The worldwide market for Epoxy Resins is slated to reach 3.03 million tons by the year 2017. Growing use of epoxy resins in niche and relatively untapped end-use applications such as marine and maintenance coatings, bonding applications, decorative powder coatings, electrical laminates and flooring and paving are expected to generate substantial growth in the market. Additionally, heightened R&D efforts towards enhancing epoxy resin reactivity, coating performance and flexibility and development of innovative products for specific industry needs will boost prospects in the medium- to long-term.
Epoxy resins are one of the most widely used and versatile compounds in the polyester or orthophthalic resins family. The resins form a highly versatile family of thermosetting resins known for their superior electrical and mechanical properties, excellent resistance against higher temperatures, dimensional stability, large number of chemicals and their strong adhesion to a wide range of materials like fibers, glass and metal. Primary growth areas for epoxy resins include traditional packaging and coatings sectors, particularly powdered coatings and waterborne coatings industries.
Demand for epoxy resins is immense with epoxy/polyester hybrids exhibiting strong gains due to their low cost and solid performance in both interior and exterior applications. Coatings remain one of the major application areas for epoxy resins, contributing a substantial share in the total volume sales registered for the global market. High-performance industrial coatings in particular prove to be the major end use segment for epoxy resins, driving huge gains into the market.
Epoxy resins market is currently upbeat about the increased research and development activity, expected to generate substantial opportunities for the market over a period of time. Most of the R&D work has been dedicated towards designing and manufacturing new epoxy resins, diluents, as well as curing agents that enable formulation of low or zero VOC (volatile organic compound) systems, which in turn will drive the market focus away from conventional low-solid formulations to environment friendly systems like powder coatings and waterborne coatings.
The stringent VOC emission standards drafted in the Clean Air Act, has encouraged the industrial coatings sector to continue its shift away from conventional solventborne liquid coatings to environmental friendly powder coatings, water-based coatings, radiation cured, and electro deposition coatings, which will generate substantial opportunities for epoxy resins in the short- to medium-term period. The escalating demand from end use segments such as marine and maintenance coatings in Asia is likely to prop up demand and drive growth in the epoxy resin market.
Highly correlated to national GDP growth, the market is susceptible to economic downturns, particularly in automotives, housing and construction industries. Factors such as higher oil prices, feedstock costs, propylene and chlorine prices pressurize epoxy producers to increase prices. Such market fundamentals play a dominant role in regulating the overall market. Though demand for epoxy resins in construction, electrical and electronics, composites, and automotive sectors was adversely affected due to the impact of economic recession, steady inflow of orders from energy and aerospace industries, however provided some respite to the otherwise depressed epoxy resins market in 2008-09. The wind energy sector especially presented strong market opportunities for epoxy resins over the last few years, thereby helping the market sustain momentum during the recession. While demand for epoxy resins in developed nations such as the United States, Europe and Japan was hit hard, the market in developing regions including Asia-Pacific, witnessed steady demand, largely due to robust construction and automotive sectors in emerging economies such as China and India.
Globally, industrialized countries such as Europe, United Statas and Japan, which in the early part of the decade represented the largest consumers of epoxy resins, are today being elbowed aside by developing countries in Asia-Pacific and Latin America. Demand for these resins exhibits a cyclical pattern with consumption falling during recession and picking up during an economic boom.
Future growth for epoxy resin is forecast to stem exclusively from emerging economies of Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Eastern Europe. Asia-Pacific, buoyed by rapid industrialization, production and demand from China is well positioned as the single largest regional market for epoxy resins, garnering the lion's share of the worldwide sales, as stated by the new market research report on Epoxy Resins.
The region is also forecast to display the overall fastest CAGR of about 7.6 percent through 2017, stemming from robust growth in the construction and automotive sectors in China and India. By end-use segment, the paints and coatings market registered largest market gains, sustained by heavy demand from solvent-based paints and coatings sector. On the other hand, the market for electrical laminates is poised for strong growth over the analysis period.
Major players profiled in the report in the marketplace include 3M, Aditya Birla Chemicals (Thailand) Ltd., Air Products and Chemicals Inc, Asahi Kasei Chemicals Corporation, Cognis Benelux BV, DuPont EI De Nemours & Co, Emerald Performance Materials, LLC, Momentive Specialty Chemicals Inc, Huntsman Corporation, Kukdo Chemical Co. Ltd., Mitsui Chemicals Inc., Sumitomo Bakelite Co. Ltd., Dow Epoxy, among others.
The research report titled, "Epoxy Resins: A Global Strategic Business Report" announced by Global Industry Analysts Inc., provides a comprehensive review of market trends, issues, drivers, company profiles, key strategic industry activities and profiles of major/niche global market participants. The report provides annual sales estimates and projections for the years 2009 through 2017 in volume (tons) terms for the following geographic markets - US, Canada, Japan, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Rest of World. Key end-use segments analyzed include Paints and Coatings (Solvent-Based, Water-Based, Powder Coatings), Electrical Laminates, Bonding, Flooring & Paving and Miscellaneous. The study also provides historic data for an insight into market evolution over the period 2003 through 2008.