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10-05-2016

Chinese Market for Synthetic Latex Polymers Getting Tighter

Accounting for almost 25% of the global market share, China is the second largest consumer of synthetic latex polymers after North America, according to the just-published China chapter report from Kline’s continuous program Synthetic Latex Polymers: Global Business Analysis and Opportunities. A considerably higher GDP growth compared to the developed world, low industry regulations, and stability in raw material prices appeals to multinational corporations and domestic suppliers, increasing market rivalry dramatically.

“While in most regional markets paints and coatings is the largest consumer of synthetic latex polymers, adhesives and sealants is the largest end use application in China,” notes Shilpi Mehrotra, the project’s lead. “This stems from China being the largest producer globally of biaxially-oriented polypropylene tapes for packaging that use large volumes of latex polymers in pressure-sensitive adhesives.” The rising construction segment further drives the demand for adhesives and sealants and paints and coating in terms of both volume and value. In product terms, X-SB dominates the Chinese market by volume, as this polymer is widely used in the well-developed paper industry, while pure acrylics is the largest product in value terms. However, the market is still price sensitive, limiting the use of high-value products.

Growth in services and various industry sectors in China generate favorable market conditions for suppliers. The competitive landscape in the Chinese market for synthetic latex polymers is fragmented, with the top 10 suppliers accounting for around 38% of the total market share. Supplier base comprises three tiers of companies, including global multinational corporations, such as BASF, Dow Chemical, and Wacker, domestic companies with a national focus, such as Shunde BATF, Shanxi Sanwei, Shanghai Baolijia, and Beijing Organic Chemical, and domestic companies with the a regional focus, including Hengshui Xinguang, Dongguan Hontex, and Jiangsu Runyang. BASF is the leading supplier of synthetic latex polymers in China in terms of value, mainly due to its strong presence in the X-SB and styrene acrylics markets. Local supplier Sunde BATF is the second largest market player, specializing in the production of styrene acrylics and pure acrylics.

According to a five-year forecast, China’s strong GDP growth, supported by the rise in services and industry sectors will be the major market driver for each individual product. Glove dipping is expected to be the fastest growing end-use application due to the growing demand for synthetic latex gloves globally. As a result, the major chemical used in this application, AB-Nitrile, will be the fastest growing product in the region. On the other hand, the textiles industry will experience the slowest growth due to its mature market stage. The use of VA VEVA will continue to decrease. VAE is the strongest competitor to VA VEVA as it is comparatively lower-priced and provides better performance, as well as being friendly to the environment.

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