Increasing light weight components demand in automobile industry is anticipated to fuel the global acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) market growth over the forecast period. ABS comprises durability and high strength at low temperatures, chemical resistance, heat resistance and also easy manufacturing process. These properties attract manufacturers to use ABS as a raw material for industrial as well as consumer product applications such as construction material, consumer goods, automotive exterior and interior parts and appliances. ABS is used to produce end products through various thermoplastic manufacturing methods such as extrusion, blow and injection molding. A variety of ABS grades are available in the market and chosen for the applications based on mechanical and physical properties of the raw material polymer used.
Plastics are being majorly used in industries as they provide a significant weight reduction in the components. ABS applications are increasing in automotive industry due to above mentioned aspect which also helps to enhance fuel efficiency. A 10% weight reduction results in 5% to 7% fuel savings which is considerable aspect related to consumers. In addition to this, it also reduces carbon dioxide emission over the vehicle life cycle. Growing appliance market demand in China is expected to fuel the ABS market demand over the next five years. However, existence of functional substitutes is anticipated to replace the ABS applications in end-use industries. But ABS has replaced many materials such as metals, ceramics, nylon and wood from end-use applications. Recent developments related to technology advancements in product development particularly bio-based products are expected to replace ABS in the near future. Technology advancement to expand ABS applications in other sectors is anticipated to offset this negative impact on the market over the forecast period.
Automotive segment was the dominant application market in 2013 and is expected to witness fastest growth over the next five years. ABS is broadly used to manufacture center consoles, headliners, trims and interior grills. It is also utilized for exterior parts such as bumpers, handles, carriers and panels owing to its strength, toughness and rigidity. The product growth is anticipated to spur over the next five years due to improved favorable regulations and increased concern about fuel economy and weight. Electrical and electronics contributed to the second major consumer market accounting for over 20% of the total demand. Easy manufacturing process and fabrication makes it better raw material for electrical industry. ABS provides a series of applications in electrical industry owing to better insulation property. Other product applications include construction material, appliance and consumer goods.
China was the dominant ABS regional market accounting for over 55% of the total demand in 2013. China is the dominant consumer and manufacturer of ABS across the world owing to numerous existing end user industries in the region and low operating and labor costs. In addition to this several other companies has shifted their manufacturing facilities to the region from west on account of above mentioned reasons. Other countries in Asia such as India, Indonesia, South Korea Taiwan and Japan are also anticipated to show a rapid growth for the global ABS market over the next five years. This is driven by the increasing construction activities and industrialization in the region. The region still contributes to the low consumption of ABS products which is expected to be a scope for further growth in the region. India is projected to be the most emerging market in the region owing to growing application industries.
Global ABS market is fairly concentrated with major four participants accounting for over 60% of the total demand in 2013. The major market players in the global market include Formosa Plastic Company, Chi Mei Corporation, LG Chemical, Styrolution, Kumho Petrochemical Company, SABIC and Styron.
Research Support Specialist, USA