Synthetic Latex Polymers – A USD 30 Billion+ Market that’s Building Globally, Sees Kline

ARSIPPANY, NJ, SEPTEMBER 30, 2013 –Consisting of a 10 million dry tonne, USD 30 billion+ market, the global synthetic latex polymers (SLP) market is a sizeable one. Although the North America and European markets remain the largest consumers of synthetic latex polymers, claiming some 56% of global volume, strong shifts are being seen in markets as diverse as China, India, and the Middle East according to recent findings within the Synthetic Latex Polymers Global Series: Business Analysis and Opportunities report by international market research and management consulting firm Kline & Company.

Nikola Matic, Kline’s Chemicals & Materials Practice industry manager, notes, “With growth notably outpacing mature markets, China now claims a quarter of global SLP consumption, but it’s the comparatively smaller markets of India and the Middle East that are gaining significantly greater importance and rank among the fastest growing.” While global SLP consumption is expected to grow 2.3% through to 2017 - with both the United States and Europe anticipated see growth of less than 2% - China, India, and the Middle East are forecast to comfortably exceed this average by growing 7.1%, 12.4%, and 5.4%, respectively.

Although buffeted by the sluggish economies of North America and Europe, China’s domestic reorientation, increasing standards of living, and infrastructure investment has seen it consume 2.4 million dry tonnes of synthetic latex polymers, with an estimated value of USD 7.2 billion. With an increasing level of competition and subsequent decreasing profit margin for the majority of synthetic latex polymers, acquisitions with a view to drive economies of scale have been a notable market trend within the Chinese market.

India’s SLP market is particularly notable for the strength of its domestic manufacturers. The leading five suppliers of synthetic latex polymers in India claim over 60% market share, with the top three players in the market being Indian, competing with significant success against large multinational companies, such as Dow Chemical, BASF, and Wacker.

While China and India certainly afford impressive potential, it is the Middle East that is becoming a particular area of interest for a growing number of notably European suppliers given the region’s proximity. As elaborated within Kline’s Synthetic Latex Polymers: Middle East Market Analysis and Opportunities, the Middle East represents a singular region both in terms of consumption and supply of SLP. SLP consumption differs here in comparison to many regions, with, as an example, the consumption of styrene butadiene latex being exceptionally low given the near non-existent paper industry within the region. Another Middle Eastern regional singularity can be sourced to the large share of building construction and its related applications (notably paints and coatings, and adhesives and sealants). After the construction boom of the last decade, and its large slow-down after the global crisis, the industry (notably in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia) is recovering and stimulating the growth of SLP consumption.

Claiming a total of 87% of the region’s demand, Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, are the major markets within the Middle East. The supplier landscape is also noteworthy within the Middle East, with a mix of strong local companies competing with multi-national concerns. Despite the threat of geopolitical volatility within this region possibly crimping growth potential, SLP consumption is still expected to see a far above-average growth rate of 5.4% growth until 2017 with acrylics and VA copolymers being the fastest growing products, and the paints and coatings application sector is expected to enjoy growth of 7.7%.

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