Polypropylene and High-Impact Polystyrene Market Overview:

The key trend in the automotive industry is of lightweight passenger vehicles with optimized fuel efficiency, which help in decreasing dependency on depleting fossil fuel reserves as well as ease growing environmental concerns. On the other hand, the packaging of products is essential to ensure safe transportation from the manufacturing site to the end user. The packaging industry continuously transforms itself according to changing demands from end-user industries, and is currently leveraging the concepts of rigid and flexible packaging. The two sister compounds that are gaining in line with the prosperity of the automotive and packaging industry, and a number of other end users explored in the following, are polypropylene and polystyrene. Owing to beneficial attributes such as low cost, robustness, high melting point, and chemical resistance, products offered in the polypropylene market and high-impact polystyrene market are seeing increased demand. In 2018, the Global Polypropylene (PP) market and High-Impact Polystyrene Market (HIPS) collectively generated revenues of $50.3 billion, and the market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5% during the forecast period of 2019 to 2025.

In emerging economies, increasing disposable incomes among the urban population is creating an all-time high demand for passenger vehicles. According to the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, 70.6 million passenger vehicles were produced in 2018, with India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Thailand showing positive growth whereas China leads with 23.5 million vehicles in volume. Governments in all these countries have brought in stringent regulations to preserve the environment from vehicular pollution and are instructing automotive companies to transform their products. Consequently, polypropylene and polystyrene are now increasingly used to make vehicle interiors such as dashboards, bumpers, claddings, and cushions. The emergence of electric vehicles is also anticipated to provide traction to the polypropylene market and high-impact polystyrene market, as lighter the vehicles the greater will be their runtime on a single charge.

In 2018, Mitsui Chemicals and Prime Polymer jointly established a new company in the Netherlands marking its first European base for PP compounds. The new venture is set to operate from 2020, with an aim to meet increasing global demand for automotive use of polypropylene. This new company carries out the production, technology service, R&D, and sales of PP compounds and the group continues to further expand to meet the light-weight and high-quality demand from automobile manufacturers. These expansions related to polypropylene compounds are boosting growth of the global PP market.

Europe and North America Dominate the Global Polypropylene and High-Impact Polystyrene Market –

The demand for polypropylene, which has high tensile strength, is majorly driven by the packaging and automotive industries of North America. The trade value of the polypropylene market in the U.S. has accelerated with a growth rate of 14% during 2014-2018. This shows that demand is significantly rising for the polypropylene market across the U.S.

Stringent plastic regulations by governments to meet environmental demand is the sole reason for growth of the polypropylene and high-impact polystyrene market in Europe. Rising environmental demand from lightweight automobiles of Europe, especially Germany, is boosting demand for the high impact polystyrene market. The revenue generated from the packaging industry in the rest of Europe is attributed to the growing demand for the polypropylene market. North America and Europe together held a share of 66% in the global polypropylene and HIPS market.

Construction Sector to Be the Most Lucrative In the Global Polypropylene and Hips Market -

Infrastructure and construction industry is flourishing, especially in developing countries such as India, China, and Japan. Consequently, demand for plastics is also rising in line with increasing constructional activities. Polypropylene is one of the major polymers used in the plastics industry. In new constructions as well as renovations, polypropylene and high-impact polystyrene compounds are facing significant demand owing to their durability, lightweight, high strength, and corrosion resistance properties. Polypropylene especially is more resistant to chemical and moisture actions that are frequently observed in the construction segment. As a result, increasing demand from the construction industry is boosting growth of the global polypropylene market and high-impact polystyrene market collectively and the market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 5% during the forecast period.

Polypropylene and HIPS Market Trends –

Rising Demand for Bio-Based Plastics Is Aiding Polypropylene Market Growth

In addition to innovating ways that use plastic wastage as raw material, global companies are trying to reduce their carbon emissions and crude-oil dependency by shifting to renewable and bio-based plastics. Thus, the demand for polypropylene plastic from bio-based raw materials is gaining huge demand from plastic manufacturers. This, in turn, is set to expand the global polypropylene market.

