London -- IAL Consultants has published a third edition of its report Global 'Overview of the Thermoplastic Polyurethane Market.'
TPUs account for less than 5% of the total production of polyurethane products, but are one of the fastest growing and most highly versatile parts of the industry, according to the London-based market research group. TPUs are supplied as fully reacted materials and are processed in two main ways (injection and extrusion), to make a huge range of products for many industries.
IAL says that the TPU industry is highly fragmented and relatively mature in the western hemisphere, with strong growth prospects in South-east Asia
Asia is the largest TPU market in the world, with production mainly concentrated in China and Taiwan, where there are about 30 major manufacturers. The Asian region leads global TPU manufacture with 225.6 kilotonnes (kt) produced in 2010, accounting for almost 60% of total world demand of 378.6 kt.
IAL predicts that global TPU production will increase by 5.6% a year between 2010 and 2015. The largest increase will be seen in Asia with 7.9% annual growth.
The versatility of TPUs continues to drive investment in their development and commercialisation around the world, IAL says. The growth in Asia and cheaper manufacturing costs has resulted in many Western companies increasing their presence in the Asian continent, especially mainland China, the market research group adds.
This trend is expected to continue, as more footwear and engineering operations move to lower-labour-costs countries such as Thailand and Vietnam. The major use of TPU in elastomeric fibres in all types of clothing, footwear, and especially in sportswear, means that TPU use will move more into higher value-added areas, according to IAL's data.
See more data from this study in the next issue of Urethanes Technology International.
And for more information on buying the report, visit www.ialconsultants.com