High performance plastics market to grow to $16.0 billion by 2019

Global consumption of high performance plastics is forecast to grow from 749,000 tonnes in 2014 to 987,000 tonnes in 2019 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.7%, according to a new market study by Smithers Rapra.

In value terms, the market is currently valued at $12.2 billion in 2014 and is forecast to grow to $16.0 billion by 2019.

High performance plastics are a relatively small market, representing less than 1% of total plastics consumption, but are growing at a faster rate than the plastics market as a whole.

The new market study – The Future of High Performance Plastics to 2019 – examines global market trends for high performance plastics for the period 2008–13 and presents forecasts for the five-year period from 2014–19. Market forecasts are presented by high performance plastic type, end-use sector and geographic region. The study also includes an analysis of industry structure, major market drivers and trends and cutting-edge technology developments.

High performance plastics consumption has traditionally grown at a rate at least double that of standard thermoplastics, but market growth slowed down during the five-year period to 2013 as a result of the global economic downturn. In addition, high performance plastics have reached a high level of market penetration in many end-use applications in key markets such as automotive, electrical and electronics and consumer products. The search for new and faster-growing markets is an ongoing issue for the industry.

Nevertheless, high performance plastics will continue to find a growing number of new applications. In automotive markets, for example, high performance plastics are gaining use because of their ability to provide heat- and chemical-resistance, strength, durability, and weight reduction. In the electronics sector, more stringent technical and environmental specifications will promote the use of high performance plastics which are inherently flame retardant.

According to Smithers Rapra, electrical & electronics is currently the largest end-use market for high performance plastics, accounting for 33.7% of total consumption in 2013, followed by automotive and industrial. Demand in the automotive, building and construction, industrial machinery and electrical & electronics sectors is closely aligned to the economic cycle. As such, these sectors witnessed a major contraction in demand as a result of the global economic downturn of 2008–09. The sports and leisure, medical devices and consumer product sectors are less sensitive to movements in economic cycle. Demand for products in these sectors therefore showed greater resilience to the downturn in economic activity.

High performance plastics serve a multitude of end-use markets, but the most important markets (electrical & electronics, automotive and industrial) are highly sensitive to changes in consumers’ disposable income. Hence, the economic cycle is a key issue for high performance plastics producers.

Of all the end-use markets looked at in the study, medical devices and healthcare products is forecast to register the highest growth rates in volume terms for high performance plastics consumption over the five-year period to 2019, growing at a rate of 6.9% per annum. Aerospace & defenceis forecast to see the second highest growth rates from 2014-2019 with an annual growth rate of 6.4%, followed by electrical & electronics which is forecast to grow at an annual rate of 6.3% from 2014-2019.

Based on extensive primary research, The Future of High Performance Plastics to 2019 provides exclusive data and analysis on both current demand for the high performance plastics market and forecasts for the next 5 years. The report aims to give readers a comprehensive view of the current and future trends for the global high performance plastics market, providing the definitive guide for business planning.

The Future of High Performance Plastics to 2019 is available now for £3,950. For more information, please contact Bill Allen at +44 (0)1372 802086, or via e-mail at ballen@smithers.com.