Polyurethane (PUR) is a versatile, durable plastic. As forecasts published in the latest ofCeresana'sstudies show, global demand for PUR will continue to rise during the next couple of years. Important reasons are far-reaching global trends such as increasing mobility, climate change, demographic changes, scarcities of resources, urbanization, and a growing middle class in emerging countries. PUR prices are comparatively low and the material is highly popular, given its propitious properties such as longevity, versatility, and dimensional stability.
Increased Consumption thanks to Energy Efficiency
All around the globe, energy efficiency is becoming more and more important in buildings, vehicles, and electric devices, which will lead to an increasing use of PUR as insulating material. The international market research institute forecasts global demand for PUR to rise by, on average, 4.5% per year. „Our research revealed that revenues generated on the global market for PUR are likely to increase to more than US$80 billion", explains Oliver Kutsch, CEO of Ceresana. For the first time, all market participants are able to get a complete overview overallrelevant data and facts as well as background information. Besides PUR, the study also contains separate analyses regarding the two preliminary products methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) and toluene diisocyanate (TDI).
Growth Motor Asia-Pacific
Asia-Pacific already is the prime market, accounting for about 44% of global demand, followed by North America and Western Europe. Ceresana forecasts the focus of PUR demand to continue to shift towards Asia-Pacific, at the expense of saturated industrialized markets in Western Europe and North America. Demand in emerging countries, on the other hand, is profiting from a continuous increase of wealth. The by far most important growth motor on the international market is China.
Considerable Increases in Capacity
In order to satisfy the rising demand for PUR, production capacities have to be expanded considerably - especially so in Asia-Pacific. In total, global isocyanate capacity, currently amounting to 8.8 million tonnes, will increase by more than 3 million tonnes by 2020. Over 81% of these new capacities will be created in Asia-Pacific. As the study explains in detail, especially the development of new PUR-based materials for an increasing number of applications is necessitating a significant increase of production capacity.
Prime Market Construction
Due to its range of advantageous properties, PUR is suitable for a broad range of applications: building insulation, cooling and refrigerating units, furniture and bedding, shoes, vehicles, varnishes, coatings, adhesives, binders, and rubber. But also the segments sports and leisure as well as electronics and electrics are reporting a rising demand for polyurethanes. A major consumer of PUR is the construction industry, as a range of state-funded programs target at improving energy efficiency. All around the world, PUR-based products are used in the construction of new residential buildings and in the refurbishment of older structures. Even on saturated markets, this can provide growth impulses.