The XPP foam market is projected to grow from USD 751.0 million in 2018 to USD 1,048.8 million by 2023, at a CAGR of 6.9% between 2018 and 2023. APAC is estimated to be the largest consumer of XPP foam in 2018. The demand for XPP foam is mainly driven by its properties such as recyclability and eco-friendliness in comparison to other competitive foams, such as PU and PE, and high functional characteristics such as high stiffness, chemical resistance, heat stability, impact resistance, light weight, and good sound insulation. The market has high growth potential in APAC, the Middle East & Africa, and South America, as the demand for XPP foams from the automotive industry is expected to increase rapidly in these regions during the forecast period.
Some of the major players in the XPP foam market include Borealis (Austria), Mitsui Chemicals (Japan), BASF (Germany), Sekisui Voltek (US), Sonoco Products (US), DS Smith Plc (UK), NMC SA (Belgium), Pregis LLC (US), and Zotefoams Plc (UK). Investment & expansion is the key strategy adopted by the market players to achieve growth in the XPP foam market. This strategy accounted for the largest share of all the strategies adopted by the market players to expand their global presence and increase their share in the XPP foam market between 2015 and 2018.
For instance, Toray Industries has acquired a plot measuring about 350,000 m2 at Andhra Pradesh, India, for its local subsidiary Toray Industries (India) Private Limited. The company has decided to establish a new base for its polypropylene (PP) spunbond for hygiene materials, whose market is expected to expand along with the increasing demand for disposable diapers.
The new facility will have an annual production capacity of about 18,000 tons and is scheduled to start operations in April 2020. The expansion will help cater to the growing demand from manufacturing industries such as automotive, home electric appliances, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and construction machinery. Beside investment & expansion, the companies adopted merger & acquisition, new product launch, and partnership & collaboration to expand their market share and distribution network. These strategies also accounted for a significant share in the total number of growth strategies adopted by the players in the global XPP foam market between 2015 and 2018.
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Borealis is one of the top players in the XPP foam market. It has an extensive product portfolio and global presence. The company is one of the leading producers of polyolefins, globally. The company provides XPP foam through its polyolefins segment which serves automotive, energy, consumer products, packaging, and pipe and fitting applications. In vehicles, Borealis polyolefin plastic materials are used in a wide range of exterior, interior, and under-the-bonnet applications, including bumpers, body panels, trims, dashboards, door claddings, climate control and cooling systems, air intake manifolds, and battery cases.
The company focuses on both organic and inorganic growth strategies to enhance its market presence and revenue. The company intends to expand its presence by constructing a new compounding plant in Northern California in North America. It is expected to produce 30 kilotons per annum of Daplen and Fibremod PP compounds for the automotive industry by early 2019. In October 2017, the company entered into a formal cooperation with Reach Plastic Industrial Co., Ltd. (Taiwan). The collaboration helps strengthen its position as a global polypropylene (PP) foam base resin and technology provider. The company is expected to be a key player in the polypropylene foam market during the forecast period.
Mitsui Chemicals is an important player in the XPP foam market. The company operates through four business segments, namely, mobility, healthcare, food & packaging, and basic materials. It offers extruded polypropylene foam products through its food & packaging segment. The company has a strong product portfolio to serve the packaging industry. It has business centers in Japan, Europe, China, Southeast Asia, and the US. It focuses on investment & expansion to cater to the demand from emerging regions.
For instance, In May 2016, Mitsui and Prime Polymer Co., Ltd. (Japan), a joint venture company of Mitsui Chemicals and Idemitsu Kosan, planned to expand its production capacity in the US, Mexico, and India for the production of PP compounds. This expansion is expected to help cater to the growing demand for polypropylene from the automotive industry.
BASF is one of the largest chemical companies, globally. The company offers XPP foam under the brand name Neopolen, which is used in a wide variety of applications such as automotive construction, electronic equipment, heating accessories, and packaging. It is also used in bicycle case for protection. The company focuses on research and development to enhance its Neopolen products to compete with its competitors.