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Styrenic Polymers Market for Medical Applications: Overview

The medical plastics market has expanded significantly over the years, due to a major drive to replace traditional metallic medical devices with polymers that can be processed easily. Styrenic polymers account for approximately one-fifth of the global medical polymers market. Polymers containing styrene as the main building block are termed styrenic polymers. Styrene is a downstream derivative of petroleum. It is manufactured from benzene and ethylene. Polystyrene is the most common styrenic polymer. It is also a commodity thermoplastic. Polystyrene is used in various industries such as the medical and healthcare industry. Styrenic copolymers exhibit a variety of physical and chemical properties, depending upon other monomer or monomers in the styrenic polymer chain. Styrenics gain different polymeric properties through alteration of the co-monomers and levels of co-monomers along with impact modifiers, which are used to manufacture styrenic polymers for medical applications. Properties such as opacity, transparency, thermal resistance, crack resistance, chemical resistance and mechanical resistance depend upon the types and levels of feedstock used.
Styrenic polymers are used in the medical industry for medical device applications such as equipment housing, tubes, bags, connectors, liquid delivery systems, IV spikes, and medical packaging. The most common styrenic polymers that are used for medical device manufacturing and packaging include polystyrene, ABS, SAN and styrenic block copolymers such as SBS and SEBS. Specialty styrenic polymers such as MABS, MBS and SMMA are also used in similar applications where requirements for special characteristics are high. For instance, MABS exhibits physical characteristics similar to ABS, albeit with improved crack resistance and transparency. Polystyrene is the most used styrenic polymer in medical applications. ABS is one of the most important co-polymers that dominate the market for styrenics. ABS stands in crossroads between commodity plastics and engineered thermoplastics. Recent increase in the usage of ABS has resulted in partial commoditization of the plastic. SAN is a precursor to ABS; however, its usage is limited in the medical styrenic polymers market. Styrenics such as MABS, MBS, SMMA and ABS blends have maintained their specialty character. This trend is expected to continue in the near future as well. In terms of volume, the global styrenic polymers market for medical styrenics is likely to expand at a CAGR of 6.5% from 2014 to 2020.
Styrenic polymers offer several desirable product characteristics to cater to the diverse requirements of the medical industry. Styrenic materials can be processed to be rigid as well as flexible, as per end-user requirements. Owing to its flexibility, styrenic polymers offer unique advantages in design and development of medical devices and parts. Properties such as chemical inertness, unique bonding polarity, and physical and aesthetic properties boost the styrenic polymers market in medical applications. However, styrenic polymers are higher priced compared to other medical polymers such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and polyethylene (PE). This hampers the market from achieving higher growth, especially in price sensitive markets, to some extent.
North America accounted for the largest market share (39.9%) of styrenic polymers for medical applications in 2013. The styrenic polymers market for medical applications in North America was followed by Asia Pacific and Europe in 2013. Asia Pacific is likely to record the fastest growth in the global market for medical styrenics during the forecast period. Rapid increase in the geriatric population across the world coupled with constant improvement and innovation in the medical industry is projected to provide ample opportunity for the growth of styrenic polymers market for medical applications.
The global styrenic polymers market for medical applications is moderately concentrated in nature. Major companies operating in the market include Styrolution Group GmbH, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, Chi Mei Corporation, LG Chem Ltd. and Kraton Polymers.
This report analyzes and forecasts the styrenic polymers market for medical applications on a global and regional level. The study provides historical data of 2013 along with forecast for the period from 2014 to 2020 based on volume (kilo tons) and revenue (US$ Mn). 
The study provides a decisive view of the styrenic polymers market for medical applications by segmenting it based on product type and regional demand. Product segments have been analyzed based on current and future trends, and the market has been estimated for a period from 2014 to 2020 in terms of volume (kilo tons) and revenue (US$ Mn). Regional segmentation includes the current and forecast demand for North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Rest of the World (RoW). The segmentation also includes demand for individual product segments in all the regions.
The study covers the drivers and restraints governing the dynamics of the market along with their impact on demand during the forecast period. Additionally, the report comprises potential opportunities in the styrenic polymers market for medical applications on the global and regional level. We have included a detailed value chain analysis in order to provide a comprehensive view of the medical styrenic polymers market. Analysis of Porter’s Five Forces model has also been included to help understand the competitive landscape in the market. The study encompasses market attractiveness analysis, wherein product segments have been benchmarked based on their market size, growth rate, and general attractiveness for future growth.
The market has been forecast based on constant currency rates. Prices of medical grade styrenic polymers vary in each region. Hence, a similar volume-to-revenue ratio does not follow for each individual region. The same price for each product type has been taken into account while estimating and forecasting market revenue on the global basis. Regional average price has been considered while breaking down this market by product segments in each region. 
The report provides the market size of styrenic polymers for medical applications for 2013 and the forecast for the next seven years up to 2020. The size of the global styrenic polymers market for medical applications is provided in terms of both volume and revenue. Market volumes are defined in kilo tons, while market revenue for regions is in US$ Mn. The market size and forecast for each product segment is provided in the context of global and regional markets. Numbers provided in this report are derived based on demand for different styrenic polymers, their global production, and applicability in the medical industry. Market dynamics for commodity styrenics, engineering styrenic polymers, and specialty styrenics have been accounted for to arrive at the market estimates for medical applications
Market estimates for this study have been based on volumes, with revenue being derived through regional pricing trends. The price for commonly utilized grades of styrenic polymers in medical applications has been considered, and the customized product pricing has not been included. Demand for styrenic polymers in medical applications has been derived by analyzing the global and regional demand for medical plastics. The styrenic polymers market for medical applications has been analyzed based on expected demand. Market data for each segment is based on demand volumes and corresponding revenues. Prices considered for calculation of revenue are average regional prices obtained through primary quotes from numerous regional suppliers, distributors, and direct selling regional producers, based on manufacturer feedback and application requirement. Forecasts have been based on expected demand from styrenic polymer product segments. The recent dip in petroleum price has been considered while estimating market prices for different styrenic copolymers. Petroleum prices are likely to return to pre-dip levels over a period of two to three years, resulting in price rebound of styrenics during the forecast period. We have used the bottom-up approach by considering individual product segments and integrating these to arrive at the global market. Product segments have been further bifurcated using the top-down approach to derive the regional product market consumption.
The report covers a detailed competitive outlook including the market share and company profiles of key participants operating in the global market. Key players profiled in the report include Styrolution Group GmbH, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, Chi Mei Corporation, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC, LG Chem Ltd., and Styron LLC (Trinseo S.A.). Company profiles include attributes such as company overview, brand overview, financial overview (in terms of financial year), business strategy, and recent/key developments.
Styrenic Polymers Market for Medical Applications - Product Segment Analysis
  • Polystyrene (PS)
  • Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)
  • Styrene Acrylonitrile (SAN)
  • Methyl – Methacrylate Butadiene Styrene (MBS)
  • Methyl – Methacrylate Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (MABS)
  • Styrene Methyl – Methacrylate (SMMA)
  • Styrene Butadiene Styrene (SBS)
  • Styrene Ethylene Butylene Styrene (SEBS)
  • Others (Including Unsaturated Polyester Resins (UPR), Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate (ASA), Styrene Isoprene Butadiene Styrene (SIBS), etc.)
Styrenic Polymers Market for Medical Applications - Regional Analysis
  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia Pacific
  • Rest of the World

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Styrenic Polymers Market

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