Global elastomers market worth USD34.73 billion in 2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The new Analysis of the Global Elastomers Market from Frost & Sullivan finds that the total market was worth USD 21.52 billion in 2014 and is expected to grow to USD 34.73 billion in 2021, as per GV.

Compared to synthetic elastomers (SE), the thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) segment is expected to grow faster. According to the report, the TPE segment is currently the driver for technological advancements. Its primary focus is on improving processing attributes and enhancing design flexibility, while the product’s inherent advantage of high recyclable content makes it the material of choice for sustainable solutions. As TPE enables a wide range of applications, it is rapidly attracting business from a diverse range of end-user markets, especially the fast-growing consumer electronics market, says Frost & Sullivan.

Despite the vibrancy of the market, it is facing competition from alternative materials such as PVC and speciality plastics. The market can take heart from OEMs’ evident desire to replace these materials in several applications. This has opened up the market to elastomers vendors that are able to substitute PVC and metals with competing plastic compounds as well as reinforced and composite materials.

The global market for elastomers is expected to thrive even with the saturation of the manufacturing bases in North America and Western Europe, as the burgeoning of end industries in Asia-Pacific and Rest of the World has restored balance to the market. Still, factors such as the declining demand of solid wire and cable in external insulation and the high cost of switching to TPE can dampen the growth of the elastomers market.

Another serious concern for the market is a possible raw material shortage. However, participants can stave off this challenge through vertical integration. Consolidations with regional participants with specialised product capabilities will also allow larger companies to boost their market share and regional visibility. Partnership agreements involving compound/component manufacturers and OEMs will become more prevalent for specific application segments, says Frost & Sullivan.

We remind that, as MRC wrote before, in June 2015, Huntsman Corporation completed the acquisition of Tecnoelastomeri, a manufacturer and marketer of methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) based hot-cast elastomer systems and processing machines, based in Modena, Italy. Hot-cast polyurethanes are used in many downstream applications, including bumper pads, coated conveyor belts, gears, rollers and wheels. These applications are used in the automotive, rail, oil and gas, mining and steel industries among others. Huntsman has supplied MDI for these applications for many years.

BASF again listed in Dow Jones Sustainability Index

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF was again included in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI World), said the company on its site.

The company has been especially recognized for its engagement in the areas of innovation management, environmental and social reporting, product stewardship and human capital development. The DJSI World is one of the most renowned sustainability indices and represents the top 10 percent of the largest 2,500 companies included in the Dow Jones Global Index.

The BASF share has been included in the DJSI World for the 15th consecutive year. The listed companies have to demonstrate continuous improvement every year with regard to sustainability and are assessed by analysts from asset manager RobecoSAM.

As MRC informed earlier, at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, Kurt Bock, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE, Klaus Schafer, Member of the Board of Management, E.ON SE, Pierre Chareyre, Executive vice-president of ENGIE, Rainer Seele, Chairman of the Executive Board of OMV and Ben van Beurden, Chief Executive Officer of Royal Dutch Shell signed a Shareholders’ Agreement on implementation of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project to enhance supply of natural gas to the European Union’s market.

BASF is the leading chemical company. It produces a wide range of chemicals, for example solvents, amines, resins, glues, electronic-grade chemicals, industrial gases, basic petrochemicals and inorganic chemicals. The most important customers for this segment are the pharmaceutical, construction, textile and automotive industries.

Lubrizol launches new, fast, high-heat solution for hot melt adhesives

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Lubrizol Advanced Materials has presented a new, fast, high heat TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) material for hot melt adhesives (HMAs), said the producer.

Lubrizol has developed a new thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) for high performing HMAs used in diverse markets like footwear, automotive, filtration, apparel interlinings, textiles, sports goods and packaging.

Until recently, materials used in these applications were limited to copolyamides and copolyesters to achieve a good initial adhesion in a few seconds and high-heat resistant performance. Thanks to Lubrizol's industry-leading formulation technology, a new material with elastomeric features has been launched that outperforms traditional materials based on its polyurethane chemistry. This new, fast, high-heat material adds improved impact resistance, adherence (higher polarity) and vibration absorption vs. competitive materials.

"This new, unique TPU solution provides a higher life cycle expectation due to its toughness at lower temperature cycles and its lower glass transition," states Gonzalo Lowenberg, global R&D manager for adhesives applications & technical service, Estane Engineered Polymers. "Now, thanks to the solution formulated by Lubrizol, there is a revolutionary new crystalline TPU chemistry that has broken the barriers of the traditional TPU adhesive market."

As MRC informed previously, in 2013, Lubrizol, an innovative specialty chemical company, announced a four-year, USD400 million global expansion of its chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) resin and compounding manufacturing sites. With continued strong global demand for the company's CPVC compounds, Lubrizol's expansion efforts will be divided into two phases.

