Polybutadiene market size is forecast to reach US$4.7 billion by 2027, after growing at a CAGR of 5.5% during 2022-2027. Polybutadiene (butadiene rubber) is a synthetic rubber formed from the polymerization of the monomer 1,3-butadiene. The market is being spurred by factors such as the growing medical & healthcare industry in emerging economies, increasing demand for automotive, and the growing use of polybutadiene in the synthesis of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS). Furthermore, it is projected that the bolstering marine industry will also contribute towards Polybutadiene market growth during the forecast period. The polybutadiene industry has long been concerned about its environmental impact and long-term viability. The negative effects of butadiene production on the environment and living organisms have raised concerns about polybutadiene, thereby restricting market growth.
The COVID-19 epidemic negatively impacted the polybutadiene (butadiene rubber) demand in a variety of end-use industries, including aerospace, automotive, medical, and more. Due to supply chain disruptions such as raw material delays or non-arrival, disrupted financial flows, and rising absenteeism among production line staff, OEMs were forced to function at zero or partial capacity, resulting in lower demand for polybutadiene products. The outbreak had a major effect on the automotive industry due to the closure of non-essential businesses. The automotive production was disruptively halted as the demand gradually shrank. For instance, global automotive production fell by 16 percent in 2020, according to the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers. Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Toyota Motor Corporation’s global vehicle production in 2020 was down 12.6 percent year over year. Due to which the demand for tires significantly reduced, which impacted the polybutadiene market revenue in 2020.
Polybutadiene Market Segment Analysis – By Type
The high CIS segment held the largest share in the polybutadiene market in 2021 and is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 4.2% during 2022-2027. This growth is mainly attributed to high cis polybutadiene’s (butadiene rubber) high green strength and cut growth resistance properties. Furthermore, the increased use of high CIS polybutadiene in tire manufacturing is expected to boost the market growth. Moreover, the low vinyl content makes the high cis polybutadiene material ideal for golf ball cores and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) manufacturing.
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Polybutadiene Market Segment Analysis – By End-Use Industry
The automotive segment held the largest share in the polybutadiene market in 2021 and is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 4.9% during 2022-2027. Polybutadiene is widely used in various parts of automobile tires; it accounts for roughly 70% of global polybutadiene production, with the majority of it being high cis. Due to the continuous flexing during the run, the synthetic rubber polybutadiene is primarily used in the sidewall of truck tires, which helps to improve fatigue to failure life. As a result, under extreme service conditions, tires do not blow out. It’s also used in the tread of big truck tires to reduce abrasion, which means less wear, and to keep the tire running cool because the internal heat dissipates quickly. Extrusion is used to create both parts. When compared to SBR, Polybutadiene has a lower liquid-glass transition temperature, which gives it a high wear resistance and low rolling resistance. Thus, all these factors associated with polybutadiene is the major factor driving its demand in the application of tire in automotive.
Polybutadiene Market Segment Analysis – By Geography
Asia-Pacific region held the largest share in the polybutadiene market in 2021 up to 36.3%. This recent surge can be attributed to the region’s growing population, which is catalyzing urbanization trends and, as a result, driving up demand for automobiles. Since tire manufacturing is one of the product’s most important applications, the region’s growing automobile industry is expected to boost demand for polybutadiene. China, for illustration, is the world’s largest vehicle market, according to the International Trade Administration (ITA), with the Chinese government expecting 35 million automobiles to be produced by 2025. The Indian automobile industry is expected to grow to US$300 billion by 2026, according to Invest India. In 2019, according to the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d’Automobiles (OICA), due to rising per capita income, automotive production in Malaysia and Vietnam increased to 571632 and 250000 units, respectively, up 1.2 percent and 5.5 percent from the previous year. Thus, it is evident from the above statistics that the automotive industry is flourishing in the region, which is accelerating the demand for polybutadiene in Asia-Pacific during the forecast period.
