European automotive composites market to reach USD4.1 bln by 2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Future of the European automotive composites market looks good with growth opportunities in various applications exterior, interior, power train system, chassis system, under body system, and others, said Lucintel.

The European automotive composites market is expected to reach an estimated USD4.1 bln by 2021 and it is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 5.8% from 2016 to 2021. The major drivers of growth for this market are increasing automotive production and increasing demand for lightweight materials to achieve higher fuel efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. European Union has set new standards requiring passenger cars need to meet a CO2 emissions target of 95 g/km (equivalent to 57.9 mpg) by 2021, and for light commercial vehicles it is 147 g/km (equivalent to 43.3 mpg) by 2020. The European commission proposal to improve European fuel economy standards serves as a major stimulus to incorporate lightweight materials including composites.

In this market, sheet molding compound (SMC), bulk molding compound (BMC), glass mat thermoplastic (GMT), short fiber thermoplastic (SFT), long fiber thermoplastic (LFT), continuous fiber thermoplastic (CFT), phenolic composites, polyurethane (PU) composites, natural fiber composites, and other composites are the major material segments. On the basis of its comprehensive research, Lucintel forecasts that natural fiber composites are expected to show highest growth; however, SFT composites are expected to remain the largest market during the forecast period of 2016 to 2021. Within the European automotive composites market, polypropylene (PP) composites, polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) composites, polyamide (PA) composites, vinyl ester composites, polyester composites, phenolic composites, and others are the major resin type segments. PP composites are expected to remain the largest market by value and volume consumption. High resistance to abrasion, low friction characteristics, electrical resistance, heat resistance, and good chemical resistance are the properties which drive the demand for PA composites in automotive.

By fiber composites, glass fiber composites market is expected to remain the largest fiber segment; the carbon fiber composites market is expected to witness highest growth over the forecast period. Increasing penetration of carbon composites in sports, luxury and electrical vehicles are the major drivers for usage in automotive market.

By application type, the power train system market is expected to remain the largest market by value and volume consumption. Pressure for fuel economy and reduction in emissions are the major drivers for usage of composites in power train systems.

By country, German automotive composites were the major market for Europe due to the highest rate of automotive production. For business expansion, Lucintel’s report suggests innovation and new product development to produce hybrid and higher performance thermoplastic composites. The report further suggests the development of partnerships with customers to create win-win situations and development of low-cost solutions for customers.
Emerging trends, which have a direct impact on the dynamics of the industry, include increasing penetration of thermoplastic and carbon composites. Another emerging trend is the formation of strategic alliances between OEMs and carbon fiber and resin suppliers in the automotive industry. Plastic omnium, Polytec, BASF, DSM, Polynt, Lanxess and Hanwha are among the major suppliers of composites in the European automotive market.


Lukoil appoints new VP for sales and supplies

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Russia's second biggest oil producer Lukoil has appointed a new vice-president for sales and supplies after state-owned rival Rosneft clinched several major deals at its expense, three sources told Reuters.

Valery Subbotin, Lukoil's vice-president for oil sales and supplies, ended his 18-year tenure at the company last week and has been replaced by Vadim Vorobyov, previously Lukoil's vice-president for oil refining, gas processing and petrochemicals, according to the sources familiar with the matter.

Subbotin, who holds a 0.0152% stake in the company, will take a senior management position at Lukoil's trading arm Litasco, the sources said.

Lukoil's press office declined to comment and Subbotin did not respond to Reuters requests for comment. Lukoil is Russia's biggest private oil firm and its second-largest oil producer behind Rosneft. The two companies have repeatedly clashed over assets.

Rosneft, headed by Igor Sechin, an ally of President Vladimir Putin, has clinched several big deals in the last two months, including the purchase of a controlling stake in mid-sized oil company Bashneft and a stake in India's biggest refiner Essar.

It also sold a 19.5% government stake in itself to Qatar's sovereign wealth fund and commodities trader Glencore for 10.5 billion euros.

One of the sources said Subbotin's role change was a result of Lukoil losing the battle for the stake in Bashneft. "Lukoil closely cooperated with Bashneft, (and it) really wanted to buy it, but Rosneft appeared to get in the way, and after the closing of the deal started to change the oil trading scheme," said a trader on the Russian oil market.

Since acquiring control of Bashneft, Rosneft has moved to cancel contracts between Bashneft and Lukoil and it stopped buying oil from Lukoil destined for Bashneft's refineries in the republic of Bashkortostan. Rosneft spokesman Mikhail Leontyev told TV station "Rain" (Dozhd) on Oct. 12 that Rosneft had a raft of questions for Bashneft, including about its oil sales with Lukoil.

Rosneft told Reuters that any decisions about Bashneft assets would be made on economic grounds. "The company currently has a contract in force. Its parameters may be changed -- Rosneft, proceeding from its business plan, will set out the most efficient supply routes for these products," it said.

