Global market for non-tire elastomers expected to reach 16.3 million tonnes by 2020

While the vehicle tire market dominates the consumption of both natural and synthetic rubber, the alternative markets are of significant importance. According to a new market study by Smithers Rapra, the global market for non-tire elastomers was an estimated 13.5 million tonnes in 2014.

The CAGR from 2013 to 2020 is expected to be 3.1%, leading to an overall consumption of 16.3 million tonnes in 2020.

This major new report from Smithers Rapra, The Future of Natural and Synthetic Rubber for Non-Tire Applications to 2020, quantifies the non-tire application market by elastomer, by application and by region, with further analysis of the major countries participating in the industry. The report explores the major growth areas for natural and synthetic rubber as well as those application or product areas that are in decline.

According to the report’s findings, the Asia Pacific area is expected to continue to expand at an above-average rate and this is reflected in the global elastomer consumption. The more mature economies such as Japan will not show anywhere the same growth as that of the emerging Asia Pacific countries. Of the remaining regions, NAFTA will be slightly ahead of Europe and the rest of the world; mostly due to the US economy picking up faster than Europe after the financial recession.

In terms of global market by end-use application, non-tire automotive applications are the dominant market sector, the report shows. This sector is estimated to have occupied 31.1% in 2013, reducing slightly to 30.8% in 2020, with an estimated consumption of 4.1 million tonnes in 2013, rising to 5 million tonnes in 2020; an overall CAGR of 3%.

The challenges facing the automotive industry are well known. Despite increasing numbers of vehicles each year, some geographical areas are faring better than others. Asia Pacific has long since overtaken Europe and North America as being the main centre of automobile activity. Europe continues to be the most innovative, but is paradoxically the lowest performing region and looks like being so for some time to come. It is only in the field of specialised vehicles and advanced applications that Europe succeeds in keeping ahead of the race.

Figure 1 Current non-tire global elastomer applications, 2012–13 and 2020 (‘000 tonnes, % market and % change).

Source: Smithers Pira

The second largest market sector is building, construction and civil engineering, occupying 13.2% in 2013. It is expected to grow from 1.7 million tonnes in 2013 to 2 million tonnes in 2020, with the market’s lowest CAGR of 1.9%. The market forecast for this sector is somewhat speculative. Its growth depends almost entirely on the economy of each nation. This is because many of its projects depend on local government funding, as well as the health of the global banking systems.

There are many outside influences that are having an impact on the market for non-tire elastomers and the industries supplying the necessary raw materials for elastomer production are going through a series of tumultuous changes to an extent never previously experienced.

The Future of Natural and Synthetic Rubber for Non-Tire Applications to 2020 is available now for £4,200. For more information, please contact Bill Allen at +44 (0)1372 802086, or via e-mail at