The "Low-Density Polyethylene Market" is projected to grow at a CAGR of 4.8% during the forecast period (2022-2029).
Low-density polyethylene (LDPE ) is a variant of thermoplastic manufactured from the ethylene monomer. LDPE has around 2% of the carbon atoms that offer greater branching than HDPE, therefore its intermolecular forces (instantaneous-dipole induced-dipole attraction) are less, its tensile strength is lower and its resilience is higher. Due to the presence of the side branches, the molecules in LDPE are less closely packed and crystalline, resulting in a lower density.
A stirred autoclave or a tubular reactor is used to make LDPE by compressing ethylene gas, polymerizing it with an initiator and then separating the gases. LDPE is frequently utilized to produce containers, dispensing bottles, wash bottles, tubing, computer component plastic parts and molded laboratory equipment.
The growth of various industry verticals such as automotive, packaging, among others, is a major driver for the global low-density polyethylene market since LDPE is an important raw material utilized in the manufacture of various products in these end-user industries. Nonetheless, LDPE's growing environmental concerns and environmental impact tend to act as a major market restraint.
Rising demand for low-density polyethylene (LDPE) in various end-user verticals
Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) foams come in a variety of textures, ranging from soft to firm. Expanded low-density polyethylene foams and cross-linked low-density polyethylene foams are the two main forms of LDPE foams. The procedure by which they are generated distinguishes them from one another. Water resistance, chemical resistance, compressive strength, energy absorbance, buoyancy and cushioning are all desired features of LDPE foams employed in various applications in various industry verticles.
For instance, because of its compressive strength, LDPE foams are widely employed in the automotive industry. The automobile industry has been working to reduce the average car's weight in order to increase fuel efficiency and performance. Manufacturers have begun to use LDPE foams in commercial and small private automobiles as a result of this. Because of their lightweight as well as impact and vibration absorption capabilities, as well as splash resistance to lubricants and fuels, these foams are widely utilized in buses and coaches. LDPE foams also have acoustic and thermal insulation properties, as well as buoyancy and low water absorption.
Since the automotive industry is growing exponentially and LDPE is an important raw material in the respective sector, the growth of the automotive industry increases the market prospects of LDPE such as demand, sales and manufacture. Similarly, the growth of end-user verticals such as packaging, building and construction also boosts the market prospects for LDPE. As a result, the growth of end-user verticals such as automotive, construction, packaging, among others, is expected to drive the global low-density polyethylene (LDPE) foams market.
Growing environmental awareness and environmental concerns associated with low-density polyethylene (LDPE)
According to UN environmental data, over 300 million tons of plastic garbage are generated every year. By 2050, the chances of more plastic present in oceans than fish is high if the current trends continue. Because of their widespread use and slow disintegration in the environment, low-density polyethylene (LDPE) polymers are a source of environmental concern. For instance, LDPE plastic creates considerable amounts of greenhouse gases when exposed to constant sunlight, namely, methane and ethylene. Further, they break down more quickly than other polymers due to their lower density (high branching); as a result, the surface area increases. Because the production of these trace gases from virgin polymers rises with surface area and time, LDPE produces greenhouse gases faster than other plastics.
Due to such environmental impacts and growing awareness associated with environmental preservation, stringent regulations are being enacted by governments and regulatory authorities to reduce the production and consumption of LDPE. For instance, The Union environment ministry of India announced the proposed Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules 2021 on March 11, 2021, proposing a blanket ban on a list of plastic items, particularly single-use plastics items made of LDPE. The tentative notification follows India's announcement at the 2019 United Nations Environment Assembly, where it introduced a resolution calling for a global phase-out of single-use plastics by 2025.
Similarly, various countries across the globe are also enacting similar rules against the use of single-use plastics such as LDPE. Since the growing environmental concerns and stringent regulations limit the use of LDPE and affect its manufacture and demand, the respective factor could be considered a major market restraint for the global LDPE market.
