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Global BPA Market to Reach 8.4 Mn Metric Tons by 2018: GIA

Published on 2013-08-20. Author : SpecialChem

GIA announces the release of a comprehensive global report on Bisphenol A markets. Global market for Bisphenol A is forecast to reach 8.4 million metric tons by 2018, buoyed by the robust demand for polycarbonates and epoxy resins, particularly from China and other emerging economies.

Bisphenol A (BPA), an organic chemical, has been in widespread use since the 1960s for the manufacture of polycarbonates and epoxy resins. Due to the ubiquity of downstream applications, BPA is ranked among the top industrial chemicals with the highest production volumes in the world. With the fall of the key end-use sectors during the economic recession, the end-use market for polycarbonates and epoxy resins declined significantly, thereby resulting in a loss-making scenario for Bisphenol A and phenol producers across the world. Declining BPA prices and over capacity further compounded the woes of manufacturers. However, the market quickly bounced back in sync with the recovery of the global economy.

Strong global appetite for BPA-based Polycarbonate Plastics and epoxy resins, continues to spur growth in the global market. BPA in turn remains a major driver for the growth of the upstream phenol and acetone markets, with emerging economies such as China at the helm of this growing demand. Demand trends in BPA and Methyl Methyacrylate (MMA) markets, the biggest end-use segments of acetone, are playing a stronger role in determining acetone and phenol production volumes, given that the global acetone sector is headed towards surplus production.

Asia-Pacific represents the largest and the fastest growing region for Bisphenol A, as stated by the new research report. The Chinese market is expected to witness a spate of new plant installations and capacity expansions for BPA and feedstock phenol and acetone in the near term, in line with the robust demand for polycarbonates and epoxy resins in the domestic market and key export markets in South East Asia. Demand and supply scenario across the world for Bisphenol A remains out-of-balance with the majority of the BPA production facilities concentrated in developed countries, even as the bulk of the demand is being generated by emerging economies, such as China, Brazil, and India. However, with western markets forecast to grow rather slowly, manufacturers are looking towards emerging markets for business growth.

In terms of the end-use markets, Bisphenol A is becoming increasingly mired in controversies in the food and beverage sector, with a growing body of research linking the industrial chemical to cancer and other adverse health conditions. France and China recently joined the ranks of Canada in banning the use of BPA-based materials in infant feeding bottles, citing growing public concerns over the potential side effects of low-dose BPA exposure, including kidney and heart disease, and complications in the reproductive system. Despite the lack of scientific validation, more governments are under pressure from negative media reports, protests by environmental activists, and public concern, to gradually phase-out the use of Bisphenol A. The issue is becoming more complex with more national and state governments across the world gearing up to ban all food and beverage packaging applications of BPA, including the use of the epoxy resin as a hardener for plastics, and lining for canned foods and beverages, water bottles, and compact discs.

Besides impacting the food and beverage industry, the BPA ban poses a major challenge for farmers, exporters, and packaging manufacturers. US companies exporting canned food products to France are expected to be among the first casualties, with the French ban choking shipments of several packaged and canned food products that continue to make use of BPA-based packaging. Manufacturers are presently developing other alternatives to BPA. An increasing number of plastic bottle producers, baby gear producers and container companies are currently manufacturing 100% BPA-free plastic bottles. A similar trend is already visible in the healthcare sector through the gradual eradication of medical device casings, tubings, and packaging, as well as dental sealants made from BPA.

Key players covered in the report include Bayer AG, Chang Chun Plastics Co. Ltd, Kumho P&B Chemicals Inc., LG Chem Ltd, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, Mitsui Chemicals Inc., Momentive Specialty Chemicals Inc., Nan Ya Plastics Corporation, SABIC, and The Dow Chemical Company.

About Global Industry Analysts, Inc. (GIA)

Global Industry Analysts, Inc. (GIA) is a reputed publisher of off-the-shelf market research. Recognized as one of the most consistently accurate forecasting company in the world, GIA currently serves more than 8,500 companies from 36 countries worldwide. The company was founded in 1987, initially recognized globally as a research boutique specializing in the medical industry. Over the past 25 years, the company expanded its coverage and now publishes extensively upon more than 180 major industries.

Source: Global Industry Analysts, Inc.

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