Lukoil used to supply about 700,000-800,000 t of oil per month to the Russian domestic market.

As MRC informed before, Lukoil is set to drill deep for unconventional gas in Saudi Arabia's challenging "Empty Quarter" desert region early next year after a decade-long hunt for conventional deposits that has proved futile. Lukoil Overseas official said the joint venture will drill the first well in the first quarter of 2015 and the second during the last six months.

Lukoil is one of the world's biggest vertically integrated companies for production of crude oil & gas, and their refining into petroleum products and petrochemicals. The company is a leader on Russian and international markets in its core business, which accounts for over 20% of Russian oil production and 18% of the total Russian oil refining. Lukoil also controls two of the largest petrochemical plants in Russia and Ukraine: Stavrolen and Karpatneftekhim.


Global flexible protective packaging market to register CAGR of over 6% un

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The global flexible protective packaging market is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 6% from 2016 to 2020, according to Technavio.

By product type, this market is segmented into air pillow, bubble wrap, and other types of flexible protective packaging products. One of the most important drivers of this market is that it is suitable for goods with unusual shapes. Large objects, fragile porcelain products, and any other objects that cannot be packed in regularly shaped containers can be packed in flexible protective packaging products like expandable polystyrene beads. Other important drivers of this market are the increased use of these products in the e-commerce industry and their applications in product protection during long transits.

The top three revenue generating geographical segments in the global flexible protective packaging market are:
"The European flexible protective packaging segment occupies the largest share of the global market, being valued at USD 1.65 billion in 2015. This number is expected to grow during the forecast period with a rising demand from consumer services and personal care sector. The healthy growth in the manufacturing of durable goods such as appliances, motor vehicle parts, and industrial machinery and others is creating additional demand, which is driving the market forward," says Sharan Raj, one of the lead research analysts at Technavio for packaging research.
Online retail has the highest requirements for flexible protective packaging products. With an increasing variety of products being shipped, there is an increasing demand for new innovative varieties of products from the flexible protective packaging industry. The UK, France and Germany together account for over 60% of the European online retail market, making them the largest contributors to the flexible protective packaging market.

North America: increased preference for packaged food driving the market - Changing consumer needs and an increased demand for sustainable packaging materials boost the market growth in the region. Changing lifestyles of people is leading to increased adoption of fast and convenience foods in this region. The strict regulations in the region to reduce packaging waste is directly creating an increased demand for flexible protective packaging products. High disposable income among consumers in the region will ensure continued market growth. Retail ecommerce, which is expected to increase by 14.4% in 2016, will drive the demand for flexible protective packaging in the region. The air pillows segment is forecast to grow significantly due to constant increase in Internet shopping and end-user preference for the product.

APAC: fastest growing flexible protective packaging market segment -"APAC is the market with the highest potential for flexible protective packaging and forecast to post the highest growth with a CAGR of almost 9% through 2020. Demographic trends such as population growth and rapid urbanization, economic factors such as industrialization, growth in the manufacturing sector, and increase in international trade will be the major market drivers," says Sharan.
Southeast Asia is on its way to become one of the world's fastest-growing markets for e-commerce. Air pillows are most commonly used in e-commerce packaging and are projected to be the fastest-growing product segment in this region. In response to the growing market in APAC, vendors are undertaking expansion projects in the region. For instance, Storopack, a leading provider of flexible protective packaging products, has established a new facility in Pune, India, to establish an early foothold in the developing market space.

The top vendors in the global flexible protective packaging market highlighted in the report are DynaCorp, Pregis Corporation, Sealed Air, Smurfit Kappa, Storopack.

Plastics to drive global medical implants sterile packaging market until 2016

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The global medical implants sterile packaging market is anticipated to be valued at USD1,427.8 mln by the end of 2016 and this is estimated to increase to USD2,436.4 mln by the end of 2024, registering a CAGR of 6.5% in terms of value during the forecast period (2016 – 2024), as per Persistence Market Research.

Orthopedic implants (including spinal implants, reconstructive joint implants, and extremity braces & support) is expected to gain a significant market share owing to a large global baby boomer population prone to orthopedic ailments.

On the basis of product type the global medical implants sterile packaging market has been segmented into pouches & bags, blister, clamshell, tubes, vials, and others. On the basis of material, the global medical implants sterile packaging market has been segmented into plastic, foils, paper, and others. On the basis of application, the global medical implants sterile packaging market has been segmented into spinal implants, extremity braces & support, dental implants, cardiovascular implants, reconstructive joint implants, and other implants. On the basis of region, the global medical implants sterile packaging market has been segmented into the five key regions of North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa.