In 2018, as a part of using bio-degradable plastics, Neste and IKEA manufactured polypropylene plastic products from bio-based and fossil-free raw materials on a commercial scale. Instances such as these are propelling demand for the polypropylene market.

Economical High-impact Polystyrene Profiting Consumer Products

High-impact Polystyrene is very economical, impact-resistant, and easy to fabricate. They are often preferred for low-strength structural applications where machinability, low-cost and impact resistance are needed. In addition to these features, its exceptional dimensional stability makes it apt for automotive and consumer appliances.  Better rheology of HIPS makes the molding easier when used in manufacturing of these appliances.

Secondly, high gloss finishes that are easy to achieve with the high-impact polystyrene and the cheaper molding costs benefit the manufacturers in the production of goods such as sanitary ware, refrigerator interior fittings, telephone casings, children toys, vacuum cleaner, and other household appliances which demand high glossy finish thereby increasing their demand in the consumer goods segment.

High Impact Polystyrene for Flexible Food Packaging

HIPS is a tough kind of plastic which is also hygienic. High impact polystyrene can protect food from germs and keep contaminants at bay owing to its non-porous properties. With eating on-the-go and home delivery of ready-to-eat food on the rise across the globe, HIPS provides insulated, cheap, and aesthetically pleasing packaging. Additionally, HIPS can withstand humidity, while retaining the heat which suits appropriately for the food industry. Along with meeting the ever-changing design trends in flexible packaging, HIPS also allows manufacturers save their money making it ideal for the disposable food and beverages packaging as pots for dairy products such as yogurts, coffee, tea, soups, and fast foods also as trays to cover the meat, poultry, and vegetables. Therefore, this growing demand from the food and beverages industry is boosting growth of the high impact polystyrene market.

In 2019, LyondellBasell and Neste together declared their first parallel production of bio-based polypropylene and bio-based low-density polyethylene on a commercial scale. This joint venture used LyondellBasell's technical capabilities and Neste’s renewable feedstock derived from sustainable bio-based raw materials such as residue oils and wastes. They produce thousands of tons of bio-based plastics that are approved for food packaging.

Prospering Horticulture Gaining Momentum with the Polypropylene Applications –

Horticulture is a budding trend which is flourishing for the past few years. Opportunities for recycling of horticultural plastic are gaining huge traction across the world. Polypropylene and high impact polystyrene find diverse applications in horticulture such as in totes, bulk bags, pots, plug and liner trays, net wrap, floating row covers, and carrier trays, etc. Due to their weather resistant and versatility features, they are ideal for protecting plants and trees from potential hazards. Additionally, owing to their recyclable properties, polypropylene market and high impact polystyrene market are thriving in the horticulture sector.

Major Players in the Global Polypropylene Market and High Impact Polystyrene Market

The companies holding a major share in the global PP market and HIPS market are LyondellBasell, SABIC, DuPont, LG Chem, King Plastic Corporation, Exxon Mobil Corporation, INEOS, Total S.A., China Petrochemical Corporation, and Astor Chemical Industrial (Jiangsu) CO., LTD.

Expansions and Acquisitions in the Polypropylene Market and High Impact Polystyrene Market

Acquisition – In 2019, Total S.A., an energy and chemical supplier, acquired France-based polypropylene recycler Synova. This acquisition proves the Total SA’s commitment to improve plastic recycling and provide reliable, clean and affordable energy to its consumers.

Expansion – In 2018, Rochling Maywo expanded plant production in Bad Gronenbach of Germany. The company manufactures plastic and sheet films that are made up of high impact polystyrene, polystyrene, and (ABS) acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene materials. The main aim of this expansion is to strengthen the company’s position as a global leader in the production of vacuum formable sheets and foils in Europe.

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Related Reports:

A.    Polypropylene (PP) Resin Market


B.     Polystyrene Market


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