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The global nylon market size was valued at USD 31.33 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow from USD 31.09 billion in 2023 to USD 44.19 billion by 2030, exhibiting a CAGR of 5.1% during the forecast period.
Typically, nylon or polyamide (PA) is manufactured by polymerizing caprolactam or adipic acid & hexamethylene diamine. It is a highly versatile polymeric material used in various industries for different applications. Be it automotive applications or sports, adoption of the product is significant. For instance, polyamide fiber is used in the airbags of vehicles as well as in professional volleyball nets.
Players operating in this industry are improving their production capacities to serve the increasing demand from various end-use industries. For instance, in July 2022, Invista announced investments in its production plant in South Carolina, U.S. The investment will change the facility’s polyamide production process and logistics capabilities. Plant construction is expected to be completed by 2024.
Downturn in the Automotive Industry amid COVID-19 Negatively Affected Market Growth
PA 6 & PA 6,6 are prominently used in the automotive industry. The outbreak of COVID-19 halted the production and operations of more than 250 automotive manufacturing facilities globally. As a result, demand significantly went down, and a double-digit decline incurred in 2020 as compared to 2019. However, soft recovery was expected due to changing government norms to revamp the manufacturing industries.
The market recovered slowly in 2021 as the uncertainties caused by the outbreak of COVID-19 were likely to affect the demand and supply in the forthcoming years. The escalating tension between major economies, such as the U.S. and China, hampered the nylon market growth and delayed the market recovery. Many key players witnessed low-profit margins in the first half, which took a heavy toll on the market growth.
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Inclusion of PA 6 & PA 6,6 in 3D Printing to Provide Market Growth Opportunities
PA 6 & PA 6,6 have superior properties, such as high durability and flexibility, making them a good choice for 3D printing. Excellent malleability makes them much tougher than other traditionally used thermoplastics such as PLA and ABS. Thus, these polymers have the potential to become the go-to material for 3D printers. PA exhibits excellent chemical resistance and mechanical properties comparable to ABS. It has an impact resistance that is significantly higher than that of ABS, thus making it a potential material of choice in manufacturing industrial components. Besides, the moisture absorption property helps with easy post-processing with fabric dyes and spray paints.
The flexibility and durability of polyamide can help in 3D printing parts with thin walls. The low coefficient of friction with a high melting point makes it especially resistant to abrasion. Thus, it can be used in printing parts such as functional interlocking gears. Advancements in 3D printing technology are likely to augment polyamide adoption in industrial 3D printing operations.
Rising Demand from the Automotive Industry to Drive Market Growth
Polyamide is extensively used in the automotive industry due to its high workability, strength, and toughness, and thus it is widely used in the automotive industry. The polymer supports both the molding and extrusion processes, so it can be used to manufacture a variety of auto parts. Properties, such as high-temperature resistance and chemical resistance, make it the material of choice for harsh environments. For instance, auto parts that are exposed to extreme temperatures & fluids, such as engine lubricants, are developed from polyamide. PA 6 & PA 6,6 parts are relatively lighter than metallic components. This factor can significantly improve the efficiency of conventional IC-powered vehicles. Due to the high prices of gasoline and rising environmental concerns, vehicle economy is becoming the main aspect when purchasing vehicles.
The automotive sector has witnessed a paradigm shift toward electric vehicles over the past few years. Major automakers, such as Ford, General Motors, Volkswagen, Toyota, and Tata Motors, are already bidding high on the electric future. Maintaining a high power-to-weight ratio is a key challenge for the electric vehicle industry. Since lighter vehicles influence the battery size, employing lighter materials can be crucial in reducing the overall weight of the electric vehicle. Developing economies, such as China and India, are likely to witness an increase in demand for mobility solutions during the forecast period owing to the volume growth in population. The rising purchasing power of consumers in developing economies is likely to push demand for both commercial and passenger vehicles. Advanced engineering materials are likely to be widely employed in auto parts manufacturing due to their superior properties. Thus, rising demand for the material from the automotive industry is anticipated to drive market growth.
Strict Regulation for the Reduction of Negative Environmental Impacts to Hinder Market Growth
Plastic pollution has become the most pressing challenge that the world currently faces. PA 6 and PA 6,6, which are non-biodegradable, remain in the environment for several years. Microplastics, formed due to the breakdown of macroscopic plastics, have a negative environmental impact. These microplastics contaminate the oceans and are ingested by aquatic creatures. Fishing nets are among the major sources of microplastic pollution in the ocean, other than the synthetic textile fibers that wear off during washing.
The dyeing of fibers can contribute significantly to water pollution since a significant share of polymers is typically produced in countries with weaker environmental regulations. Polyamide production and processing are among the significant contributors to water pollution in developing economies. Furthermore, the production process itself is an energy-intensive process leading to increased fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
Consumers have become increasingly aware and concerned about environmental health in the past decade. In response, governments and international organizations, in collaboration with the private sector, are establishing methodologies to monitor the adverse effect of polymers. Companies utilizing polyamide and similar polymers are required to restrict and regulate their use to meet the stringent standards. This factor may hamper the market growth.
Nylon 6 to Account for Major Share Due to High Adoption and Cheap Cost
By type, the market is segregated into Nylon 6 (resin, fiber) and Nylon 6,6 (resin, fiber). Nylon 6 fibers dominate the global market due to their strong adoption in the textile industry. Due to its high mechanical strength, toughness, and wear resistance, it is used to manufacture webbing products such as dog leashes, safety belts, luggage straps, sports goods, and others.
