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The global polystyrene market size was USD 9.70 billion in 2020 and is projected to grow from USD 9.49 billion in 2021 to USD 9.99 billion by 2028 at a CAGR of 0.7% in the 2021-2028 period. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with polystyrene witnessing a positive impact on demand across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited lower growth of 4.5% in 2020 as compared to the average year-on-year growth during 2017-2019. The rise in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.
Polystyrene (PS) is a versatile polymer used to produce a wide range of consumer products. As a solid and hard plastic, it is often used in products requiring transparency, including laboratory ware and food packaging. The plastic, when combined with additives and other polymers, becomes ideal for application in automotive parts, consumer electronics, toys, and equipment. The expansion of the electrical & electronics industry globally is driving the market. Moreover, expansion in PS recycling capacities will create growth prospects. However, the implementation of stringent regulations in North America and Europe will restrain the market growth.
Uncertainties in Supply Chain during COVID-19 Pandemic Hindered Market
The lockdown imposed in countries due to the COVID-19 pandemic disturbed the supply chain of the market. The availability of raw materials was affected due to restrictions on man and material. The prices of crude oil entered negative territory in 2020 due to minimum demand and oversupply. The consumption of the product in the building & construction and automotive industries also declined significantly due to restrictions on activities other than essentials. However, the impacts of pandemic on the market got substantially slowed down owing to an increase in the production of cold chain packaging containers. The transportation of vaccines, medications, and other pharmaceutical products globally decelerated the impact on the market.
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Recycling of Polystyrene to Boost Growth Opportunities
The excellent insulation property of the plastic increases its demand from various industries including building & construction, and packaging. However, the physical characteristics and chemical composition of PS have rendered it into a material with large volume and less weight. The bulky nature of this plastic has made it a significant contributor to landfill pollution and solid waste. Due to the increasing concerns regarding the environment, organizations across the globe have taken initiatives to recycle PS products and avoid the environmental risk associated with them. Germany, France, and Italy are the major recyclers of plastic globally. INEOS Styrolution, a global manufacturer of styrenic plastics is setting up a recycling facility in Illinois, U.S. to convert PS waste into styrene monomer. The plastic manufactured from recycled styrene monomers can be safely used for food and medical applications.
Rising Demand from Consumer Electronics Industry to Drive Growth
The PS market growth is associated with increasing demand from consumer electronics manufacturers due to changing technology and decreasing price range of the products. Developing countries, including China and India are witnessing increased demand for consumer electronics owing to urbanization and rising disposable income. Additionally, growth in the population of young demographic and digitization activities boost the consumption of electronic products, thereby leading to the polystyrene market growth. Plastic is an important material in consumer electronics as it is ideal for aesthetic and functional applications. As per the Electronic Industries Association of India, the total electronics production in India in 2019-2020 accounted for USD 76 billion and is expected to reach USD 400 billion in 2025-2026.
Availability of High-Performing Substitutes to Hamper Market Growth
Plastic has various industrial applications, owing to its thermal insulation and lightweight properties. However, the availability of substitutes is hindering the growth of the market. Other plastics including polyethylene and polypropylene are increasingly replacing PS in packaging and automotive applications due to their superior physical properties. Furthermore, the development of glass wool for thermal insulation in buildings affects the product demand from the construction industry. Glass wool exhibits thermal insulation with higher efficiency. Additionally, increasing regulations on the use of plastic in North America and Europe will further obstruct market growth. The concerns over the health and environment and the negative public perception toward styrenic plastics in the regions will affect the demand.
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High Impact Polystyrene to be Fastest-growing Segment Due to High Demand from Packaging Application
Based on type, the polystyrene market is segmented into General Purpose Polystyrene (GPPS) and High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS). HIPS is estimated to be the fastest-growing segment during the forecast period. The growing demand for packaging applications is to be the prominent factor behind the segment growth. Several grades of HIPS are designed to exhibit exceptional impact resistance for specific end-uses such as water tankers and refrigeration liners.
The demand for GPPS will considerably grow during the 2021-2028 period. This type has transparent features, such as glass, making it ideal for food packaging and plastic toy applications. The comparatively easier processing and molding of GPPS make it a popular choice for cosmetic packs, refrigerator trays, and containers.
Packaging Segment to Hold Largest Share Between 2021 and 2028
Based on application, the market is segmented into packaging, building & construction, automotive, electrical & electronics, agriculture, household leisure & sports, and others. The packaging segment accounted for the largest market share in 2020. The segment's growth is linked to the rising product consumption in automotive and food & beverage manufacturers. The product is a lightweight material with shock absorption and thermal insulation, which makes it ideal for packaging use.
Urbanization and infrastructure development activities in growing economies will augment the growth of the building & construction segment. The incorporation of construction companies in energy-saving technologies will further aid the segment growth.
The rising demand for electric vehicles due to their energy efficiency and zero-dependence on fossil fuels will boost the growth of the automotive segment. Electrical & electronics segment will witness significant growth due to the expansion of the electronics industry globally. High demand for appliances and hand-held devices will substantially contribute to the growth.
Asia Pacific Polystyrene Market Size, 2020 (USD Billion)
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The market size in Asia Pacific was valued at USD 4.26 billion in 2020. The region accounted for the largest share of the market in 2020 and is anticipated to maintain the position throughout 2021-2028. The market in Asia Pacific region is primarily driven due to India and China being the major consumers. China is the manufacturing hub for majority of electronic products.
Development and expansion of retail chains will fuel the demand for insulation in North America, thereby driving the usage of polystyrene foams. Furthermore, the region boasts the presence of major electric vehicle manufacturers including Tesla, Inc. The surging use of electric vehicles in the U.S. will aid regional growth.
Rising investment by European Union countries primarily drives the growth of the market in Europe to promote a green and circular economy. The countries are focused on increasing their recycling capacities to achieve the goal of sustainability by 2030. The Netherlands, Italy, and Belgium are few countries that have invested heavily in the expansion of PS recycling capacities.
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Latin America is projected to grow, owing to the increasing number of companies specializing in industrial packaging and infrastructure development. In the Middle East & Africa, the rising demand for lightweight packaging from various industries boosts the region’s growth.
Investment in Recycling Facilities Will Provide Impetus to Key Players
The competitive landscape of the PS market is fragmented. Major polystyrene suppliers are investing a substantial amount towards the development of new and sustainable products. Several companies have installed recycling facilities to produce post-consumer products. For example, INEOS Styrolution established a PS recycling facility in Illinois, U.S. catering to the packaging demand from food & beverage and automotive industries.
An Infographic Representation of Polystyrene Market
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The global polystyrene market research report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on key aspects such as profiles of leading companies and leading applications of the product. Besides this, it offers insights into the current market trends and dynamics and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the aforementioned factors, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the growth of the market in recent years.
Value (USD Billion), Volume (Million ton)
By Type, By Application, and By Region
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 9.70 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 9.99 billion by 2028.
In 2020, the Europe market value stood at USD 4.26 billion.
Registering a CAGR of 0.7%, the market will exhibit decent growth over the forecast period (2021-2028).
The packaging segment is expected to lead this market during the forecast period.
The rising consumption of bio-based products in various end-use industries is the major factor driving the growth of the market.
INEOS Styrolution, BASF SE, and TotalEnergies are the major players in the market.
Asia Pacific dominated the market in terms of share in 2020.
The expansion of the electrical & electronics industry and growing consciousness toward sustainability will drive the product adoption.
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