Accounting for around 7.5% of the global market share, Southeast Asia is the fourth largest consumer of synthetic latex polymers globally, according to Southeast Asia report from Kline’s continuous program Synthetic Latex Polymers: Global Business Analysis and Opportunities. A robust economic growth, low industry regulations, and stability in raw material prices appeal to multinational corporations and domestic suppliers, increasing the market rivalry in the region.
Southeast Asia is the global production hub for nitrile gloves, and this makes the glove dipping industry the largest consumer of synthetic latex polymers in the region, as opposed to most other regional markets where paints and coatings is the most consuming application. The rising construction sector is the second most important contributor to the market’s growth, which further drives the demand for adhesives and sealants and paints and coating in terms of both volume and value. In product terms, AB-nitrile dominates the market due to its high usage in glove dipping applications, followed by styrene acrylics, which satisfies the need for cost-effective materials of the price-sensitive Southeast Asian market.
Growth in manufacturing sectors, such as glove dipping, paints and coatings, and adhesives and sealants, generates favorable market conditions for suppliers, with Malaysia and Vietnam to exhibit the highest demand growth.
The competitive landscape in the region is fragmented with the top 10 suppliers accounting for almost 60% of the total market share. The supplier base comprises three tiers of companies, including global multinational corporations, such as Synthomer, Dow Chemical, and BASF, domestic companies with regional focus, such as Eternal Buana Chemical Industries, Dovechem, Thai Mitsui Specialty Chemicals, and Bangkok Synthetics, and domestic companies with a country-specific focus, including ChuanPlus Industries, Inawan Chemtex, and Siam Chemical. Synthomer is the leading supplier in Southeast Asia due to its strong presence in AB-nitrile latex, followed by Kumho Petrochemical and BASF in volume terms.
According to a five-year forecast, the strong GDP growth in Southeast Asia supported by the rise in manufacturing industries will be the major market driver.
Glove dipping is expected to be the fastest growing end-use application driven by the growing global as well as domestic demand for synthetic latex gloves, especially in the medical segment. As a result, the major latex polymer used in this application, AB-nitrile, will be the fastest growing product in the region.
In contrast, the paper industry will pose a slight decline mainly due to increasing cheaper imports of paper from China. This will negatively impact growth of X-SB polymer, which is expected to be one among the slowest growing latex polymers in the region.
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