Nylon 6,6 possesses excellent properties, such as high elasticity of engineering plastics, making it ideal for injection molding applications. It is predominantly used to make plastic components for automotive, electronic appliances, and other industries. Besides, PA 6,6 films and coatings produced by the extrusion process have a healthy demand in the packaging industry, especially for food & fluids packaging such as grease, acidic food, and oils. These are clear, printable & thermoplastic films that make them ideal for industrial applications. It is also suitable for use in microwave cooking applications. These films have exceptional strength, toughness, and excellent oxygen barrier properties while also being puncture, scratch, and flex-crack resistant.
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Automotive Segment to Hold Highest Revenue Share Owing to its Extensive Applications
By application, the market is categorized into automotive, electrical & electronics, appliances, film & coatings, wire & cables, consumer, industrial & machinery, and others. The automotive segment accounted for the largest nylon market share in 2022. Due to the high usability of the resin and fiber in automobiles in the form of tire cord, airbags, and injection molded components, it results in high revenue generation from the automotive segment. The demand for plastics is continuously increasing in the automotive industry to optimize fuel efficiency and reduce vehicle weight. With the increasing sales of electric vehicles and the establishment of proper electric vehicle infrastructure, engineering plastics are expected to play a major role.
The film & coatings segment accounts for a prominent share of the global market. Polyamide films exist as un-oriented polymers and bi-axially oriented (BOPA) films. These films are predominantly used to package goods & products that require a high oxygen barrier and high strength. Some of these goods & products include processed meat (sausage, bacon), cheese & other dairy products, smoked fish, and semi-finished microwavable meals. Moreover, these films are easily recyclable. The ban on the use of single-use plastics globally is expected to boost market share during the forecast period.
Asia Pacific Nylon Market Size, 2022 (USD Billion)
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Asia Pacific held a significant market share in 2022 and is anticipated to remain dominant, owing to the rising demand from automotive and films & coating applications for the packaging industry during the forecast period. The demand in the region is predominantly driven by emerging economies such as China and India. China accounts for more than half of the total consumption and production in the region. Also, to decrease its dependence on imports, major producers are coming up with production facilities in China to cater to the rising demand in the country and the surrounding region. On the other hand, PA 6 and caprolactam are oversupplied in the regional market, which resulted in lower operating rates.
North America is one of the largest producers of polyamide. The automotive industry drives the regional market. The U.S. has witnessed rapid increase in electric vehicle sales in recent years, which is likely to continue during the forecast period. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, electric vehicle sales increased by 85% in 2021 relative to the previous year. This factor includes increased demand for commercial and passenger vehicles over the last decade. The ban on single-use plastics in the U.S. is expected to further increase the demand for nylon films in the region.
The Europe market is expected to grow moderately over the forecast period, backed by strong demand from the automotive industry. Lawmakers in Europe are introducing attractive norms, such as subsidies, to increase the sales of electric vehicles. For instance, Germany has increased the subsidy granted on electric vehicles and extended the environmental bonus criterion to e-vehicle owners until the end of 2025. Similarly, France has also increased the subsidy amount. Meanwhile, countries, such as Sweden, have announced an exemption from vehicle tax for e-vehicle owners. This factor is expected to increase electric vehicle sales and consumption in the automotive industry during the forecast period. Moreover, the EU has voted for a complete ban on single-use plastic by 2021, which is expected to boost the consumption of recyclable plastic films during the forecast period.
Latin America and the Middle East & Africa account for single-digit shares in the global market. In Latin America, Mexico is the key consumer. However, Brazil is projected to indicate the fastest growth in the regional market due to the fastest end-use industry growth. Moreover, the healthy growth of all end-use industries in the rest of the Latin American economies, such as Columbia and Argentina, are also expected to drive the market.
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The Middle East & Africa market is projected to grow at a moderate CAGR during 2023-2030. GCC dominated the market due to rapid industrialization in the region. Rising adoption of industrial coatings, growth in automotive sales, and favorable growth in the construction industry are driving the nylon market growth in the region.
Major Companies Focus on Expansion of Production Facilities to Boost Sales Revenue
The global market is already oversupplied due to a large number of installed capacities. Key players in the supply chains are increasing the capabilities of the product and its feedstock, such as adiponitrile. Ube Industries, INVISTA, and Ascend are some of the players expanding their capacities and feedstock to meet the increasing demand. Also, the prices of these polymeric materials are highly volatile, which is expected to hamper market growth. However, pricing contracts with customers may help stabilize the costs. Also, the changing geopolitical equations and trade policies directly impact the supply chain.
An Infographic Representation of Nylon Market
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The report provides qualitative and quantitative insights on the growth rate, market share, size, and trend analysis by different segments. Along with this, the research report provides an elaborative analysis of the market dynamics and competitive landscape. Various key insights presented in the report are porter’s five forces, recent industry developments in the market, regulatory scenario in crucial countries, macro & microeconomic factors, SWOT analysis, key industry trends, competitive landscape, and company profiles.
CAGR of 5.1% from 2023 to 2030
Value (USD Billion), Volume (Kiloton)
By Type, Application, and Geography
Fortune Business Insights says that the market was valued at USD 31.33 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach USD 44.19 billion by 2030.
Growing at a CAGR of 5.1%, the market will exhibit considerable growth over the forecast period.
The automotive segment is expected to lead the market during the forecast period.
Increasing consumption from the automotive and films & coatings industries shall drive the growth of the market.
Asia Pacific currently holds the highest market share in terms of market revenue.
DuPont, BASF SE, NYCOA, Lanxess, and INVISTA are the key players in the market and have adopted strategies, such as acquisition and capacity expansion, for their growth in the market.
Bio-based PA 6 products are an emerging trend in the global market.
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