The construction plastics market comprises polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polycarbonate (PC), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polyamide (PA), polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), and polyoxymethylene (POM). By end-use industry, the market has been further divided into pipes and ducts, windows and doors, wall coverings, claddings and partitions, flooring and decking, and roofing and ceiling panels.
Pipes and ducts accounted for the largest share of the volume of construction plastics consumed worldwide in 2019 and are expected to retain their dominant share during the forecast period. PVC and PE are mainly preferred for this segment, owing to their low costs, durability, and corrosion resistance, among other advantages.
The windows and doors segment is expected to grow at the highest CAGR, both by value and volume, throughout the forecast period. With increasing urbanization and development of high-rise buildings, particularly in developing countries, PVC is being increasingly used for manufacturing window frames and bathroom doors and the same trend is likely to continue during the forecast period. WPC is also preferred for window frames and doors, mainly in developed countries, including the US and Canada.
APAC was the leading regional market for construction plastics in 2019 and is expected to continue its dominance during the forecast period as well. The major reason is attributed to rising urbanization, coupled with growing residential, commercial, and industrial construction in China, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore, which is significantly increasing the consumption of cost-effective plastic building materials.
The market for construction materials in North America and Europe is at a relatively mature stage. However, rising demand for increasing energy efficiency of buildings is expected to boost the growth in consumption of construction plastics for green building activities in these regions. Moreover, stringent mandates on the usage of recyclable materials in building construction will further drive the demand for construction plastics in developed economies.
MEASA, including the Middle East, Africa, India, and rest of South Asia, have been witnessing a surge in building construction activity, largely due to growing urbanization and industrialization, coupled with strong economic growth. This, in turn, is expected to increase the consumption of lower-priced construction plastics in the region during the forecast period.
However, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is likely to negatively affect the global consumption of construction plastics throughout 2020. Both new and existing construction projects have been experiencing significant delays worldwide, as strict lockdown measures are being enforced by several countries to contain the pandemic. The situation is likely to improve from 2021, following a reduction in impact of the epidemic, which will enable restarting of construction activities worldwide.
Furthermore, prices of crude oil, a major raw material used for plastic manufacturing, have been fluctuating frequently due to a series of disruptive events such as geopolitical and climate-related issues. The volatile nature of oil prices exert pricing pressure on plastic manufacturers in a price-sensitive market. This trend remains one of the most critical factors for plastic manufacturers.
The market, particularly in APAC and MEASA, is influenced by severe competition, owing to its fragmented nature and increasing import of cost-effective plastics from China and India. Price competition is more severe for PVC and PE, owing to the commoditized nature of these products, which attracts numerous medium and small scale suppliers across the globe.
Construction plastics manufacturers are anticipated to emphasize more on strengthening long-term relationships with distributors, compounders, and extruders, to control their position in the supply chain. Moreover, the market is expected to exhibit mergers and acquisitions, coupled with vertical integration activities among companies, to increase their product offerings and stay ahead of the competition. Incumbents are also channelizing their efforts toward development of value-added offerings having superior physical and chemical properties in terms of durability, weather resistance, longevity, and better aesthetics. Additionally, with the goal of developing sustainable products, polymer manufacturers have started focusing on production of bioplastics for additive manufacturing (3D printing) in the building construction sector.