The Polyurethanes Market is growing at a significant rate as the government of various countries are embracing new initiatives for the development of lightweight and durable production demands. As the population and per capita income is increasing the demand for automotive is also projected to rise. Moreover, in the upcoming years, an increase in production of automotive in the emerging economies such as Japan, China, and Malaysia, is expected to boost the polyurethanes industry growth. Furthermore, the increasing R&D activities in the polyurethanes market are further estimated to drive the growth of the polyurethane industry in the forecast period. Polyurethanes Market size is forecast to reach US$90.6 Billion by 2026, after growing at a CAGR of 5.9% during 2021-2026

The production and demand in top countries for polyurethane is expected to boom over the next five years. In terms of revenue coating adhesives and sealants (CAS) accounted with the share of 24% in polyurethanes market in 2020. Polyurethane coating, polyurethane adhesives, and polyurethane sealants are increasingly being used in several end use industries. Polyurethane coatings are particularly recommended for application to surfaces subject to high levels of wear-and-tear, where excellent chemical/physical resistance is required. Furthermore, polyurethane adhesives and sealants are among the most widely used technology for both new and renovation construction projects. Increasing demand for coating adhesives and sealants owing to its excellent versatile property is anticipated to drive the growth of the market.

The automotive gasoline/diesel passenger car production is increasing year over year. According to 2019 statistics by Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d'Automobiles (OICA), China was the major producer of automotive passenger cars with 34% of the share followed by U.S, Japan, Germany, India, and others with 4%, 12%, 7%, 6%, and 37% respectively. The primary motive of the use of polyurethanes for the automotive industry is to ensure comfort and safety. The consumption of polyurethane elastomers can be majorly seen in exterior parts, specifically in high-performance jounce bumpers, and auxiliary springs or NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) elements. In recent years, polyurethanes are getting consumed in combination with aluminum material to manufacture vehicle frames, it helps to reduce the weight of vehicles as well as to increase fuel economy, it also maximizes corrosion resistivity and sound absorption. Thus, it is anticipated that the rising production of automotive will boost the market growth for polyurethanesduring the forecast period.

Asia-Pacific region dominated the polyurethanes market in terms of revenue with a share of 43% in 2020 and is projected to dominate the market during the forecast period (2021-2026).In developing countries such as South Korea and Malaysia, the growing automotive production has raised the demand for polyurethanes at a fast pace. Polyurethane technologies contribute to improve chassis technology and driving comfort. Therefore, driving comfort is considerably enhanced without any decline in dynamic driving properties or safety with help of these elastomers. According to Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d'Automobiles (OICA)2021 Production Statistics, the production of passenger cars increased by 11.1% and 33.6% in 2021/2020 in South Korea and Malaysia respectively. Also, the production of light commercial vehicles in APAC region increased by 30.9% 2021/2020.With the rising production of automotive in the Asia pacific region the market for polyurethane is also estimated to rise.

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Polyurethanes Market Growth Driver

  • Digital developments in the PU Industry

Digitization opens up many new business opportunities in the chemical and plastics industries. Manufacturer’s wants to take advantage of these opportunities and initiated a comprehensive strategic program last year to anchor digital technologies and processes in research & development, production, logistics and at all points of contact with customers. Companies have been using digital technologies for years. Modern control rooms are steering its own production via a digital process control system with the aid of algorithms. Tool designs with filling simulations are common practice for customers in the automotive industry. In future, the entire value chain will be digitized in order to simulate all process steps – from the formulation and mixing of the PU systems to their processing and handling of the component with the aid of robots. This will significantly shorten development times and the implementation of integrated production processes. Using digital calculation methods, companies are also operating a “virtual chemical reactor”. The companies have developed software that precisely calculates the changes in temperature and molecular composition, i.e., the progress of the chemical reaction. Not only important primary products such as urethanes and ureas are considered, but also secondary reactions, the influence of catalysts or back reactions and the development of molecular networks. The Polyurethanes segment is currently offering its partners a digital service platform with a forecasting tool that determines the best PU formulations and processing conditions online for a specific production environment.

  • R&D Investment:

Currently, various end-users, such as the automotive industry, are likely to expand their demand for bio-based polyurethane throughout the forecast period. As a result, market providers are investing heavily in R&D to produce bio-based polyurethane. The majority of R&D money is being put into enhancing the efficiency of bio-based polyurethanes.

The Major Players in this Market Include

Technology launches, acquisitions, and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in the polyurethanes market. Major players in the polyurethanes market are BASF SE, Chemtura Corporation (Lanxess AG.), Tosoh Corporation, KURARAY CO., LTD., WANHUA CHEMICAL GROUP CO., LTD., Era Polymers Pty Ltd, Lubrizol, The Dow Chemical Company, COVESTRO AG, and Huntsman Corporation among others. In January 2020, BASF SE at its Castellbisbal location in Spain announced a single-digit million-euro investment in expanding capacity for water-based polyurethane dispersions. BASF will be able to boost its manufacturing capacity by 30% as a result of the development.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many end user industries globally. As a result of the pandemic situation, several firms across regions had to shut down their production facilities and services as countries adopted partial or absolute lockdown policies to deal with the pandemic. Furthermore, companies throughout the world also halted or postponed large M&A ventures in the year 2020.In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic also affected crude oil prices, well-drilling and production activities, and the oil and gas supply chain. The decline in production activities further negatively affected the prices for polyurethanes in the short to medium term.

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