Synthetic latex polymers are essential components of many consumer and industrial products. These aqueous dispersions function as binders but also bring many functional properties to end products. Their broad application portfolio—ranging from paints, adhesives, and construction to tires and leather and many more—makes forecasting the market for them complex.
The synthetic latex polymers market, as studied by Kline for close to 50 years, broadly depends on a combination of industrial output trends and consumer market trends in each country or region. More specifically, their markets in individual applications depend on end-use industry factors.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused disruptions in industrial activities and consumer markets in many countries globally. As the virus continues to spread, governments worldwide have imposed quarantine and travel restrictions to curb it. This comes at a high cost to the economy as many workplaces remain closed, factories do not run, and the supply chain is still blocked. It is also inadvertently causing disruptions in the demand trend of synthetic latex polymers worldwide.
Global Synthetic Latex Polymer Consumption by End Use, 2019
The impact of the pandemic varies across the different application segments of synthetic latex polymers. Even though paints, adhesives, and construction together make up close to two-thirds of global consumption, there are around 18 sizeable application markets overall for synthetic latex polymers, and the impact on each of them is different.
The construction industry is expected to be badly hit by the pandemic; when it recovers, public sector construction activities are likely to improve more than the private sector in most countries. Paints and coatings will be negatively affected by the pandemic as new construction halts and consumers are less keen to redecorate. The adhesives market will also be affected; however, the packaging sector may be able to offset some impact due to packaged deliveries for increasing online orders.
Some application markets which were originally suffering will take a deeper hit because of the pandemic. As newsprint and magazines halt their print and distribution temporarily, the paper industry, for example, will not only be heavily damaged but will also be slow to recover due to increased competition from digital media. Carpet, leather, and molded foam markets will also suffer to a greater extent, as these commodities are non-essential or luxury in nature, and purchases may be delayed for long periods.
Amid a decline in most industries, some synthetic latex polymers markets will witness a surge. The gloves market is witnessing a huge rate of increase in demand, and supply is falling short. Meanwhile, disposable nonwovens, notably wipes, are experiencing considerable growth as the importance of hygiene and cleanliness increases.
Some other application sectors that follow the trend of economic activities of the country or regional market, such as tires, glass fibers, polishes and waxes, and printing inks, are likely to be negatively impacted and will recover as economies rebound.
As different countries go through different levels of impact and recovery from the pandemic, the global market will absorb the worst impact in 2020. The year 2021 is likely to see a recovery from the healthcare crisis, but economies may take longer to recover. Globally, the consumption of synthetic latex polymers is likely to witness a significantly slower growth than originally estimated for the five-year period between 2019 and 2024. The best-case scenario will still be below the original forecast as the COVID-19 crisis changes the world economic curve.
Global Synthetic Latex Polymer Consumption Forecast, 2019-2024
As the synthetic latex polymers market is highly dependent on local and regional dynamics, it is important to study each of the major regional markets through consumption trends in different application markets. Kline’s report on Synthetic Latex Polymers: Impact of COVID-19 on the Global Market provides an insight into market forecasts in different scenarios.
Shilpi Mehrotra is a project manager for Kline’s Synthetic Polymers Market research series. Request more info.
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