The pouches & bags product type is likely to emerge the dominant segment throughout the forecast period due to its wide application in multiple pharma industries. The pouches & bags product type segment is estimated to create a large market share of 53.1% in 2016 and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 6.9% from 2016 to 2024 in terms of value. The clamshell product type segment is anticipated to witness high Y-o-Y growth rates ranging from 5.8% to 7.2% over 2016–2024 and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 7.6% in terms of value over the forecast period. The foils material type segment is expected to create a significant CAGR of 7.3% in terms of value over the forecast period. The paper material type segment is projected to grow at lower Y-o-Y rates ranging from 5.6 - 5.7% over 2016–2024. The dental implants application segment is estimated to account for 13.7% market share by 2016 end and is anticipated to remain stagnant at 13.8% during the forecast period. The cardiovascular implants segment is projected to grow at a CAGR of 7% in terms of value during 2016–2024.

Among regions, Asia Pacific is anticipated to be the key region driving overall demand for medical implants sterile packaging owing to the increasing usage of packaging and growing consumer spending power in the region. Mature markets such as North America and Europe are expected to witness uneven growth while Latin America and MEA are expected to register sluggish growth throughout the forecast period. Europe is anticipated to witness higher Y-o-Y growth rates ranging from 5.9% to 6.2% over 2016–2024, and is estimated to record 7.3% CAGR in terms of value over the forecast period. A growing demand in medical packaging and increasing usage of hygiene packaging among multiple end users is anticipated to drive advances in the industry. Medical implants sterile packaging is one of the emerging packaging solutions, widely used for pharma packaging, and is driven by factors such as increasing implant surgeries, innovative medical equipment and implants, increasing chronic degenerative diseases, and changing lifestyle of people.

ES FiberVisions expands globally

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ES FiberVisions (ESFV), a joint venture between FiberVisions LLC, a subsidiary of Thailand's Indorama Ventures PCL, and Japan's JNC Corporation has held an opening ceremony to celebrate the completion of its newest plant in Rayong, Thailand, as per RYT9.

This state-of-the-art facility was constructed adjacent to Thailand's largest fiber facility to expand ESFV's global production capacity and produce the highest quality bicomponent fiber in a hygienic environment. The plant has 14,000 tons of capacity per year and was designed to allow for future expansion as ESFV continues to invest globally to meet the needs of its customers.

The ES FiberVisions joint venture is the world's largest producer of polyolefin bicomponent fibers and has production facilities in China, Denmark, Japan, Thailand and the United States.

Over 100 government representatives, customers, suppliers and contractors attended the opening ceremony. It was hosted by Mr. Aloke Lohia, Group CEO of Indorama Ventures, Dr. Yasuyuki Gotoh, CEO and President of JNC, Mr. Yozo Shimomura, Chairman of ESFV and Managing Executive Officer of JNC and Mr. Tom Zaiser, CEO of FiberVisions.

Mr. Lohia noted that this plant reflects the partners' strong commitment to growth worldwide and "will allow ES FiberVisions to continue delivering the differentiated bicomponent fibers that our customers need in order to be successful in their businesses."

Mr. Gotoh commented, "At this Thai factory, a key center for supply to the Southeast Asian region, we have introduced global cutting-edge technology. We believe that the state-of-the-art ES fiber produced here will not only contribute to the development of the Thai economy but also help all the citizens of countries in the ASEAN region lead more comfortable lives."

The partners also announced that they would be expanding bicomponent manufacturing at the FiberVisions facility in Covington, Georgia, USA. The expanded capacity is expected to be on-line at the end of 2017. This initiative will support the growing need for bicomponent fibers in the hygiene and industrial sectors in the Americas.

Growth in Asia is being further supported with a previously announced expansion of the ES FiberVisions Suzhou Co., Ltd. plant in Jiangsu Province, China. This facility started production in 2014. The expansion will double its capacity to over 28,000 tons per year and is expected to be completed in the summer of 2018. A ground-breaking ceremony for a new warehouse and ancillary facilities was held in mid-December.

Mr. Shimomura stated, "With this investment in Suzhou, we will accelerate our growth in China and Asia and will secure the capacity that meets the strong demand for our high quality bicomponent fibers. As a pioneer of bicomponent fiber, ES FiberVisions continues to be the leading supplier in the world."

We remind that, as MRC informed before, in early 2016, BP PLC sold its petrochemical complex in Decatur, Alabama, to Indorama Ventures Public Co. Ltd. (IVL.TH), for an undisclosed sum, as part BP's plan to restructure its global petrochemicals business. The Decatur complex makes chemicals essential for the production of thousands of items, from plastic water bottles to flat-screen televisions. Located on 1,000 acres in Northern Alabama, the complex can produce one million tons per year of PTA, as well as paraxylene (PX), a raw material for PTA production. The site also is the world’s only commercial manufacturer of naphthalene dicarboxylate (NDC), a specialty chemical used in new-generation polyesters and resins used to make LCD flat-panel displays, ultra-thin data storage tape and other products.