The Lubrizol Corporation, a Berkshire Hathaway company, is an innovative specialty chemical company that apart from its production develops and supplies technologies to customers in the global transportation, industrial and consumer markets. Lubrizol"s advanced polymer technology delivers exceptional performance for the plumbing, fire sprinkler, industrial and other building and construction related applications. Lubrizol is providing innovative solutions for its customers" high-performance application needs and remains committed to ongoing investment in its CPVC capabilities that support future growth.

AkzoNobel tops Dow Jones sustainability index

MOSCOW (MRC) -- AkzoNobel has been ranked number one on the influential Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) for the fourth consecutive year, said the company in its press release.

The latest listing, published today, places the company first out of more than 350 companies in the Materials industry group. As well as underlining AkzoNobel’s commitment to continuous improvement, the ranking also highlights how the DJSI can play a key role in driving innovation that benefits customers and the whole value chain.

"This result reinforces our belief that sustainability should sit at the heart of our business strategy," said CEO Ton Buchner. "The DJSI is an extremely effective strategic tool for managing sustainability and business performance, and today’s ranking reflects the importance we attach to working closely with customers in order to develop more sustainable solutions."

The company has now been placed in the top three for ten years in a row and aims to generate 20 percent of its revenue from sustainable solutions by 2020. The DJSI will play an important role in achieving this, as it gives added momentum to AkzoNobel’s Planet Possible sustainability strategy.

The benefits of working closely with customers are typified by the company’s cooperation with passenger ferry operator Balearia, which involves supplying sustainable coatings from AkzoNobel’s Intersleek range that prevent marine organisms from sticking to a ship’s hull – helping them to travel more smoothly, use less fuel and produce less emissions.

"We wanted to use this new technology due to its fuel-saving potential and the positive environmental impact of using biocide-free technology on our passenger vessels in the Mediterranean Sea," explained managing fleet director Guillermo Alomar. "The performance improvement was immediately apparent and analysis of the first year of sailing data confirms a significant fuel saving of over 12 percent."

Widely regarded as the most respected independent sustainability ranking system, the DJSI World Index benchmarks the sustainability performance of leading companies based on environmental, social and economic performance, including forward-looking indicators.

It assesses various criteria, including supply chain management, operational eco-efficiency, product stewardship, human capital development and occupational health and safety.

As MRC informed earlier, AkzoNobel’s Specialty Chemicals business recently broke ground on a new alkoxylation facility in Ningbo, China, bringing the company’s total investment in the strategic multi-site to more than EUR400 million.

AkzoNobel Surface Chemistry is a global leader in the manufacturing and supply of specialty surfactants, synthetic and bio-polymer additives and specialty polymers. AkzoNobel currently employs more than 7,400 people in China. Revenues in China totaled EUR1.7 billion in 2014.

Germany boosts chemical sales as US buys more

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The moderate growth course of the chemical-pharmaceutical industry in Germany continued in the second quarter of 2015, according to the latest quarterly report by the German chemical industry association Verband der Chemischen Industrie (VCI), reported Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Thanks to the strong pharma business, chemical production rose once more against the previous quarter, while the prices for chemicals stabilized.

Total chemical industry sales went up because of foreign business. In particular, trading with overseas customers developed positively, led by vigorous growth in sales to the US. Meanwhile, exports benefited from the favorable rate of the euro to the US dollar.

Sales also expanded in Europe, the industry’s major export market.

"At present, the upward trend mainly relies on pharmaceuticals," said VCI president Marijn Dekkers. "In the overall picture, we are expecting slight growth for the second half of 2015. The weak euro benefits exports, and low oil prices positively impact the chemical business too. But at the same time, the economic situation is becoming less dynamic in China -- the largest chemical market worldwide."

For the year 2015 as a whole, the VCI maintains its forecast of a 1.5% increase in chemical production. Chemical prices are anticipated to drop by 2.5%; chemical industry sales should rise by 1% to 192.7 billion euros.

From April to June 2015, chemical production in Germany rose by 1.6% against the previous quarter. An increase by 3.4% was achieved in comparison with the second quarter of 2014. In the period under review, capacity utilization in the industry was 83.5%.

After a drop at the beginning of the present year, chemical industry sales improved once again from April to June 2015. They went up by 0.4% against the previous quarter and by 2.3% against the previous year. This positive development was driven by strong foreign business.

We remind that, as MRC reported earlier, BASF is significantly expanding its production capacity for about 20 specialty amines at its Verbund site in Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF says it will invest a double-digit million euro amount in expanding current production facilities, which are planned to go on stream gradually by early 2017. The specialty amines are especially used for the manufacturing of coatings, lubricants, crop protection products and pharmaceuticals.