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The global agricultural films market size was USD 9.92 billion in 2020. The market is expected to grow from USD 10.25 billion in 2021 to USD 15.37 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 5.0% in the 2021-2028 period. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with agricultural films witnessing a negative impact on demand across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a decline of 1.3% in 2020 as compared to the average year-on-year growth during 2017-2019. The sudden decline in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.
Stretchable plastic used to protect plants in open ground and greenhouses is agricultural films. The lifespan and performance of these products have been improved by incorporating a wide range of additives such as anti-fogging agents and UV and thermal stabilizers. The continued demand for food has increased such effective plastic additives in agricultural applications. This market is emerging and can enhance the productivity of the crops. These films find applications in tunnels, greenhouses, irrigation systems, mulching, and silage. These products can be used as nets to shade the interior part of the greenhouses and reduce the effects of hail. With the growth of the agriculture sector, the demand for agricultural films is expected to boost the market growth.
Interruption in Plastic Supply Affected Growth of Market Amid COVID-19 Progression
Plastics, such as polyethylene, ethyl vinyl acetate, ethyl butyl acrylate, and others, are basic raw materials used for manufacturing. The interruption in the upstream supply chain severely hampered production. Partial or complete shut-down of plastic processors negatively impacted the market growth. According to the survey conducted by the Manufacturers Association for Plastics Processors (MAPP), during the progression of the pandemic, most of the plastic processors were primarily serving the needs of the medical, pharmaceutical, and food processing industries.
These factors impacted the entire supply chain of agricultural films. Also, the traveling & trade restriction & declining downstream product demand led to considerable change in the supply-demand scenario. However, the global market is likely to recover slowly in the upcoming years, backed by the re-opening of economies and mitigation strategies adopted by leading players.
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Increased Use of Biodegradable Films to Fuel Market Growth
There has been an increase in consumption of biodegradable films as an alternative solution regarding environmental problems and human health risks. As a result, efforts have been made to develop biodegradable or edible products from biopolymers to improve crop performance and farming practices among end-users. These films come in solid sheets made from natural polymers. Biodegradables also have advantages such as improved crop quality, increased yields, reduced water use for irrigation, enhanced weed control, and pesticides. It directly integrates into the soil, which will help the bacterial flora transform films to water and biomass, carbon dioxide or methane, thus resulting in lower pollution impact.
Additionally, stringent regulations over conventional plastic for crop production may present an opportunity to adopt biodegradable products to increase the environmental sustainability of the agricultural industry. These factors are projected to further propel the market growth during the agricultural films market forecast period.
Increasing Food Demand Owing to Population Growth is Anticipated to Drive Market
Population growth in several regions of the world has compelled increased agricultural output. This growth and rising disposable incomes in developing countries have caused increased dietary changes, thus surging the global food demand. The yearly use of land for agricultural crop production has affected soil nutrient content. Many innovative agricultural techniques are used against conventional agricultural techniques for attaining increased yield. On the other hand, agri-films are also used on crops and fodder to prevent spoilage and microbial action. Additionally, it helps to raise the temperature of the soil, thereby supporting plant growth.
To meet the growing demand for food, the plastics industry has been introducing many products, more efficient materials, and technologies into the market to improve the profitability among producers. Moreover, the evolution of different agricultural techniques has instigated profitability by producing more at a lower cost with low investment while also improving the quality of the crops. This rising need to increase agricultural productivity to fulfill the daily demand for food with minimal expenditure has fueled the market growth.
Increasing Nano Greenhouses Globally for More Agricultural Output to Bolster Growth
Plastic films used as greenhouse covers have evolved into new materials with better mechanical and optical properties. Improved productivity with quick harvest has been made possible due to nano greenhouses. It is a greenhouse coating material called cellular polycarbonate NANO. The polycarbonate NANO is a white polycarbonate with light modifying properties that ensures a light spectrum beneficial to plants in the greenhouse. Additionally, nano polycarbonate has water repellency properties, prevents plant burns from direct sunlight, and protects from adverse external conditions, resulting in lower labor costs and energy. Increasing use as a cover of greenhouses is expected to boost the growth of this market.
Volatile Petrochemical Prices to Challenge Market Growth
Plastic is derived majorly from oil and natural gas prices, and the availability of plastic depends on the price of these resources. As crude gasoline manufactured by purifying crude oil is used as the raw material for making plastic, thus volatility of oil prices is causing price fluctuations in plastic products. Plastic is leading to the majority of pollution, including arable land and water pollution, which has caused many governmental regulations to be implemented due to growing concerns for environmental protection. Resource conservation is also affecting the market. Stringent regulations over plastic use are anticipated to adversely affect market growth. All the above major factors are restraining the global agricultural films market growth.
