Newly discovered plastic blends are
helping to satisfy the huge demand for thermoplastics being
brought about by Chinas swelling home retail industry,
according to a new report by market intelligence company GBI
The report found that new blends,
which have expanded the potential uses for acrylonitrile
butadiene styrene (ABS) (Fig. 1), have enabled the plastics
market to keep up with orders from end-use sectors such as
household appliances, electrical and electronics products.
Fig. 1. Acrylonitrile butadiene
styrene is in high
demand in China.
While the demand for ABS has been steadily increasing across
the world over the last decade, a significant portion of this
increase has stemmed from Asia-Pacific, with the region
accounting for 77.3% of global demand in 2010.
Due to high demand, China has
rapidly emerged as a global petrochemical products manufacturing
hub, threatening to overtake many of its competitor regions,
such as the Middle East. China is the leader of the
Asia-Pacific ABS market, due to a high demand for
thermoplastics upheld by a rapidly growing population and an
increasing average income. However, the country imports a
considerable amount of ABS in order to meet demand for the
production of appliances and electronics, creating potential
for ABS capacity additions in locations with low operating
Further technological advancement
are expected in the sector, similar to manufacturers who are
currently blending new compounds like polybutylene
terephthalate (PBT), nylon 6 and liquid crystalline polymer
(LCP) with ABS to create novel plastics. Constant innovation in
the field is expected to further increase the demand for ABS in
a wider range of applications in the future.
In 2000, global ABS demand stood at
4.6 million tons, before increasing to 6.4 million tons in
2010, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.4%. Global
demand for ABS is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.5% from
20102020, reaching 10.9 million tons in 2020.