Polybutadiene Market Drivers
Increasing Electric Vehicle Production
Polybutadiene is often used to manufacture tires, coatings, adhesives, and sealants. And tires, coatings, adhesives, and sealants are often used in electric vehicles. The production and adoption of electric vehicles are anticipated to increase globally. For instance, according to Invest India, the Indian EV market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 44 percent between 2020 and 2027, with annual sales reaching 6.34 million units. Electric vehicles will have created five crore direct and indirect jobs by 2030. California has mandated that by 2035, all new passenger vehicles sold in the state be 100% electric. The recently unveiled American Jobs Initiative includes a total of US$174 billion in incentives, rebates, and investments to promote the production and adoption of electric vehicles. GM has also postulated that all diesel and gasoline-powered cars be phased out by 2035, with the entire fleet being converted to electric vehicles. Thus, it is anticipated that a gradual shift towards electric vehicles will strengthen the demand for tires, coatings, adhesives, and sealants, which as a result will drive the market.
Flourishing Aerospace Sector
In the aerospace industry, polybutadiene-based tires, coatings, adhesives, and sealants are used during the aircraft production process. The demand for aircraft is on an upsurge in various regions. For instance, in November 2020, Boeing projected that China’s airlines will buy US$1.4 trillion worth of 8,600 new aircraft and US$1.7 trillion worth of commercial aviation services over the next 20 years. By 2030, the Middle East will require 2,520 airplanes, according to Boeing’s current business forecast. Also, according to Boeing India is expected to drive the demand for 2,300 aircrafts worth US$320 billion over the next 20 years. According to Boeing, in 2020 8,995 aircraft fleet were delivered in North America, which is estimated to reach 10,610 fleets by 2039. Considering the importance associated with tires, coatings, adhesives, and sealants in airplanes, it is expected that the increasing aerospace industry will act as a driver for the polybutadiene market.
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Polybutadiene Market Challenges
Health Risk Associated with Polybutadiene
Polybutadiene is a synthetic rubber made from the monomer 1,3-butadiene polymerized. Acute inhalation of 1,3-butadiene causes irritation of the eyes, nasal passages, throat, and lungs in humans. At very high exposure levels, neurological effects such as blurred vision, fatigue, headache, and vertigo have been reported. Humans exposed to 1,3-butadiene on the skin experience a cold sensation followed by a burning sensation. Humans exposed to 1,3-butadiene on the skin experience a cold sensation followed by a burning sensation, which can lead to frostbite. Chronic (long-term) inhalation exposure to 1,3-butadiene was linked to an increase in cardiovascular diseases like rheumatic and arteriosclerotic heart disease, according to one epidemiological study, while other human studies found effects on the blood. Thus, such health risks associated with polybutadiene are posing a significant challenge for the polybutadiene market.
Polybutadiene Industry Outlook
Technology launches, acquisitions, and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in the Polybutadiene market. Polybutadiene market top companies are:
UBE Industries Ltd.
LG Chem Ltd.
PJSC SIBUR Holdings
Kuraray Co. Ltd.
In February 2019, SIBUR launched an investment project aimed at enhancing polybutadiene rubber (Nd-BR) production efficiency at its Voronezh facility (Voronezhsintezkauchuk). The project aims for a large-scale upgrade to boost the operational efficiency of the existing facility and ensure the production of consistently high-quality products. This project will enable SIBUR to produce quality products with improved operational efficiency.
Asia-Pacific dominates the polybutadiene market, owing to the increasing demand for automobiles in the region. This can be attributed to the growing per capita income of individuals and changing lifestyles coupled with the increasing population.
The growing demand for improved performance and low-rolling resistant tires is expected to provide higher growth opportunities for the polybutadiene market.
There is an increasing demand for a low-cost substitute to natural rubber with superior properties, which is expected to further drive the consumption of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), as a result of which the demand for polybutadiene will steadily increase.
The market may be restricted during the forecast period by environmental hazards caused by polybutadiene and the price volatility of polybutadiene.
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