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Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Type (Polyester, Polyether, Polycaprolactone, and Others), Application (Automotive, Construction, Engineering, Footwear, Hose & Tubing, Wire & Cable, and Others), and Regional Forecast, 2021-2028

Region : Global | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI102389



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The global thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) market size was USD 2.34 billion in 2020 and is projected to grow from USD 2.32 billion in 2021 to USD 3.81 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 7.3% during the 2021-2028 period. The sudden rise in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with the product witnessing a negative demand shock across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a huge decline of -5.1% in 2020 as compared to the average year-on-year growth during 2017-2019.

Thermoplastic polyurethane is a thermoplastic elastomer that can be processed using conventional methods such as extrusion, injection molding, and compression molding. It is ideal for both hard rubber and soft engineering thermoplastic products owing to its flexibility. The rising demand for flexible and biodegradable plastics in the footwear industry is anticipated to drive the market. The increasing advancement by various manufacturers will also promote product adoption. Additionally, in the automotive industry, the use of TPU is growing due to its hydrolytic stability and biocompatibility. The rising adoption of extruded products will further flourish the global thermoplastic polyurethane market growth during the forecasted timeframe.  

Disruption in TPU Production & Consumption Due to Spread of COVID-19 Resulted in Market Decline

The government restrictions implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic significantly influenced TPU production, effectively halting it. Besides, due to a severe shortage of skilled and unskilled labor, machinery closures, and a scarcity of raw materials, thermoplastic polyurethane manufacturing & processing remained closed. The huge impacts were also seen in the consumption area. Many end-use industries were severely disrupted due to the closure of assembly plants and interference in the supply chain.

The footwear industry faced a massive decline worldwide during the pandemic period. Based on CSIR-Central Leather Research Institute analysis, the global footwear consumption is forecasted to drop by 22.5%, representing a deficit of 5.1 billion pairs. In Europe, consumption is predicted to fall by 27%, Asia by 20%, and North America by 21%. According to Confcommercio, a merchants' group, the sales of footwear and clothes dropped to zero for Italian companies without access to an e-commerce network during the lockdown in March 2020. Furthermore, the sales of footwear and clothes across all channels decreased by 67.4% during the same period. However, various governments are introducing supportive policies and seeking to re-establish their economy. As a result, demand is likely to stabilize over the next few years.


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Rising Demand for Biodegradable Plastics is a Prominent Trend

The increasing development of bio-based plastics will fuel the consumption of thermoplastics polyurethane. Chlorinated plastic can release harmful chemicals into the surrounding soil, seeping into groundwater or other surrounding water sources. This can cause severe health impacts to humans and animals. Due to this, many regulations are passed by the governments to switch to eco-friendly plastics. TPU is not only biodegradable but also provides abrasion resistance, grease resistance, and strong mechanical properties. Additionally, the U.S. National Library of Medicine has confirmed that TPUs are recognized as eco-friendly because they are synthesized using either degradable chain extenders or polyester diols as soft segments. Hence, these are the factors driving the growth of the market during the forecast timeline. 


Increasing Product Demand from Footwear Industry to Boost Market Growth

TPU is a tough and versatile material that provides great slip resistance and abrasion resistance. These properties have led several footwear manufacturers to adopt this type of polyurethane in their products. Recently in April 2019, a leading footwear company ‘Adidas, introduced FUTURECRAFT.LOOP, a 100% TPU recyclable performance running shoe. Moreover, increasing disposable income coupled with rising demand for running shoes due to growing health consciousness will drive footwear consumption. Hence, this is expected to boost the product demand for footwear production. 


High Manufacturing Cost of Thermoplastic Polyurethane to Hamper Market Growth

Thermoplastic polyurethane is usually costlier than traditional materials. Its higher price may limit its adoption, especially in less demanding applications. The excessive price is due to the high production costs incurred due to the great degree of customization. Additionally, extrusion, injection molding, and compression molding are among the TPU production processes. This requires big machinery and skilled laborers, thereby raising the overall manufacturing cost of the product. Hence, this is anticipated to restrain the market growth during the forecast timeline.


By Type Analysis

Polyester Segment to Hold Largest Share in this Market during the Forecast Period

Based on type, the market is segmented into polyester, polyether, polycaprolactone, and others. The polyester segment is forecasted to hold the largest share in this market.  Polyester-based TPU is highly adopted in applications, which require resistance to oils, fuels, and water. Furthermore, the polyester type typically provides superior transparency, thereby highly utilized in engineering and construction applications. The growing demand for polyether from the automotive industry will propel the segment growth in the upcoming years. Polycaprolactone is the fastest-growing segment owing to its abrasion resistance and inherent toughness properties. The product is highly utilized as a potential bone tissue engineering application material due to its mechanical and antimicrobial properties. 

