A polymer is a large molecule, which consists of a number of repeated subunits known as monomers. Polymers are of two types, namely synthetic and natural. Natural polymers are made of natural substances such as rubber, resins, and gum, and synthetic polymers are formed by polymerization of monomers. Polymers exhibit wide range of chemical and physical properties such as toughness, viscoelasticity, and tendency to form semi-crystalline structures. Some examples of polymers include polyethylene, polypropylene, synthetic rubber, nylon, wool, silk, and silicone.
Increasing demand for compounds made from polymers from industries such as automotive, electronics, building and construction, water treatment, waste management, energy, oil and gas, mining and coatings is a major factor driving growth of the global polymers market. In electrical and electronics industry, major forms of polymers used include polyphenylene sulphide, nylon 46, polythiazide, and polycyclohexylenedimethylene terephthalate. These polymers are highly preferred, as these can withstand high temperature and can also withstand surface mount technology.
Moreover, recycling of plastics is another major factor that drives growth of the polymers market, as it aids in reduction of plastics in waste stream. Also, in plastic recycling, waste plastics are recovered by reprocessing them into useful products.
However, high volatility in raw material prices and stringent regulations by regulatory bodies of various governments to reduce use of plastics are major factors that are expected to restrain growth of the market over the forecast period.
The global polymers market size was valued at US$ 670 billion in 2018 and it is expected to increase at a CAGR of 5.3% during the forecast period (2019-2027).
On the basis of region, the global polymers market is segmented into North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa. Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Latin America together accounts for largest share in the global polymers market, as they are the major consumers of these compounds in the market. Economic growth of the Asian countries, growing electronics industry in India, and developing infrastructure industry in China are major factors boosting the market growth in Asia Pacific. Moreover, North America has witnessed a considerable revival from the recession in 2008. The demand for polymers has grown significantly in the region over the past few years.
Some of the major players operating in the global polymers market include The Dow Chemical Company, LyondellBasell Industries N.V., Exxon Mobil Corporation, SABIC, BASF SE, INEOS AG, Eni S.p.A., Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC, and LANXESS.