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Global Polyols and Polyurethane Market: Limited Scope for Product Differentiation and Cheaper Chinese Products Intensify Competition, finds TMR

Posted on Dec 12, 2016

The global market for polyurethane is highly concentrated at present, finds a report by Transparency Market Research (TMR). Competition is stiff among existing players on account of limited room for product differentiation. This leaves the existing players with no other choice but to compete strongly for the same brands, which also hampers the scope of expansion considerably. Companies ink deals with existing end users to ensure demand for their products. Of late, China-based manufacturers have forayed into the global polyurethane market and made the environment even more cutthroat with their cheaper products. 

The five leading companies operating in the industry together hold less than half of the global market. Among them, Bayer MaterialScience AG led in the manufacture of polyurethane, accounting for about 15.0% of the total revenue grossed in the global market for polyurethane in 2014. Bayer MaterialScience AG mainly caters to the automotive, construction, and electronics industries, along with other specialty applications. BASF SE occupied the second position, followed by Huntsman Corporation and Dow Chemical Company. Mitsui Chemicals Inc. is a market leader in Japan.

Most of the polyols produced globally find application in the manufacture of polyurethane. Expanding at a CAGR of 4.5% from 2015 to 2023, the revenue clocked by the global market for polyols is predicted to be worth US$25.293 bn in 2023. Polyurethane is slated to achieve a value of US$80.76 in terms of revenue by registering a CAGR of 5.9% from 2015 to 2023.

Demand from Furniture and Interiors Industry makes Asia Pacific Market Leader

Based on polyol product type, polyether polyol controls over three-fourths of the market and is predicted to maintain its dominant share in the coming years as well. Depending upon polyurethane product type, flexible foams and rigid foams together hold a dominant chunk in the market. The TMR report predicts that their share would remain intact in the upcoming years and together they would control around 69.0% share in the global polyurethane market in 2023.

Geography-wise, Asia Pacific holds maximum share in the global market for polyols. It raked in US$7.66 bn vis-à-vis revenue in 2015. Going forward, it is expected to further up its market share on the back of robust demand for polyols in the furniture and interiors industries. Europe follows next. In the global market for polyurethane too, Asia Pacific leads with a significant share in the market. In the coming years, it is predicted the region would further expand its share. Once again, Europe follows Asia Pacific in the global polyurethane market.

Volatility in Crude Oil Prices Jolts Market

The main growth driver in the market is the furniture and interiors industry. “Furniture manufacturing is the largest end-use industry for polyurethane foams. Flexible polyurethane foams are commonly used as cushioning materials in upholstered furniture. Mattresses and pillows, seating, carpets, cushions, and medical and office furniture are the key application segments of the furniture industry where polyurethanes are predominantly used. Durability, comfort, and versatility are the unique characteristics of polyurethane. These make it the material of choice in furniture manufacturing applications,” explains the lead analyst of the TMR report. Other factors propelling the market are the growing demand for polyurethane in the construction and automotive industry.

One of the main hindrances to the global market for polyols and polyurethane is volatility in raw material prices. Polyurethane is becoming dearer on account of rising prices of raw materials, namely MDI and TDI. This is because of the price rise of benzene, which is procured from crude oil, whose price volatility has rattled the world economy of late.

This review is based on the findings of a TMR report titled “Polyols and Polyurethane Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2015–2023.”

Global Polyols Market, by Product Type

  • Polyether polyols
  • Polyester polyols

Global Polyols Market, by Application

  • Flexible foams
  • Rigid foams
  • Coatings
  • Adhesives and sealants
  • Elastomers

Global Polyols Market, by Region

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Rest of North America
  • Europe
    • U.K.
    • Russia
    • France
    • Germany
    • Italy
    • Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • India
    • Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Rest of Latin America
  • Middle East & Africa (MEA)
    • GCC
    • South Africa
    • Rest of MEA

Global Polyurethane Market, by Product Type

  • Flexible foams
  • Rigid foams
  • Coatings
  • Adhesives and sealants
  • Elastomers
  • Others (Including RIM, binders, etc.)

Global Polyurethane Market, by Application

  • Furniture and interiors
  • Construction
  • Electronics and appliances
  • Automotive
  • Footwear
  • Packaging
  • Industrial insulation
  • Others (Including, medical, etc.)

Global Polyurethane Market, by Region

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Rest of North America
  • Europe
    • U.K.
    • France
    • Russia
    • Germany
    • Italy
    • Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • India
    • Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Rest of Latin America
  • Middle East & Africa (MEA)
    • GCC
    • South Africa
    • Rest of MEA

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Transparency Market Research (TMR) is a market intelligence company, providing global business information reports and services. Our exclusive blend of quantitative forecasting and trends analysis provides forward-looking insight for thousands of decision makers. TMR’s experienced team of analysts, researchers, and consultants, use proprietary data sources and various tools and techniques to gather, and analyze information. Our business offerings represent the latest and the most reliable information indispensable for businesses to sustain a competitive edge.

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