The demand for polypropylene (PP) compounds continues to surge, according to a report published by AMI Consulting. Global demand for PP compounds is rising strongly on the back of engineering developments in automotive and electrical appliances. In 2017, Asia accounted for 47% of global demand compared with 28% in Europe and 25% in the Americas.
The automotive industry is moving fast towards lightweighting and increasing fuel efficiency, as well as trying to adapt to a market that is showing potential for hybrid and electric vehicles. Substantial demand growth for PP compounds is attributed to property developments which have enabled PP compounds to displace metal in semi-structural applications like instrument carriers, door panels and front-ends. Within the automotive segment which is the largest market for PP compounds, applications are split into interiors, exteriors and underhood.
The report also examines the rate of structural change in the industry which has seen a rising number of mergers and acquisitions in the last year, and plenty of investment in new capacity as PP compounders seek to keep pace with growing local demand and internationalise their businesses. Recent investors include Borealis/Borouge, Celanese, GS Caltex, Kingfa, LyondellBasell, Mitsui, SABIC and Washington Penn.