Plasticizers Market by Type, Sub-Type (DOP, DINP/DIDP, DOTP, Bio-Based, & Others) & Geography - Trends and Forecasts to 2019
A plasticizer is a chemical substance which when added to a plastic or a material, produces a product which imparts softness, viscosity, flexibility, and makes it easier to handle. Plasticizers are the most common additives employed in the plastic industry. They are also usually cheaper as compared to the other additives employed in polymer processing. Plasticizers are basically divided into phthalates & non-phthalates. Further phthalates are sub-divided into low & high phthalates. Non-phthalates include adipates, terephthalates, benzoates, and bio-based plasticizers. Further on the basis of their types, plasticizers are sub-divided into DOP, DINP/DIDP, DOTP, bio-based, and others that include various phthalates and non-phthalates such as plasticizers DBP, BBP, DEP, DPHP, DIUP, DOA, DINCH and TOTM.
The consumption trend of plasticizers varies from region to region depending upon its various types. For instance, the consumption trend in Asia-Pacific represents a mix of all the plasticizers. The Asia-Pacific is the biggest consumer of low phthalates especially DOP, which is mainly due to lack of legislative initiatives and due to increasing PVC demand in the region. Additionally, the consumption of high phthalates and non-phthalates is also prominent in the region. The region is the biggest and the fastest growing market after RoW for plasticizers, consuming more than 50.0% the total global volume in 2013. The scenario is different in Europe, as non-phthalates and certain high phthalates are dominant in Europe, which is mainly due to the stringent norms and regulations in the region. On the other hand, demand in North America is increasing for DOTP and bio-based non-phthalates as an alternative for low phthalates. Also on the basis of countries, China, Japan, India U.S., and Germany, are the major consumers of plasticizers, with China being at the forefront.
Among the types, although the low phthalates held the largest share of the total volume of plasticizers in 2013, the penetration of plasticizers in the non-phthalates segment is anticipated to grow at a notable pace on account of the looming regulatory changes. Currently, the demand of plasticizers is dominated by the DOP segment that consumed nearly 50.0% of the total plasticizers demanded in 2013, but this demand is projected to decline in the coming few years due to increasing environment and health concerns associated with its exposure. DOTP is expected to be the strongest growth areas of plasticizers in the near future, due to its excellent toxicological profile, and as a direct replacement for DOP & DINP in many applications due to its low volatility.
The key factors driving the industry are identified as growing demand in Asia-Pacific, escalating PVC demand, and development of high & non-phthalates, while emergence of bio-based plasticizers is identified as the major opportunity in the market.
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