Despite the delays in the manufacture of LDPE due to the scarcity of raw materials, skilled personnel and production disruptions in the manufacturing process, which have been hampered by industry lockdowns and a demand for social isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the LDPE market witnessed a huge rise in demand due to packaging demand in the e-commerce sector. However, the lockdown imposed in reaction to the COVID-19 outbreak impeded the delivery of finished goods, generating substantial supply-demand disturbances in the market.
Nonetheless, as the overall restrictions in trade and transport of raw materials and finished products were removed, the demand for LDPE and LDPE-based products witnessed an exponential hike. Further demand for LDPE-based medical products such as gloves also helped the market profit amidst the pandemic. Many manufacturers have launched new LDPE based during the pandemic, which is a marker for the rise in market demand for LDPE based products during the pandemic. For instance, Dow launched DOW LDPE 91003 HEALTH+ Low-Density Polyethylene Resin that finds application in pharmaceutical and healthcare packaging.
In short, despite the disruptions in production and supply, the COVID-19 pandemic doesn't have any disruptive impact on the global LDPE market and has even boosted the production, demand and manufacture of the respective product.
The global low-density polyethylene (LDPE) market is classified on the basis of product type, technology, end-user and region.
The demand for unreactive packaging materials in the food, beverages and healthcare sectors allows the packaging sector to dominate the market's end-user segment
The global low-density polyethylene (LDPE) market is segmented into packaging, automotive, building & construction, electrical & electronics and others based on end-user. The end-user segment of the global low-density polyethylene (LDPE) market is dominated by the packaging sector.
The packaging category dominates and accounts for a large part of the end-user segment of the global low-density polyethylene (LDPE) market. LDPE is frequently used in packaging, particularly retail packaging, that uses LDPE largely in counter and window display pads, clear sleeve packs, jewelry pads and coins.
The packaging segment in the global LDPE market is expected to grow due to increased demand for food & beverage packaging, flexible packaging and corrugated board packaging during the projected period. LDPE foams are generally used in the packaging sector to protect products from harm since they absorb energy and can provide various levels of cushioning protection depending on the density of the foams. Furthermore, LDPE is unreactive and has protective chemical properties.
The extreme demand for medical and pharmaceutical packaging, boosted by the COVID-19 pandemic, also plays a key role in the dominance of the packaging sector in the end-user segment of the global LDPE market.
The growth of end-user verticles such as automotive and packaging, along with the presence of several manufacturers in the region, allows the Asia-Pacific to dominate the respective market.
The Asia-Pacific accounted for the majority of the global low-density polyethylene (LDPE) foams market. Due to growing industrialization and rising demand for LDPE foams in the region's packaging and building & construction industries, it is expected to remain a highly lucrative region of the global low-density polyethylene (LDPE) foams market throughout the forecast period. Further, due to the rise of industries such as automotive, China is a major country in the Asia-Pacific low-density polyethylene (LDPE) foams market. Due to its superior qualities over other foams, China is a key hub for automotive products, where LDPE foams are used.
The global low-density polyethylene (LDPE) market is highly active and dynamic in terms of the number and strength of global and local rivals. The market is classed as fragmented due to a large number of competitors. Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC, Borealis AG, China Petrochemical Corporation, Exxon Mobil Corporation, LyondellBasell Industries Holdings B.V., Dow, Braskem, Formosa Plastics Corporation, SABIC and Sasol Limited are some of the major competitors in the industry. Significant market stakeholders employ market tactics like mergers, acquisitions, product launches, contributions and collaborations to gain competitive advantages and recognition in their respective markets.
Overview: Dow is a multinational corporation that produces plastics, chemicals and hydrocarbons. The company has segmented its product portfolio into 22 categories to offer automotive and transportation, beauty and personal care, building, construction and infrastructure, chemical manufacturing and industrial, consumer goods and appliances and other industries. DowDuPont completed the division of its materials science business and Dow Inc. in April 2019 and TDCC and its consolidated subsidiaries became its subsidiaries. The Dow chemical company operates 106 manufacturing sites in 31 countries, expanded in America, Asia-Pacific, Europe and Middle East & Africa regions.
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