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The global polycarbonate market size was valued at USD 14.54 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow from USD 15.11 billion in 2023 to USD 21.88 billion by 2030, exhibiting a CAGR of 5.4% during the forecast period.
Polycarbonate (PC) is a high-strength thermoplastic polymer with a carbonate functional group. It has excellent toughness, exceptional higher light transmission, remarkable creep resistance, and dimensional stability. In addition, the product delivers properties such as electrical conductivity when blended with specific polymers, including Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), and Poly Methyl Methacrylate (PMMA). Moreover, the product is preferred in blended forms in applications, such as safety helmets, bulletproof glass, car headlamps, compact disks, and baby feeding bottles. These factors make it suitable for different end-use applications, including electrical, automotive, packaging, and medical equipment, boosting the polycarbonate market growth.
Supply Chain Disruptions and Trade Restrictions Hampered the Market Growth
The outbreak of COVID-19 from the end of 2019 negatively impacted the global chemical industry. The lockdown caused an interruption in the supply chain of the product, resulting in a shortage of end products such as films, sheets, face sheet masks, and medical equipment. In addition, the fluctuating price of crude oil influenced the production cost of the product. Thus, the key manufacturers shut down their production facilities. Moreover, the governments of different countries imposed trade restrictions to prevent the spread of the virus. These factors had a negative impact on the market growth.
Despite the market uncertainties due to the COVID-19, the key manufacturers returned to pre-pandemic business operations by adopting supportive strategies such as product marketing and collaboration with the distributors. As a result, the product's consumption has increased in various applications, including medical equipment and automotive industry.
Growing Demand for Polycarbonate Diols to Boost the Market Growth
Polycarbonate diol is a liner with a hydroxyl group at both ends of the structure. It offers excellent chemical properties such as chemical and UV resistance, making it an ideal choice for the paint and coating industry. In addition, these diols provide flexibility and softness in the synthetic leather applications. The growing demand for leather shoes, jackets, and other accessories has created a business opportunity for product manufacturers. Moreover, the growing demand for polycarbonate diol in the leather industry is propelling the product demand.
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Growing Product Demand in End-use Applications Due to its Excellent Properties to Drive Market Growth
The demand for the product is increasing in the global plastic market due to its excellent chemical and physical properties, including thermoforming, high chemical resistance, lightweight, moisture resistance, high flexural strength, and cost-effectiveness. Owing to these benefits, the product has gained a high demand in different end-use applications, including medical equipment, automotive, electrical, and construction. For instance, the product is used to manufacture face mask sheets, blood oxygenators, blood filters, and blood reservoirs used in the medical bypass circuit.
Furthermore, the chemical and physical properties of the product deliver the design flexibility to produce the OEMs and other plastic structures. Along with these properties, the product also offers high-impact resistance heating. As a result, it is used to construct different types of sheets, fencing protective barriers, and panels. These panels are a great alternative to the traditional films in greenhouse construction as they can deliver better light diffusion and enhance longevity. Thus, these factors are expected to increase the product demand.
Moreover, polycarbonate alloys are cost-effective alternatives to other polymers. The alloy of these polymers delivers ultimate advantages to the end-use product, such as metal coating with high adhesion to ABS, easy manufacturing processing, and sterilization by e-beam, gamma, and ETO. These factors are anticipated to bolster the market growth during the forecast period.
Fluctuations in Crude Oil Prices and Stringent Restrictions May Hinder the Market Growth
The polycarbonate polymer is the by-product of crude oil and heavy oil. The fluctuation in the crude oil price highly impacts the cost of product manufacturing. Moreover, several factors, such as international trade, supply-demand laws, and the nations' collaborative agreement for the crude oil supply, hamper the price of these heavy oils, further impacting the product price. These factors are anticipated to hinder the market growth in the coming years.
Furthermore, the stringent regulation on the use of plastic is another major restraining factor. For instance, the UN Environment Program (UNEP) association has stated that more than 99% of the polymers or resins are manufactured by specialty chemicals obtained from crude oil and natural gas refining that are toxic, polluting, and non-renewable resources. Therefore, many countries are imposing strict rules on plastic use in end-use applications. Moreover, in March 2022, delegates from 175 countries supported the massive and historic resolution to reduce plastic waste in the UN Environmental Assembly held in Nairobi. The delegates suggested a legally binding international accord by the end of 2024. Thus, all these imposed restrictions and fluctuations in the crude oil price are expected to hinder the market growth during the forecast period.
Wide Availability and Cost Effectiveness of Standard Purpose Grade Fueled the Segment Growth
Based on grade, the global market is segmented into standard purpose grade, flame retardant grade, medical grade, food grade, and others.
The standard purpose grade segment held the largest polycarbonate market share in 2022. The segment growth can be attributed to the cost-effectiveness and wide availability of the product belonging to the standard purpose grade, which increases the demand as it is an alternative to glass, metal, and wood in the end-use application. For instance, standard-grade materials have gained popularity in medical devices and equipment after the pandemic. The face mask sheet produced by this grade offers 300 times more strength than the single glass or other transparent sheet material of the same wall thickness. These properties of the standard purpose grade are anticipated to boost the segment growth.
