The plastics market for electrical appliances was valued at around US$ 15,802 Mn in 2016. It is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 8.1% during the forecast period, according to a new report published by Transparency Market Research (TMR) titled "Plastics Market for Electrical Appliances - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast, 2017-2025."
Plastics offer a wide range of favorable attributes that enable them to be utilized in design and development of various electronics & electrical appliances. Traditionally, metals accounted for a large part of the composition of electrical appliances. However, advancement of technology has accelerated the pace of replacement of traditional materials with plastics, as plastics offer a broad range of advantages over metals. Hence, expansion of the plastics market for electrical appliances is primarily driven by the rise in demand from electrical appliances and versatility offered by plastics over other materials. Asia Pacific accounts for a major share, accounting for near about two-thirds of the plastics market for electrical appliances, with China dominating the demand.
Increasing demand from refrigeration appliances, home laundry appliances, and air treatment products
Plastics are inseparable and the fundamental material used for manufacture of electrical appliance components. Plastics are easier to process and provide flexibility to design ergonomic devices. Electrical appliances also need to be lightweight, while maintaining high performance, reliability, durability, and dimensional stability. Several components of electrical appliances such as body packaging, buttons, handles, and trays, can be easily micro-molded with plastics to manufacture precision parts with tight tolerance. Demand for refrigeration appliances, home laundry appliances, and air treatment products is rising at a substantial rate. Rising population coupled with increasing disposable income is a key factor propelling the demand for these appliances. Electrical appliances have surpassed the 'luxury goods' title and presently, have become 'necessary goods' due to rising standard of living and changing lifestyles. Thus, all these factors, working in tandem, are driving the demand for plastics for electrical appliances.
Increasing demand for polypropylene, ABS, and polystyrene
Polypropylene demonstrates impressive molding properties, which provide plastic molders with freedom of design. Moreover, polypropylene components can be manufactured using several processes including injection molding, thermoforming, and machining. Polypropylene can also be easily blended with other polymers to induce the required properties, making it a versatile option for manufacturing of components. Furthermore, being an inexpensive polymer, it finds applications in almost all electrical appliances. Thus, polypropylene is anticipated to witness significant increase in demand during the forecast period. Similarly, ABS is a stable resin and has high chemical and heat resistance. It can be used in appliances that are subjected to high heat and chemicals such as irons, microwaves, home laundry appliances, and dishwashers, due to its versatile properties. Polystyrene is a key resin that is utilized in refrigerators and air treatment products. Polystyrene is compliant with several food and drug regulatory bodies, and hence, can be easily used in refrigerators and other food contact appliances.
Environmental regulations and government legislations for plastics
Certain amount of plastic goes waste during its manufacturing, whose proper disposal or re-utilization is unorganized. Startup, breakdowns, and machinery problems can also lead to the production of waste. Recycling of post-consumer (as opposed to post-manufacturer) plastics can offer an opportunity to reduce the amount of plastics in the solid waste stream; however, economic considerations must be taken into account. Furthermore, usage of these recycled plastics in the manufacture of new products must comply with government and environmental regulations, especially in food-related applications. Most plastics are non-biodegradable and remain in the environment for decades. Thus, various regulatory legislations have been imposed on the manufacture of plastics as well as their usage in different end-user industries in order to regulate production of plastics and plastic waste. For instance, utilization of polycarbonate is prohibited in the U.S. in applications with food contact. In India, the usage of recycled and virgin colored polybags for non-food applications was allowed; however, it was discouraged for packaging food items, under the Recycled Plastics (Manufacture & Usage) Rules.
Regional Perspective of the Plastics Market for Electrical Appliances
North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific are highly attractive markets for plastics, in terms of both volume and revenue. The market in Asia Pacific is expected to expand at a CAGR of 8.6% during the forecast period, followed by North America, in terms of volume. The global market share held by Asia Pacific, in terms of revenue, was more than 2/3rd in 2016. However, in terms of revenue, the market share held by the region was more than 50%. This was due to the lower prices of plastics in Asia Pacific, as compared to the other two regions. Primary applications contributing to the demand for plastics in Middle East & Africa are home laundry and refrigeration appliances.
High degree of competition exists among established players
The global plastics market is dominated by a few major manufacturers, while the remaining share is highly fragmented. Several resins are utilized in the manufacture of electrical appliance components. Market leaders for each resin is different, as raw materials, technology, and grades required for each resin varies significantly. Ineos Styrolution Group GmbH is the market leader in polystyrene, while the market leader for polycarbonate is Covestro. There are several manufacturers offering a wide variety of resins in various grades for various applications. Thus, the overall effect is stiff competition in the plastics market.
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