Global PMMA market is expected to witness significant growth over the next six years owing to increasing demand in electronics, automotive and signs & display applications. PMMA is widely used in LED and flat panel televisions as a light guide for the backlights of television. Its superior light transmittance compared to other polymers makes it an ideal compound in televisions which is expected to fuel its demand in electronics applications. Increasing penetration of PMMA in medical devices market as an alternative to other medical polymers such as PVC and polypropylene owing to health hazards and low biocompatibility is expected to fuel the market growth over the next six years. Growing concerns regarding the presence of phthalate plasticizers in PVC has been a major factor for the growing importance for PMMA in medical devices.
PMMA is widely used as an alternative to glass in construction and automotive segments. Increasing construction spending coupled with growing automotive industry in emerging markets such as Brazil, China and India are expected to drive the market growth over the forecast period. Volatile prices of acetone have impacted the pricing of methyl methacrylate which consequently faltered the prices of the profitability of manufacturers in PMMA market. Increasing R&D to develop bio-based alternatives is anticipated to reduce the dependability of manufacturers on petrochemicals as raw material source. This is anticipated to provide market participants opportunities in terms of product innovation.
Extruded sheets emerged the leading product segment in the PMMA market and accounted for more than 55% of the market share in 2012. Extruded sheets are mainly used for LED screens, building facades, solar panels and signs & displays. High electronics production and consumption in China and India on account of growing manufacturing sector and income levels respectively is expected to fuel the demand for extruded sheets over the forecast period. PMMA pellets are molded according to their use in various applications such as signs & displays, automotive, medical devices and clothing. Demand from these applications can be credited to the demand for PMMA pellets in the market. Increasing usage of PMMA in the lenses of automotive exterior lights is expected to complement the market growth.
Signs and displays emerged as the largest application segment and accounted for over 37% of the market share in 2013. Increasing expenditure on advertisements on account of increasing consumerism in emerging markets around the globe has been a major driving factor for high demand of PMMA in signs and displays. Electronics is expected to emerge as the largest application segment for the market by 2020. Growing electronics industry in China, Taiwan and South Korea coupled with increasing demand for electronics in Asia, particularly television sets, is expected to drive the market growth in electronics applications. The market growth is further expected to be complemented by increasing application in automotive, construction and medical devices.
Asia Pacific was the largest regional PMMA market and accounted for about 69% of the market volume in 2013. Presence of LED flat screen and TV manufacturers in the region particularly China, Taiwan and South Korea coupled with increasing demand for electronics owing to increasing income levels has been driving the market growth in the region. Low manufacturing costs and availability of high skilled labor has been a favorable to the increasing electronics production in the region. This trend is also expected to complement the market growth to make the fastest growing region over the next six years. North America is expected to register considerable growth on account of high demand for PMMA in electronics and sign & display applications. Slump in construction and automotive industries on account of gloomy economic scenario may challenge the market growth in the region. Europe accounted for 16% of the market volume in 2013. The market is expected to grow on account of increasing demand for PMMA in signs & displays and automotive applications. The market witnessed drop in demand in the recent past due to the recent Euro crisis. However, recovery of economy in the region is expected to favorably impact the market over the next six years.
Research Support Specialist, USA