The expansion of electrical and electronics industry is expected to increase the demand for flame-retardant polycarbonate. This polymer is developed to fulfill the extremely tough flammability requirements in EV charging stations, coffee machines, air conditioners, and washing machines. In the past few years, consumers have become more aware of the safety of electrical and electronic appliances. These factors are anticipated to boost the segment growth.
The growth of the medical grade segment can be credited to the rise in demand for medical equipment in the post-pandemic era. Moreover, the pandemic surged the demand for medical devices to prevent the spread of the virus. Furthermore, the medical grade product has been used during cardiac surgery as the blood reservoir in the bypass circuit. Medical grade polycarbonate is utilized in these applications owing to their resistant to cracking, and fatigue. Hence, such properties of the medical grade polycarbonate boost the segment’s growth. Hence, a rise in demand for medical equipment is anticipated to boost the segment growth.
Food-grade products have gained popularity in food packaging and processing materials that ensure the food is safe for consumption. In addition, this grade of product can be cleaned and sanitized easily, making it appropriate for plastic utensils and packaging products. This factor is expected to boost the segment growth in the global market during the forecast period.
The growth of the others segment is driven by the optical media application that utilizes compact discs and storage devices.
Growing Product Demand from the Electrical Industry to Escalate the Segment Growth
Based on application, the market is segmented into electrical, construction, packaging, automotive, medical equipment, and others. The electrical segment accounts for the largest share in the market. The product is utilized to coat the electrical wire to ensure safety measures and prevent accidental damage caused by the fire. This has resulted in a high product demand from the electrical industry.
The increasing global population and rate of urbanization have boosted the construction industry. PET, PC, and ABS have witnessed high adoption in the construction industry over the past years in the form of films and sheets. These polymer products provide ultimate safety and longevity in construction projects through insulation, wall covering, piping, and roofing. As a result, the increasing demand for polycarbonate sheets and films in building spaces, is boosting the construction segment growth.
The growth of the packaging segment can be attributed to the rise in the number of commercial shopping complexes, malls, and mega-complexes where packed food is sold in the majority. Moreover, the product is utilized to provide packaging material for these food products. As a result, product demand is increasing from the packaging industry, further driving segment growth.
The growth of the automotive and medical equipment segment can be ascribed to the rise in the consumption of EVs and the rising number of diseases. The product is widely used in these industries to produce headlight lenses, car bumpers, sunroofs, and drug delivery devices. Thus, these factors are anticipated to boost the market growth.
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Asia Pacific Polycarbonate Market Size, 2022 (USD Billion)
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The Asia Pacific market size was valued at USD 9.95 billion in 2022. The region is fastest-growing in the global market and its growth can be attributed to the rising the electrical, construction, and automotive industries in leading countries, including China, India, and Japan. In addition, the region has the highest population rate that surges the demand for electric vehicles and electrical equipment. Moreover, the product is one of the key raw materials used in these applications in the form of sheets and films with different grades. Thus, these factors are proliferating the regional expansion.
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The North America market growth can be attributed to the increasing demand for fireproof electrical equipment, which ensures safety and provides aesthetic performance to devices. Moreover, PC flame retardant grade is used to manufacture electrical equipment such as microwaves, air conditioners, and washing machines. Therefore, the product demand is increasing in the region.
The Europe market is driven by the growth in the automotive industry. The increased demand for the automobiles such as the cars, and buses is expected to surge the consumption of plastics, such as PET, PC, and PP. The product produces automotive parts such as car bumpers, seat covers, and headlamps.
Rapid industrialization and the increasing population in Latin America are surging the product demand from the construction industry. Moreover, the Middle East & Africa market is growing due to increasing number of product manufacturers that have increased domestic product consumption in the region from the end-use applications such as automotive, and electronics.
Key Market Players Focus on Expansion of Regional Presence to Strengthen Their Position
Key companies in the market include TEIJIN LIMITED, ETEX Group, Covestro AG, SABIC, and Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company, Inc. Moreover, SABIC has a widespread presence in America, Europe, Australia, and the Middle East & Africa. The company offers an extensive range of polymer products and is among the top five manufacturers globally. Similarly, other key players have established wide regional presence, strong distribution networks, and diverse product offerings.
An Infographic Representation of Polycarbonate Market
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The research report provides a detailed analysis of the market and crucial aspects such as leading companies and grade and application segments. It includes research methodology for market size estimation, quantitative data in terms of value and volume, and insights into market trends. It further provides comprehensive coverage of key industry developments and the competitive landscape. In addition to these factors, the report highlights numerous factors expected to drive the market growth during the forecast period.
CAGR of 5.4% from 2023 to 2030
Value (USD Billion), Volume (Kiloton)
By Grade, Application, and Geography
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was valued at USD 14.54 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach USD 21.88 billion by 2030.
In 2022, the Asia Pacific market value stood at USD 9.95 billion.
Registering a CAGR of 5.4%, the market is expected to exhibit rapid growth during the forecast period.
Based on grade, the standard purpose grade segment was the leading segment in the market.
The growing demand for the product for end-use applications owing to its excellent attributes is anticipated to drive market growth during the forecast period.
The Asia Pacific held the largest share in the market in 2022.
Covestro AG, SABIC, LOTTE Chemical CORPORATION, TEIJIN LIMITED, and Trinseo are some of the leading players in the global market.
An increase in the demand for polycarbonate diols is expected to surge product adoption during the forecast period.
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