Global plasticizer demand continues to grow

A large number of plasticizers are used to process brittle plastics, elastomers, paints and varnishes, making these polymers more smooth, flexible and even more useful in some respects. It is expected that by 2024, the demand for this controversial but indispensable material worldwide will increase to approximately 9.75 billion tons.
Since phthalates are considered to be harmful to health and the environment and have been banned by many applications, plasticizer processors are increasingly looking for phthalate-free alternatives. However, DEHP (bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate) is still the most commonly used type of plasticizer, with a production of about 3.07 million tons in 2016. About one-third of the plasticizer market is occupied by phthalate DINP (diisononyl phthalate) and DIDP (diisononyl phthalate). However, DEHP possesses below-average growth rates and may continue to lose market share. In contrast, analysts expect demand for DINP / DIDP and non-phthalates to increase, with growth rates of 3.6% and 3.2%, respectively.
Among them, the most important application area is plastic products - 87% of all plasticizers used in this industry in 2016, especially plasticizers used in the manufacture of PVC materials. The plant used 2.14 million tons alone, followed by cables and profiles. The demand for plasticizers in rubber products, paints and varnishes and adhesives is much lower. Experts expect that the demand for plasticizers for cable and cable jackets will reach its maximum by 2024.
The plasticizer industry in the Asia Pacific region accounted for approximately 59% of global demand in 2016. Due to above-average growth rates, demand in the region will increase to around 6 million tons in the next few years. After Asia, Western Europe ranked second in 2016 at 12.1%, followed by North America at 11.5%.

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