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The global ethylene copolymer market size was valued at USD 45.0 billion in 2021. The market is projected to grow from USD 46.5 billion in 2022 to USD 61.1 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 4.0% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with ethylene copolymer experiencing lower-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a decline of 5.1% in 2020 as compared to 2019.
Ethylene copolymer is an elastic material mainly used in hot melt adhesives. Ethylene is mixed with other chemicals or polymers, such as nylon, propylene, ethyl acrylate, and butyl acrylate, and undergoes polymerization to create complex copolymers. For instance, ethylene-propylene copolymer is a type of synthetic rubber manufactured by copolymerization of ethylene and propylene. The resilient and durable copolymers are preferred in packaging, transportation, and construction industries. The rising demand for foam in packaging, furniture, and protective clothing is anticipated to boost the market during the forecast period.
Disruption in Supply Chain Due to COVID-19 Pandemic Hampered Industry Growth
The pandemic spread since the last quarter of 2019 resulting in several countries such as the U.S., India, and Germany announcing lockdowns, leading to the restricted movement of materials. Raw material supply and finished goods distribution were affected, which rigorously distressed the revenue generation of ethylene copolymer manufacturers. The pandemic significantly affected the automotive industry due to the shutdown of manufacturing units and disruption in the supply chain of raw materials such as coatings and packaging materials. Further, halt in construction activities led to a decline in product consumption.
However, the product demand increased from various adhesive-based packaging solutions for food products, medical equipment, surgical products, ventilators, and breathing bags. Further, governments of various nations are formulating supportive guidelines and initiatives to re-establish economies. The growing automotive and construction industries are expected to support the ethylene copolymer market growth.
Rising Product Adoption Driven by Increasing Demand for Foam in Various End-use Industries
The product consumption is predicted to surge due to rising demand for Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) foam from applications such as automobiles, footwear, recreational products, electronics, and medical devices. The product is soft, comfortable, and lightweight, making it ideal for manufacturing automobile seats and consumer goods. The rising demand for foam from collapsible furniture, including sofa beds and fold-out beds is expected to boost the market during the forecast period. Moreover, protective clothing and goods required while playing sports, such as football, motor racing, and boxing, increases product usage. Besides, the material is biocompatible and resistant to chemicals. This has led to a surging demand for EVA foam in the manufacturing of exercise mats, orthotic support equipment, and orthopedic shoes. The growing end-use industries will create lucrative opportunities for the product adoption.
Product Consumption to Surge on Account of Rising Demand from Packaging Industry
Ethylene copolymer consumption is increasing owing to the advancing demand for packaging from industries such as construction, food & beverage, consumer goods, and electrical & electronics. Further, consumer shift toward online products due to easy-to-buy options and a wide variety of product availability has surged the demand for packaging.
Ethylene copolymers and terpolymers are widely used in manufacturing hot melt adhesives due to their mechanical cohesion and adhesive properties. They provide adhesion on various substrates of polymer films without affecting the product inside. This is surging the adoption of the product in adhesive applications for packaging and labeling.
The market is further driven by the swelling demand for EVA foam from end-use industries due to flexibility, versatility, and resilience. EVA foam is extremely versatile and is used as a substitute for materials such as PVC foam and wood composites fiberglass. The product has multiple applications across various industries such as automotive, marine, building, electronics, packaging, healthcare, sports, recreation, leisure, and footwear.
Market Growth to be Hampered Due to Price Volatility of Raw Materials
The raw materials used to produce ethylene copolymers are petroleum and crude oil. The prices of these materials are highly volatile, making it difficult to acquire them at a constant price. This leads to high raw material procurement costs which unavoidably increase the total cost of the finished product, leaving producers with limited opportunities for profit margin. Moreover, the manufacturing process of ethylene copolymer is expensive, which increases the overall price of the end product.
In addition, the various pollutants and toxic discharges released during the chemical reaction of these constituents pose great risks to human health and harm the environment. Thus, the volatility of raw material prices and the implementation of stringent regulations over product manufacturing are likely to limit the market growth.
Ethylene Vinyl Acetate Copolymers to Record Lucrative Growth Due to Exceptional Adhesion Properties
In terms of type, the market is segmented into ethylene vinyl acetate copolymers, ethylene acrylic ester terpolymers, ethylene vinyl acetate terpolymers, ethylene acrylic ester copolymers, and others.
The ethylene vinyl acetate copolymers segment accounted for prime share and is expected to be the fastest growing segment during the forecast period. Besides, EVA has lower cost and exhibits many beneficial properties, including exceptional adhesion to many nonporous and polar substrates, good hot-tack and heat-sealing, and good flex-crack and puncture resistance. These properties have led to a high product demand from adhesion applications in packaging & labeling, automotive, and consumer goods industries.
