Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and Polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) are two important types of thermoplastic polyester resins. PET resin is well known for its mechanical strength, chemical resistance, ductility, stiffness, hardness and dimensional stability with high gas barrier properties. PET is used to make bottles, films, sheets, and fiber and composite applications. PBT is a thermoplastic semi-crystalline polymer used to manufacture components in cars and trucks, computer keyboards, fluid handling systems, electrical connectors, consumer appliances, industrial systems and controls, and others.
Currently, the demand for PET resin is driven by bottle, film, and food packaging whereas the PBT resin demand is driven by the automotive, electrical and electronics, consumer goods, and industrial applications. The fluctuation in raw material prices and reducing halogen content in flame-retardant PBT are the major restraints in PET and PBT resin market, respectively.
The market for PET resin is driven by increasing consumption in bottle application such as beverage bottles for mineral water, carbonated soft drinks; dairy drinks, ready to drink tea, functional drinks, and energy drinks. The innovation in bottle sizing in various product categories is expected to bring opportunities in the future for PET bottles that is expected to provide convenient solutions for customers. It is expected that light weight PET bottle trend will continue in the future as it is a cost saving measure. The PBT resin demand is driven by the electrical and electronic applications, especially in switches, connectors, circuit breakers, motor shell, and automotive electronics components. Factors such as fuel efficiency, safety and comfort functions in car are driving the demand for auto-electronic components. The current Euro-zone debt crisis is an important burning issue for the global PBT resin industry. The market condition is challenging due to slower growth in the automotive market in Europe.
Innovation in new applications of PET and PBT is expected to help this market to grow at a higher rate. High quality and cost-effective products are anticipated to facilitate the companies to gain market share. PET is the only polyester used in different applications which is recyclable unlike the competing thermosetting material. This advantage of being reusable helps the manufacturers to have a cost advantage. Recycling PET increases the consumption of PET bottles and supports the demand for PET resin. PBT is lightweight when compared to steel and aluminium that are used in the automotive cars. Therefore, the automotive manufactures are now using PBT material in car production to reduce fuel consumption.
Asia Pacific was the largest consumer of PET and PBT resin in 2013. China is the largest country in terms of PET bottle consumption and PBT electrical and electronic products. The driving factors in the Asia Pacific region are the emerging middle class, high economic growth, increasing OEM production, and rapid urbanization. A strong manufacturing base in India, China, Russia, and Brazil is expected to drive the demand for PET and PBT-based products in the coming years.
Indorama Ventures (Thailand), M&G Chemicals (Luxembourg), Jiangsu Sanfangxiang Group (China), Far Eastern New Century (Taiwan), Alpex (Mexico), are the major players in the PET resin market. BASF (Germany), Toray Industries (Japan), Royal DSM N.V. (The Netherlands), E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (U.S.), Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Saudi Arabia), Nan Ya Plastics (Taiwan), Lanxess Corporations (Germany), Celanese Corporation (U.S.), are the most active and the major players in the PBT resin market.