By Application Analysis

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Footwear Segment is the Largest Application for the product in 2020

Based on application, the market is segmented into automotive, construction, engineering, footwear, hose & tubing, wire & cable, and others. The footwear segment holds the highest market share in this market. Increasing consumer expenditure on footwear and rising demand for comfortable and durable shoes will drive the product consumption in footwear application. The automotive segment is expected to grow with the highest CAGR during the forecast timeline. The segment's growth is associated with the preference of products in automotive components, including cladding, rocker panels, ditch covers, and body side trim.

Rising product demand as an insulator to enhance the aesthetic and durability of buildings will boost the market growth in the construction industry. The polyester type is highly adopted in the engineering segment due to its shock absorption and high tensile strength properties. The hose & tubing segment is forecasted to show sustainable growth owing to rising product demand in consumer goods. The rapid growth in the electronic industry will fuel the wire & cables segment during the review period.


Asia Pacific Thermoplastic Polyurethane Market Size, 2020 (USD Billion)

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The market size in Asia Pacific stood at USD 1.35 billion in 2020. The rising need for high-performance materials is flourishing the expansion of this market in Asia Pacific. High growth and development and population expansion, and industry consolidations have resulted in innovation and development, as a result, positioning APAC as a worldwide industrial hub. Furthermore, the growing infrastructure developments and increasing product demand as an insulator in the construction industry will drive the market growth in China.

In North America, the growth is associated with the increasing demand for polyester-based thermoplastic polyurethane from the electronics industry. Additionally, the rising demand for footwear owing to increasing disposable income will propel the market growth in this region. The rapidly growing automotive industry in the countries such as Germany, France, and the U.K. will promote market growth in Europe. In the Middle East & Africa, the growth is due to the high adoption of polycaprolactone from hose & tubing. Latin America is anticipated to show significant growth, owing to increasing product demand from engineering applications.

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Capacity Expansion of Thermoplastic Polyurethane is the Key Strategic Initiative Implemented by Companies

Key producers operating in the market are BASF SE, Lubrizol Corporation, Covestro AG, and Huntsman Corporation. These companies are involved in capacity improvement, product innovation, and collaborations in the market. For instance, in June 2018, Covestro LLC expanded the thermoplastic polyurethane capacity at a manufacturing plant in the U.S.


  • BASF SE (Germany)

  • Lubrizol Corporation (U.S.)

  • Covestro AG (Germany)

  • Huntsman Corporation (U.S.)

  • COIM Group (Italy)

  • American Polyfilm Inc (U.S.)

  • Kuraray Co., Ltd (Japan)


  • Kent Elastomer Products (U.S.)

  • Entec Polymers (Belgium)

  • Other Key Players


May 2019: BASF built a thermoplastic polyurethane plant and engineering plastics compounding plant at its Verbund site in Zhanjiang, China. With these new plants, the company will provide support for customers in the southern China market.

February 2019: API introduced APILONTM 52 A/C series, a new lightweight footwear solution of thermoplastic polyurethane materials. The new product offers lightness, aesthetics, soft touch, and thermos abrasion resistance properties. This launch will help the company to expand its product portfolio. 


An Infographic Representation of Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) Market

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The market research report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on crucial aspects such as leading companies, types, applications, and products. Also, it provides quantitative data in terms of volume and value, research methodology for market data, insights into market trends, and highlights vital industry developments and competitive landscape. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the report encompasses various factors that have contributed to the growth of the market over recent years.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



Value (USD Billion); Volume (Million ton)


Type, Application, and Geography

By Type

  • Polyester

  • Polyether

  • Polycaprolactone

  • Others

By Application

  • Automotive

  • Construction

  • Engineering

  • Footwear

  • Hose & Tubing

  • Wire & Cable

  • Others

By Geography

  • North America (By Type, By Application)

    • U.S. (By Application)

    • Canada (By Application)

  • Europe (By Type, By Application)

    • Germany (By Application)

    • U.K. (By Application)

    • France (By Application)

    • Spain (By Application)

    • Belgium (By Application)

    • Rest of Europe (By Application)

  • Asia Pacific (By Type, By Application)

    • China (By Application)

    • India (By Application)

    • Japan (By Application)

    • Southeast Asia (By Application)

    • Rest of Asia Pacific (By Application)

  • Latin America (By Type, By Application)

    • Brazil (By Application)

    • Mexico (By Application)

    • Rest of Latin America (By Application)

  • Middle East & Africa (By Type, By Application)

    • South Africa (By Application)

    • GCC (By Application)

    • Rest of Middle East & Africa (By Application)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 2.34 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 3.81 billion by 2028.

In 2020, the market size stood at USD 2.34 billion.

Registering a significant CAGR of 7.3%, the market will exhibit considerable growth during the forecast period (2021-2028).

The footwear segment is expected to lead this market during the forecast period.

The increasing demand for the product from the footwear industry is set to be the key factor driving the market.

BASF SE, Lubrizol Corporation, Covestro AG, and Huntsman Corporation are the leading players in this market.

China held the highest share in the market in 2020.

The increasing demand for biodegradable plastics is anticipated to boost the consumption of the product.

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