Ethylene acrylic ester terpolymers are unsystematic copolymers of acrylic ester, ethylene, and the third monomer, including Glycidyl Methacrylate (GMA) and Maleic Anhydride (MAH). They offer excellent grip to many substrates such as metalized plastics, aluminum foils, board, PE paper, and other plastics. The others segment includes ethylene-propylene elastomers having versatility in polymer design and performance. These properties have elevated product usage in the automotive industry for seals, radiators, motor oil additives, and glass-run channels.
Hot Melt Adhesives Segment to Account for Major Share Owing to Higher Demand from Packaging Industry
In terms of application, the market is segmented into hot melt adhesives, thermo adhesive films, asphalt modification, and others.
Hot melt adhesives held a major portion of the overall ethylene copolymer market share in 2021 owing to the growing demand from food packaging, lamination, and woodworking industries. The demand for EVA copolymer as a polymer modifier is expected to rise in asphalt modification application. This copolymer improves rutting resistance, thermal cracking, and adhesive properties and affects mechanical and rheological characteristics of asphalt.
The rising adoption of thermo adhesive films in automobile seats, fabric lamination, interior designing, medical devices, and shoe fabrics is surging the product demand. The others segment includes product applications such as sealants, foam, coatings, and encapsulation. The demand for adhesives & sealants from various areas, including packaging & labeling, construction, and furniture will surge the product consumption.
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Packaging to Remain Leading Segment Due to Rising Preference for EVA Foam
In terms of end-use, the market is segmented into packaging, automotive, building & construction, textiles, and others.
The packaging segment is projected to hold the largest share in the market. The escalating packaging demand from various industries such as automotive, footwear, consumer goods, furniture, and construction is expected to drive product usage. The growing preference for EVA foam and the need for labeling packaged products will create an opportunity for adhesive copolymers from the packaging industry.
The rising product consumption for adhesive & sealant application in bonding windows, panels, insulation sheets, partitions, and doors will surge its demand in the building & construction industry. The textiles segment includes ethylene vinyl acetate-based fibers. These are used in various applications such as aerospace, sensors, actuators, smart textiles, self-healing, and artificial muscles. Further, the rising demand for nonwovens from several end-use industries for disposable or durables is augmenting product consumption.
Asia Pacific Ethylene Copolymer Market Size, 2021 (USD Billion)
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The ethylene copolymer market size in Asia Pacific was USD 20.7 billion in 2021. The region is set to account for a dominating share over the forecast period. The rising demand for copolymers in the region is attributed to the growing packaging industry in countries such as India and China. Further, upcoming construction projects in this region will lead to ethylene copolymer use in residential and commercial building applications such as hotels, retail shops, and medical institutions. Moreover, rising population and rapid economic development are the factors propelling the market growth.
The industry expansion in Europe is due to the growing trend of technically innovative buildings. Additionally, steps taken by the European Union (EU) to increase the use of advanced materials to ensure the structural safety of the buildings will further drive the market. For instance, the rising formulation of government plans to develop and refurbish the existing infrastructure in France will propel the consumption of these copolymers for hot melt adhesives applications.
The increasing demand for automobiles and electronic devices is expected to surge the market growth in North America. Furthermore, the rising adoption of modern construction methods and advanced practices for jacketing applications will fuel ethylene copolymer usage in the region.
The upgrading of the healthcare sector, rising demand for lightweight shipping, and convenient & flexible packaging solutions will drive the market in Latin America. The Middle East & Africa is experiencing high product demand from consumer goods, food packaging, auto parts bonding, and building & construction applications. The development of mega-infrastructure projects backed by the government will create growth opportunities for the market in this region.
Market Participants Focus on the Formation of Strategic Alliances to Strengthen Business Prospects
The industry comprises many regional and international manufacturers. Some of the key players include DuPont, Exxon Mobil, SABIC, INEOS, and BASF. These companies are considering the formation of strategic alliances to secure a robust market footing. For instance, in November 2020, INEOS Olefins and Polymers USA announced the acquisition of Sasol. The deal comprised acquiring Sasol’s 50% interest in Gemini HDPE. This planned acquisition would permit INEOS O&P USA to further develop its scope in the specialty polyethylene market of high molecular weight film and pressure pipe.
An Infographic Representation of Ethylene Copolymer Market
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The global ethylene copolymer market research report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on crucial aspects such as leading companies, product types, applications, and end-use industries. Further, it covers market insights and highlights vital research and development activities by leading companies. In addition to the aforementioned, the report encompasses various factors contributing to the market growth in recent years.
Value (USD Billion)
By Type, Application, End-use, and Region
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 45.0 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 61.1 billion by 2029.
In 2021, Asia Pacific stood at USD 20.7 billion.
Registering a CAGR of 4.0%, the market will exhibit steady growth during the forecast period (2022-2029).
The hot melt adhesives segment is leading the market during the forecast period.
The rising demand for the product from the packaging industry is the key factor driving the market.
BASF, INEOS, SABIC, Dow, and DuPont are the major players in the market.
Asia Pacific held the largest market share in 2021.
The growing preference for foam from consumer goods, furniture, and automotive industries will drive the product adoption over the study period.
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