"Unique properties such as easy moldability, fine surface, and excellent mechanical resistance make thermoformed plastics the preferred choice for applications such as food packaging, medical appliances, and consumer and commercial products across many industries," says Swapnil Tejveer Sharma, a lead analyst at Technavio for plastics, polymers, and elastomers research.
In 2015, with a market share of approximately 45 percent, Americas dominated the global thermoformed plastics market, followed by EMEA with 33 percent and APAC with around 22 percent.
Americas: The consumption of thermoformed plastics in the Americas is expected to exceed 2 million metric tons by 2020, growing at a CAGR of more than 5 percent. The region is the largest consumer of thermoformed plastics, with the U.S. as the major consumer. Regulations to control emissions from vehicles and increased replacement of metal parts with engineering plastics are the major drivers for the market growth. In the Americas, a large proportion of thermoformed plastics are used in the packaging industry.
EMEA: The consumption of thermoformed plastics in EMEA is expected to reach 1.5 million metric tons by 2020, growing at a CAGR of close to 5 percent. The market for thermoformed plastics in EMEA is expected to grow steadily during the forecast period.
France, Germany and the UK are the major consumers of thermoformed plastics in the region. The increased use of high-performance engineering plastics in automobiles and in electrical and electronics applications is propelling market growth in the region.
APAC: The consumption of thermoformed plastics in APAC will exceed 986 thousand metric tons by 2020, growing at a CAGR of more than 4 percent. The market for thermoformed plastics is expected to post robust growth in APAC. The growth in the manufacturing sector, especially in developing economies such as China and India, will drive the market growth in the region. The electronic industry in APAC is expected to grow at 4.5 percent to 5.5 percent during the forecast period.
Further, the rise in disposable incomes and changes in lifestyle are fostering the market for packaged foods in these countries, thereby increasing the consumption of thermoformed plastic food containers.
“However, the fluctuating cost of crude oil, the primary source of raw material for the production of thermoformed plastics, is a major challenge for manufacturers of thermoformed plastic products in the region,” says Swapnil.
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