The market for polyurethane products in the Asia-Pacific region shrank by 4.3% in 2020 compared with 2019, at 13.1m tonne, according to figures from IAL Consultants in a recent report: Polyurethane Chemicals and Products in Asia Pacific (APAC) 2021.
Asia Pacific PU market shrank in 2020
Overall growth for the next five years is estimated to be 4% compounded annually, IAL said. The importance of products such as synthetic leather, footwear and elastane to the region gives elastomers the largest slice of the pie. Rigid foam used for insulation is the second largest use for PU materials with 21% of demand, slightly ahead of flexible foam with 20%.
The market for flexible foam shrank by 8% in the region in 2020, as coronavirus lockdowns hit automotive and furniture production. The market for binders, which go into construction applications, fell by more than 6% in the year. The coatings market shrank by 5%, and elastomer demand fell by 4.7%.
There was a negligible decline in rigid PU, because the resilience in demand for refrigerators offset the fall in construction.