Global Industry Analysts (GIA) has released, “Polyols: A Global Strategic Business Report.” The world market for polyols is forecast to reach 4.33 billion pounds by 2017, steered by evolving consumer needs and rising awareness about nutritional and health benefits of foods. Growing application in various end-use sectors including food and confectionery, industrial and pharmaceuticals has led to an accelerated demand for polyols. Additionally, high-powered demand from emerging markets of Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Eastern Europe is expected to fuel future growth in the polyols market.
The global polyols market is quite mature and volume growth tends to follow the trends and dynamics of the large end-use markets and consumer products. Europe, US and Asia-Pacific would continue to be the major regions in terms of polyol consumption.
Polyols find maximum use in industrial applications. The most important industrial application of polyols is in the production of polyurethane. Global polyurethane market is witnessing the introduction of new products, highly influenced by the changing market trends for conventional products. Natural oil-based polyols (NOP) constitutes one of the significant new arrivals in the market, hampering the growth of traditional petroleum products. Heavy rise in petroleum prices forms the principal reason for the decline in demand for commercial polyols. Renewable polyols, extracted from vegetables such as rapeseed, sunflower and soybeans are witnessing increasing demand in most countries including Eastern and Western Europe.
One of the major factors adversely affecting the polyols market across the world has been the high pricing pressure, resulting in a decline of prices for most of the polyols in recent years.
Industrial applications represent the single largest end-use sector for polyols, with polyether polyols (PETP) and polyester polyols (PESP) finding maximum usage. Polyols are also finding increased applications in other industrial areas such as paints and coatings, adhesives and sealants, microcellular elastomers and others.