The Polyolefin Foam Market size is forecast to reach US$11.1 billion by 2027, after growing at a CAGR of 5.2% during 2022-2027. Polyolefin foams are a type of polymer that is made by polymerizing a simple olefin such as polyethylene, polypropylene and ethylene vinyl acetate. Polyolefin foams are lightweight, flexible, eco-friendly and adaptable robust items that are widely used in various sectors for automotive interior materials, building base materials, air-conditioning insulation materials, packaging and others owing to their flame resistance and thermal insulation and thermal resistance properties. The rise in building construction activities will boost the demand for polyolefin foam.
For instance, according to the Construction association for Nova Scotia, the Canadian investment in building construction has increased 2.7% as of June 2022 as compared to 2021 and non-residential building construction was up by 1.4% in April 2022. Therefore, the investment will increase the building construction activities and in turn will boost the demand for the polyolefin foam market during the forecast period. However, the global economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a huge drop in demand for automobiles, electrical and electronic consumer goods and others, all across the world, which had a significant impact on the growth of the polyolefin foam market.
Polyolefin Foam Market Report Coverage
The “Polyolefin Foam Market Report – Forecast (2022 - 2027)” by Industry ARC, covers an in-depth analysis of the following segments in the Polyolefin Foam industry.
By Resin: Polyethylene (PE), Polypropylene (PP) and Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA)
By Process: Cross Linked, Extrusion, Blowing and Others
By Application: Packaging, Insulation, Buoyancy, Cushioning and Others
By End-Use Industry: Building & Construction (Residential, Commercial, Infrastructure and Others), Transportation (Automotive, Marine, Aerospace & Defence, Railways), Electric & Electronics, Sports and Leisure, Footwear, Food & Beverages, Healthcare, Industrial, Bedding & Furniture and Others
By Geography: North America (the USA, Canada and Mexico), Europe (UK, Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Belgium and Rest of Europe), Asia-Pacific (China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, Indonesia, Taiwan, Malaysia and Rest of APAC), South America (Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Chile and Rest of South America), Rest of the World: The Middle East (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Israel, Rest of the Middle East) and Africa (South Africa, Nigeria, Rest of Africa)
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- The Asia-Pacific region dominates the Polyolefin Foam Market with a CAGR of 6.4% during the forecast period (2022-2027) owing to the rising growth in the automotive, construction and food & beverages industry in emerging countries such as China and India.
- Rapidly rising demand for polyolefin foam in the food & beverage industry for packaging is driving the growth of the polyolefin foam industry during the forecast period.
- The increasing demand for polyolefin foam in the medical & healthcare sector, due to its usage in the production of medical devices insulation and other applications, has been a critical factor driving the growth of the polyolefin foam market in the upcoming years.
Figure: Asia-Pacific Polyolefin Foam Market Revenue, 2021-2027 (US$ Billion)
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Polyolefin Foam Market Segment Analysis – by Resin
The polyethylene segment held the largest Polyolefin Foam Market share in 2021 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.4% during 2022-2027. Polyethylene based foam is a low-density, chemically cross-linked closed-cell material that helps to enhance by the addition of additives and modifiers to obtain the desired output. Polyethylene based foams are lightweight, flexible and have thermal insulation resistance properties. Polyethylene based polyolefin foams find their application in automotive for interior & exterior body parts, bumpers, body panels, trims, dashboards, door claddings, climate control and many more. The rise in automotive production will boost the demand for the polyethylene segment. According to the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, the global production of vehicles has increased by 3% in 2021 with car production being around 5,70,54,295 units and commercial vehicles production round to 2,30,91,693 units. Thus, the rise in automotive production has exhibited that polyethylene makes it a preferred choice over the other polyolefin foam resins, which is driving its segmental growth.
Polyolefin Foam Market Segment Analysis – by End-Use Industry
The automotive industry held a significant Polyolefin Foam Market share in 2021 and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 4.9% during the forecast period 2022-2027. Polyolefin Foam based on polypropylene and ethylene vinyl acetate resins exhibits excellent thermal insulation properties, which are widely used for automobile shockproof pads, waterproof door panels, headrests and car door handrails, car sun visors, sealing tape, marine bumpers and buoys and gaskets. The rise in the automotive industry with the growing production of electric vehicles is boosting the polyolefin foam industry. For instance, according to International Energy Agency, electric car sales increased by 70% in 2021 to 2.3 million in Europe, about half of which were plug-in hybrids. With the increasing production of electric vehicles, it is estimated that in the upcoming years the requirement for polyolefin foam market size in the automotive industry will rise.