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Low Cost with Excellent Properties to Retain Dominance of LLDPE in Future
Based on material, the market is segmented into LDPE, LLDPE, HDPE, EVA/EBA, reclaims, and others.
Linear Low Density Polyethylene (LLDPE) has a wide range of agricultural uses due to easy availability and low cost, high impact resistance, good workability, electrical insulation properties and excellent chemical resistance. Some particular LDPE films are used for low tunnels, greenhouses, mulching, silage, and irrigation tapes. LDPE stretchable are translucent or colored providing opacity, used for farming areas with harsh climatic conditions and limited water supply. These films increase the transmissions and minimize reflection, allowing optimal sunlight to enter the greenhouse.
Whereas, HDPE possesses excellent impact strength and corrosion resistance, usually used for pesticide nets, cans, and irrigation pipes.
Others segments mainly include PVC that prevents fog & mist and efficiently controls the farming environment within the greenhouse by keeping the dust away.
Strong Protection Properties Led Mulching Films Segment to Govern Market
Based on application, the market is segmented into greenhouse, mulching, and silage.
The primary reason for dominance in the global market is the use of these films to protect the crops from the propagation of weeds that prevent their growth and hinder the development of the crops. Additionally, mulch films enhance soil temperature, prevent moisture loss, and improve crop yield. Attributed to the film’s thickness, it requires thermal stabilizers and proper light with intermediary chemical resistance. These products are also protected from probable adverse weather conditions, thereby enabling market growth.
Greenhouse films are used to protect the crops from rain and wind, as well as to regulate the internal temperature and prevent the temperature changes within the greenhouse during the day and at night. However, silage films are used for packaging seeds, grain or fodder for consequent fermentation. The most significant feature is their insulation properties such as barrier against air and water and resistance against sunlight.
Asia Pacific Agricultural Films Market Size, 2020 (USD Billion)
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In terms of geography, the market is categorized into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.
The agricultural films market size in Asia Pacific stood at USD 5.32 billion in 2020. The region dominated the market due to the growing use of mulching & greenhouse films. China is the major consumer of these films in Asia due to the high food demand from the ever-growing population. The bulk availability of plastic raw material is paving the way for product innovation in China and other key emerging economies of Asia Pacific. Favorable regulations & government policies on agricultural produce & trade further drive market growth.
North America is expected to show moderate growth during the forecast period as many production facilities are being transferred to developing countries. Additionally, the increasing shift of consumers towards plant-based food is propelling the market growth. The market in Europe is projected to register a comparatively higher CAGR during the forecast period. Increasing biodegradable material in the region is anticipated to drive the demand for agricultural films. This shift has been caused by stringent regulations over plastic use and disposal.
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Latin America and the Middle East & Africa markets are currently in the developing stage. However, developing infrastructure in these regions and growing consumer demand for organic food is projected to create a healthy environment for all agricultural films. In addition, farmers in these regions adopt advanced agricultural practices to produce more agricultural products. Thus, these regions are expected to indicate significant growth in the market during the forecast period.
Diverse Portfolio and Core Focus of BASF SE to Propel Company to a Leading Position
The competition landscape of this market depicts the dominance of BASF SE, with a diversified product portfolio of mulching, silage, and greenhouse films. The constant innovations, well-established distribution network, and technical centers are the prominent factors responsible for the company's dominance. However, other companies such as Novamont, Berry Global Inc., Coveris, and AbRaniPlastOy are also key players in the global market with innovative products and technologies. The competitive rivalry among these companies to gain a more competitive edge in the market is projected to positively impact the market. During the forecast period, technological advancements, new product development, and strong distribution network are expected to aid the market growth.
An Infographic Representation of Agricultural Films Market
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The global agricultural films market report provides qualitative and quantitative insights on the market and a detailed analysis of the market size & growth rate for all possible segments in the market. The global market is segmented by material, application, and geography. Also, the report offers insights into key market trends and highlights vital industry developments. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the report encompasses various factors that have contributed to the regional market's growth in recent years.
Along with this, the report provides an elaborative analysis of the market dynamics and competitive landscape. Various key insights such as recent industry developments, regulatory scenario, SWOT analysis, supply chain analysis, and market trends are covered in the report. Also, detailed profiling of the key players is covered as a part of the competitive landscape section.
Volume (Kilo Tons), Value (USD Billion)
By Material, Application, and Geography
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 9.92 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 15.37 billion by 2028.
The market will exhibit steady growth of 5.0% CAGR during the forecast period.
Mulching film is expected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period.
Increasing demand for processed food and introducing more innovative technologies such as nano greenhouses are the key drivers.
BASF SE is the leading player in the global market.
Asia Pacific dominated the market share in 2020.
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