Global polyvinyl chloride (PVC) market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 6.3% between 2018 to 2026 in terms of revenue. In 2017, global demand for PVC polymers was around 47 million tons. PVC resins are the synthetic polymer and are the third-most-widely manufactured, after polypropylene (PE) and polyethylene (PE). PVC resins are a part of vinyl chain, which also includes other types of vinyl polymers.
PVC polymers have two most important grades, rigid and flexible PVC. The ability of polyvinyl chloride to combine with numerous additives has resulted in a large number of end-use applications. Its properties such as resistance to oil & chemicals, non-flammability, durability, ease of processing & molding, and mechanical ability have made PVC a very significant and popular synthetic polymer.
The global polyvinyl market is primarily driven by the rapid growth of construction industry, automotive, electrical & electronics, and packaging industry. Rigid polyvinyl chloride is used in the construction for pipes, doors & window frames. Rising per capita income with increasing urbanization and growing population has led to increase in construction spending with a steady demand for commodity chemical products.
Flexible polyvinyl chloride is used in wires & cables insulation, doors, tubes, windows, cable, wire, sidings, sheet, film and flooring. Massive demand for consumer goods and modern electronic products has significantly driven the demand for flexible polyvinyl chloride. Flourishing growth of automotive sector in different countries of the world has also resulted in increased demand for flexible polyvinyl chloride.
Polyvinyl chloride is a petrochemical derivative and thus, is subjected to price volatility, but is not a highly priced synthetic polymer. Polyvinyl chloride has been a centre of debate for the past two decades concerning its environmental impact which have been measured at a different scale of seriousness with diverging technical and scientific opinions. polyvinyl chloride is subjected to many regulations from different agencies such as Medical and Health Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Building & construction is one of the largest end-use for the industry, where it is used in cables, pipes, wall & floor coverings, fencing, and landfill liners. Electrical & electronics is another large end-use industry and has witnessed rapid expansion with consumer electronics products. Automotive industry is among the fastest growing end-use sector and has advanced on account of technological developments.
On the basis of grade, PVC is classified into rigid and flexible. These have diverse applications in different end-use industries. For instance, flexible PVC has witnessed high growth in packaging industry and rigid polyvinyl chloride has been widely used in the construction industry.
Asia Pacific constitutes the major demand for the polyvinyl chloride resins with China as the main producing country in the region. China holds the largest demand, output, and capacity as compared to any other country in the world. The construction industry of China in tandem with those in India, Indonesia, and Vietnam has witnessed stronger PV consumptions.
North America is the second-largest regional market for the polyvinyl chlorides, where the major growth factor for the industry includes demand from the construction industry of the United States. Western Europe follows North America for the demand of PVC and has witnessed similar growth trend. Both these are the mature regional markets in tandem with the subdued growth prospects and surplus capacities.
The upstream sector of the global PVC market if moderately consolidated, where the PVC polymers are manufactured, whereas the downstream processing industry that includes addition of plasticizers and production of products, is highly fragmented and consists of medium, small, and micro units.
Some of the major market players for PVC include China National Chemical Corporation, Formosa Plastics Corporation, Occidental Petroleum Corporation, Mexichem SAB de CV, INOVYN, Saudi Plastics Products Company Ltd, and Shin-Etsu Chemical Co. Ltd.