Polyolefin Foam Market Segment Analysis – by Geography
Asia-Pacific region dominated the Polyolefin Foam Market share by 38% in the year 2021, owing to the increasing investments in the building construction, medical and healthcare industry and rising automotive production in the region owing to fire resistance and thermal insulation properties. China is estimated to witness growth in the demand for polyolefin foam due to the demand from the automotive, medical and healthcare, foods & beverages industries, for instance, according to the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d'Automobiles (OICA), the total automobile production in China reached 2,60,82,220 units in 2021, an increase from 2,52,25,242 units in 2020 and 2,57,20,665 units in 2019 respectively. Additionally, India and South Korea also witnessed significant growth in the automotive industry. For instance, according to the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d'Automobiles (OICA), the total automobile production in India reached 43,99,112 units in 2021, an incline of 30% from 33,94,446 units in 2020. Moreover, according to recent insights from the South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, automobile production in South Korea amounted to 271,054 units in December 2021. Such increasing automotive production in the APAC countries is anticipated to increase the demand for polyolefin foam in the forecasted period and is proving to be a market booster for the polyolefin foam market size in this region.
Polyolefin Foam Market Drivers
Growing Medical & Healthcare Industry:
The rise in the aging population and advancements in the medical and healthcare industry will increase the usage of dental disposable foam trays, ECG pads, wound dressing, prosthetic pads, orthopedic pads, suture counters and wheelchair pads. These products are composed of polyolefin foam owing to its heat insulation, waterproof, moisture-proof and thermal insulation properties. The demand for polyolefin foam based on polypropylene, ethylene vinyl acetate and others resins are increasing, due to the developments and advancements in medical devices. For instance, according to International Trade Administration, in China, the medical device market is expected to grow by a 2020-2025 CAGR of 6.2% and is expected to rise to US$38.4 billion by 2025. Furthermore, in Mexico, the total local production of medical devices and equipment increased from US$16.80 billion in 2020 to US$15.12 billion in 2021 according to International Trade Administration Thus, with the growing demand for medical applications such as devices and other applications, in the medical and healthcare industry, the polyolefin foam market would further rise over the forecast period.
Increasing Foods and Beverages Industry:
In the food and beverage industry, polyolefin foam is utilized for fruit foam trays, packaging foam inserts, protective pads and artifacts protective packaging solutions for various food & beverages products. With the rise in the growth of the food and beverage industry, the demand for polyolefin foam based on polyethylene and polypropylene will increase eventually. For instance, Bunge Loders Croklaan, invested more than EUR 300 million (US$346.5 million) in May 2021, to build a new sustainable food processing facility in Amsterdam, Netherlands, which is estimated to be completed by the end of 2024. Moreover, the food & beverage market of South Korea is expected to reach US$99.28 billion by 2024, witnessing a CAGR of 3.9% according to the British Chamber of Commerce in Korea. Thus, with the growth of the food and beverage sector, the demand for packaging for food and beverage item production will increase, which will drive the growth of the market for polyolefin foam over the forecast period.
Polyolefin Foam Market Challenges
The higher price of polyolefin foam owing to the high cost of raw material:
Polyolefin foam is costly, owing to the high cost of various resins such as polyethylene, polypropylene and ethylene vinyl acetate used in the production of polyolefin foam products. The fluctuation in the price of raw materials will hamper market growth. For instance, the polypropylene price has decreased by 135 CNY/T or 1.65% since the beginning of 2022, according to trading on a contract for difference (CFD) that tracks the benchmark market for this commodity. Also, there was an increase in Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) price during Q1 2022 in North America followed by other regions and was around US$2793/ton FOB Texas in the first quarter of 2022. Thus, the rise in the cost of raw materials will increase the overall cost of production of polyolefin foam which will create hurdles for the market's growth.
Polyolefin Foam Industry Outlook
Technology launches, acquisitions and R&D activities are key strategies players adopt in the Polyolefin Foam Markets. The polyolefin foam top 10 companies include:
1. BASF SE
2. Toray Industries, Inc,
3. JSP Corporation
4. Hanwha Solutio