Global Chemicals and Materials Industry Outlook
Recycle and reuse practices are impacting the sales of virgin materials, resulting into lesser dependency on volume-driven growth. New materials are showcasing potential for driving value-based growth, but chemical companies are still some time away from achieving voluminous production, while maintaining high quality at the same time. Barring few exceptions, a majority of players are still prioritizing short-term volume growth over long-term value growth. Pressure on improving bottom-line is influencing manufacturers to improve efficiency and reduce operational costs. The impact of value-driven growth may not be visible in the short-term, but long-term outlook remains in favor of a balanced approach between value and volume.
Manufacturers are under increasing pressure to incorporate digital solutions in their offerings. Forward-thinking manufacturers are investing in technology to reduce human interference and streamline key operational aspects such as ordering and shipping. Resonating its influence over every industry, Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to transform and disrupt the chemical sector. Connectivity through IoT devices is gaining traction, whereas product-level sensors on dispensing equipment and barrels are helping manufacturers track their consignments digitally. Through assessment of long-term benefits, chemical companies are capitalizing on digitization by adopting digital platforms & processes that eliminate human error in profit-associated operations.
Manufacturers continue seeking low-priced feedstock in a bid to marginally reduce pre-production costs. Industry leaders are joining forces to replace fossil fuel-derived feedstock with bio-based alternatives. However, concerns related to producing affordable and sustainable feedstock at mass scale remains a challenge. Access to quality and affordable feedstock will continue to remain a focus area for manufacturers. Chemical manufacturing processes are running on limited energy, while volume of feedstock is getting stranded at ports as disapproval from import authorities keeps disrupting supply chains in sectors, such as oleochemicals and petrochemicals industries.
Chemical manufacturers have promised support and adherence to governments & regional authorities that are committing towards green, sustainable initiatives. Development of bio-alternatives is gaining momentum. Research & academic institutes are teaming up with manufacturers to formulate sustainable substitutes for commonly-used chemical substrates. Many companies are keeping a close eye on advancements in “green chemistry.” Shift towards eco-friendly chemicals will gain momentum in the future on the back of government regulations and end-user preference. Rising costs of fossil fuels will also instrument the upsurge for sustainable chemicals manufacturing.
List of factors tracked in the Chemicals and Materials Market Report
PMR utilizes robust methodology and approach to arrive at market size and related projections. The research methodology for this report is based on 3 dimensional model. We conduct about 45-60 min duration detailed interviews with product manufacturers; apart from this we also collect market feedback from industry experts. To validate this data, we interact with senior panel members having more than 10 years of experience in relevant field. The panel members help in validating the findings and fill the gaps if any. In addition, we leverage on our existing pool of information, paid database and other valid information sources available in public domain. Usually industry interactions extend to more than 50+ interviews from market participants across the value chain.
PMR collects data from secondary sources including company annual reports, association publications, industry presentations, white papers, and company press releases apart from these we leverage over paid database subscriptions and industry magazines to collect market information and developments in exhaustive manner. After being done with desk research, detailed questionnaire and discussion guide is formulated to initiate primary research with key industry personnel; the discussion aims at collecting key insights, growth perspectives, prevalent market trends and quantitative insights including market size and competition developments. Both of these research approaches help us in arriving at base year numbers and market hypothesis.
In this phase, PMR validates the data using macro and micro economic factors. For instance, growth in electricity consumption, industry value added, other industry factors, economic performance, growth of top players and sector performance is closely studied to arrive at precise estimates and refine anomalies if any.
Data Analysis and Projection
Data analysis and projections were made based on proprietary research frameworks and statistical analysis, which was further validated from industry participants. These frameworks include Y-o-Y growth projections, macro-economic factor performance, market attractiveness analysis, key financial ratios, and others.
For public companies we capture the data from company website, annual reports, and investor presentations, paid databases. While for privately held companies, we try to gather information from the paid databases (like Factiva) and based on the information we gather from databases we estimate revenue for the companies. In addition, the team tries to establish primary contact with the companies in order to validate the assumptions or to gather quality inputs.
Standard Report Structure
The global polyester polyol market has been segmented into:
At present, there have been developments for the production of aromatic polyester polyols (APPs) from PET industrial wastes. This has been an important trend driven by the fact that in 2013, China declared that it would no longer be accepting poor qualities of recyclable waste from foreign exporters. This has resulted in a focused procedural development of recycling polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles to manufacture aromatic polyester polyols.
In the manufacturing procedure, some renewable resources, such as oils or modified oils, could also be introduced into the process before PET is added to adjust properties of the APP, for instance, for the improvement of solubility of pentane or chlorinated hydrocarbons. Also, for any PET manufacturer, the performance of such a procedure would be advantageous, both with respect to waste deployment as well as upsurge in profits from a side stream. PET recycling offers highest possible profit margins as well. The APP produced from this procedure leads to high performance polyurethanes with outstanding properties. Furthermore, the APPs are produced very economically, especially when using in-house wastes of the PET production.
China to lead among all regions in terms of consumption
Rising demand for polyurethane and polyisocyanurate insulation foams for insulation applications has been contributing to demand growth of the aromatic polyester polyols market. This has been proving to be an important driver, especially in the developed North America and North-Western European regions. Besides, the demand for aromatic polyester polyols has also been on the rise in China owing to the rising applications in energy efficient buildings, an initiative aggressively promoted by the Chinese government.
Moreover, the advanced properties of polyester polyol will also benefit the market in China across several industries. Manufacturers of polyester polyol products have been focusing on developing product improvement know-how, such as structure property progress, alongside developing a diverse range of products for CASE (coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers) applications. Manufacturers have been developing products that meet a diverse and demanding set of requirements. For instance, they have been using phthalic anhydride as the building block to provide enhanced hydrolytic stability with an ortho-ester linkage and diverse substrate adhesion.
The process also imparts diverse substrate adhesion and improves overall hardness. Besides, polyester polyol products display advantages in polyurethane applications as well. Polyester polyols offer benefits in terms of hydrolytic stability based on their aromatic substitution pattern. That apart, various polyester polyols with high molecular weight have been developed which are appropriate for polyurethane prepolymer synthesis as well. Such advantageous characteristics have been proving to be reasons for increased use of polyester polyol items, thereby boosting global market demand.
Europe to closely trail China owing to strategic moves by companies
In the past few years, core producers of polyester polyols have been focusing on expanding their production capacities by setting up new plants or capacity addition to existing plants, in regions where the demand rise has been enough to facilitate higher production capacity to meet the same. For instance, in June 2016, Stepan Company completed the expansion of its polyester polyol facility in Brzeg Dolny, Poland. The new plant is expected to support the company’s growth in the Coatings Adhesives Sealants and Elastomers (CASE) business for its European customers. Simultaneously, the company also confirmed the completion of a project to relocate its European research and development and technical service center to new laboratories in Wroclaw, Poland. The prolonged facilities would serve its business in insulation foams as well as the varied CASE business.