The global acrylonitrile butadiene styrene market is consolidated and saw the top four producers accounting for a sizable stake of 65% in the market’s revenues in 2012. These are LG Chemical, Styrolution, Chi Mei Corporation, and Formosa Plastic Corporation. Large multinational companies have a strong regional presence and are looking for expansion thus, undertaking joint ventures and acquisitions to grow further. The acrylonitrile butadiene styrene market faces credible threat from substitutes such as is polypropylene (PP), polycarbonates, polyurethane (PU), and polystyrene (PS). The threat of new entrants is expected to rise from low to medium owing to the consolidated nature of the market.
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According to the report, the global market opportunity in acrylonitrile butadiene styrene is expected to rise from US$21.43 bn in 2015 to US$26.15 bn by 2018. By application, the appliances segment is expected to lead and account for 33.2% of the market by 2018. China is expected to account for 60.1% of the market by 2018. China is the largest manufacturer and consumer of ABS worldwide. The large end-user industries located in the region coupled with low operating and labor costs can be credited for the growth of the market in China. Additionally, various manufacturing companies from the west have shifted their units to China due to the low labor and operating costs. The Rest of Asia market will represent a 16.0% share of the acrylonitrile butadiene styrene market by 2018.
Rising Demand for Light-weight Vehicles to Boost Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene Market
A rising trend towards reducing automobile weight and enhancing fuel efficiency is being seen in the automotive industry and this is proving to be beneficial for the global acrylonitrile butadiene styrene market. As plastics play a major role in reducing the weight of automotive components, which in turn helps reduce fuel consumption, the demand for acrylonitrile butadiene styrene is very high from the automotive industry. Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) is used in headliners, bumpers, panels, interior grills, handles, center consoles, and trims.
ABS has applications in appliances and electrical and electronic products, thus fueling their demand. It has gained popularity over the past few years owing to its high impact strength, low density, and insulation, thus driving the market.
Environmental Concerns to Dampen Demand for Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene
ABS comprises butadiene, styrene, and acrylonitrile, all of which are hazardous to human health and the environment. The processing of ABS leads to the emission of acrylonitrile and styrene into the atmosphere and long-term human exposure can have substantial health hazards. This is expected to hinder the use of ABS.
Another factor challenging the ABS market is the competition from other thermoplastics such as PP, PS, and PU. Of these, the biggest threat to ABS is polypropylene (PP). PP has excellent physical and chemical properties and unlike ABS, it does not get damaged on exposure to sunlight. Moreover, PP does not have environmentally hazardous monomers like styrene and acrylonitrile, thus making them a safer option.
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Growing Demand from Emerging Countries to Act as Opportunity
The introduction of high-tech appliances with superior appearance has led to a growing demand for them from the upper middle class society in the emerging nations such as China, Brazil, and India. As such, the demand for acrylonitrile butadiene styrene is also expected to rise. The scope for ABS is high in these areas owing to the presence of many production units and low per capita consumption.
This information is based on the findings of a report published by Transparency Market Research titled “Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2012 - 2018.”
The global acrylonitrile butadiene styrene market is segmented as follows:
- Electrical and Electronics
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