As per the findings of a recent intelligence study by Transparency Market Research (TMR), the global isoprene market is highly competitive in nature, owing to the presence of a vast number of large-scale manufacturers, primarily in the countries of the U.S., China, Japan, Russia, and Netherlands. Some of the key companies identified by the TMR report, who are currently holding a position of strength in the global isoprene market, are: Nizhnekamskneftekhim, SIBUR, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Kuraray Co. Ltd., ZEON Corporation, LyondellBasell Industries N.V., JSR Corporation, Haihang Industry Co. Ltd., Ningbo Jinhai Chenguang, Shandong Yuhuang Chemical Group Co. Ltd., Finetech Industry Ltd., Fortrec Chemicals and Petroleum Pte Ltd., Braskem, DuPont, GlycosBio, Bridgestone Corporation, and Ajinomoto Co. Inc.
As far as strategies of the prominent companies in the isoprene market is concerned, product differentiation is at the forefront. For instance, Kuraray Industries Ltd. revamped its bio-based liquid rubber unit in April 2014 via a strategic collaboration with Amyris. The company is focused on producing tire that increment fuel-efficiency. In addition to that, the manufacturers are focusing on backward integration in order to distribute their products efficiently and keep a hold over the market share in an intensely competitive landscape. The tussle is expected to mount further in the near future, with the arrival of a few new players.
Based on product type, the market for isoprene market gains maximum demand for the segment of polymer grade, which is estimated to account for 55% of the global demand by the end of 2022. Geographically, North America continues to be the most profitable region, and the demand estimated to increment at a CAGR of 4.5% during the forecast period of 2017 to 2022.
Properties of Durability and Flexibility Driving Adoptability
The growth of the synthetic rubber industry is reflecting positively on the global isoprene market, with increased production. Since isoprene exhibits properties quite similar to natural rubber such as flexibility as well as strength without odor, allergic reaction, or fragmentation, it finds strong applications in the manufacturing of tires, non-tires, adhesives, and other industries. In the automotive industry, isoprene is not only used for tires but also for fuel hoses, mud flaps, engine mounting, floor mats, suspension bushes, and exhaust rubber hangers, among others. As the automotive industry touches new peaks, primarily in the region of Asia Pacific wherein the urban population is escalating the demand for SUVs and sedans, the global isoprene market is expected to prosper consistently. The prosperity of the footwear market and increasing demand for polyisoprene in the medical sector are other two factors augmenting the demand in the global isoprene market.
Fluctuations in Raw Material Prices Challenging Growth
The volatility of raw material prices and growing trend towards natural rubber as a result of regulations in the rubber manufacturing industry are two factors obstructing the global isoprene market from attaining its true potential. These factors are most evident in price sensitive regional markets, wherein the gap between demand and supply is wide. Nevertheless, the vendors operating in the isoprene market will continue to gain new opportunities in the developing countries in Asia Pacific, besides gaining ground over their competitors by research and development of improved performance and low rolling resistance tires.