings. The rigid foam has special insulating features that make it suitable both for walls and roofs for new homes and to renovate existing buildings. In cavity walls, towers, floors, pipes and boilers, insulation is typically needed. Polyurethane is a cost-effective, robust, and healthy way to decrease global warming emissions. In cold weather homes and workplaces, polyurethanes will significantly minimize the heat loss. During the summer, buildings are kept cool and the demand for air conditioning is minimized. Therefore, with the rising building and construction activities the demand for polyurethane market is expected to grow in the forecast period.

Polyurethane Market Segment Analysis – Geography

The Asia Pacific region held the largest share with 39% in polyurethane market in 2020. Globally, the demand for polyurethane is dominated by Asia-Pacific due to higher consumption of polyurethane in China, India, and Japan among other countries. Asia-Pacific is also expected to be the fastest growing region due to growing furniture and construction industry combined with increasing consumption of polyurethane from automotive industry in the region, especially in China and India which are also amongst largest regional consumers of polyurethane. India was the fourth largest automobile market with revenue rising 8.3 percent year-on-year to 3.99 million units, according to the India Brand Equity foundation in 2018. In 2018, it was also the seventh largest commercial vehicle producer. Thus, the demand for the polyurethane market is therefore anticipated to increase in the forecast period because of these properties.

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Polyurethane Market Drivers

Increasing Use of Polyurethane in the Automotive Industry

Polyurethane has a wide variety of automotive and transportation uses. Comfort, safety, lightweight and durability coupled with design freedom are the advantages of using polyurethane. Polyurethane foam products help automotive builders and suppliers build seats that can be installed, removed and recycled quickly. With a wide spectrum of firmness without extra weight, they have the best performance requirements. Reaction Injection Molded (RIM) polyurethane components are the largest users of the automobile market. Without weight or mass attachment RIM maximizes the shock absorption of the car’s fender, bumper and spoiler. RIM polyurethane’s lightweight offers greater gas mileage for automobiles and gives innovative designs to engineers. Also, the increasing use of polyurethane coatings in automotive bodies and parts with the rising production of automotive is estimated to raise the market growth. Thus, due to the above mentioned factors the demand for polyurethane market is also anticipated to rise over the forecast period.

Increasing Applications of Polyurethane in Bedding and Furniture Sector

One of the major uses of polyurethane lies in bedding & furniture applications. Polyurethane is one of the most common fabrics for home furnishings, such as mobilizing, linen and underlying carpets, in the shape of flexible foam. Flexible polyurethane foam makes the furniture more durable, convenient and compatible as a coated material for polished furniture. The lightweight polyurethane foam is recyclable; it is recycled with different techniques for disposing of waste sources and retrieving the material’s worth. Rising usage of polyurethane in bedding, furniture upholstery, and interior products, owing to its advanced durability and flexibility properties are some of the factors anticipated to drive the market growth over the forecast period.

Polyurethane Market Challenges

Volatility in Crude Oil Prices

Polyurethane is mainly synthesized from petroleum-derived feedstocks such as MDI and TDI. These compounds are derived from benzene, a crude oil derivative. The demand for crude oil is highly concentrated and oligopolistic in nature. The supply of crude oil has also been a crucial factor in restricting demand expansion. Owing to the supply-demand divide, there has been an oscillation of crude oil markets. This has resulted in price volatility for its derivatives. Factors include political unrest in the Middle East region and the embargo on Iran has contributed to a slowdown in the production of crude oil that has impacted petrochemical prices. As a result, the price instability of raw materials has been a devasting factor hindering the demand growth of polyurethane market.

Polyurethane Market Landscape

Technology launches, acquisitions, and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in the polyurethane market. Major players in the polyurethane market are BASF SE, The Dow Chemical Company, Huntsman Corp., Covestro, Eastman Chemical Co.; Mitsui Chemicals, Nippon PU Industry Corp. Ltd., Lubrizol Corp, Recticel S.A., Woodbridge Foam Corp., RTP Company, DIC Corp, among others.

Acquisitions/Technology Launches

In March 2018, In March 2018, Huntsman Corporation acquired Demilec, a distributor and manufacturer of spray polyurethane foam (SPF) insulation systems for commercial and residential applications and to expand and integrate Demilec into polyurethanes business and deliver improved energy efficient solutions for various applications.

Key Takeaways

The Asia pacific region dominated the polyurethane market owing to the increasing demand for lightweight materials as well as rising use of bio-based materials from growing building & construction industry in this region.

The increasing urbanization and living standards changes for communities as well as the increasing use of polyurethane in construction and its high conformity capability, its unique mechanical and insulating characteristics and chemical and heat resistance are the driving factors behind the polyurethane market.

However, the demand over the forecast period is expected to be impacted by stringent environmental policies due to poisonous gasses emitted by burning of fossil fuels and fluctuating raw material prices.

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