CLEVELAND - Global demand for thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) is forecast to rise 5.2 percent per year to 6.7 million metric tons in 2019, valued at more than $24 billion. Advances will be driven by ongoing product innovation on the part of TPE manufacturers, which will allow these materials to continue to displace traditional elastomers and thermoplastics in a variety of applications.  Additionally, TPE demand will benefit from the ongoing push to reduce motor vehicle weight, particularly as fuel economy standards around the world become more stringent. Growth will also be boosted by an improved economic outlook in North America and Western Europe, while advances in developing countries will benefit from increased adoption of TPEs over competing materials. Limiting further gains, however, will be a high degree of maturity in slower growing markets such as footwear and motor vehicle bumpers. These and other trends are presented in World Thermoplastic Elastomers, a new study from The Freedonia Group Inc., a Cleveland-based industry research firm.

Styrenic block copolymers (SBCs) will remain the leading TPE product type through 2019. However, as analyst Anna Andrews notes, “SBC demand will rise at a below-average pace compared to TPEs overall, limited by a high degree of market saturation in many large volume applications.” The fastest growth is expected for thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPVs), which are penetrating new applications in motor vehicle, consumer and medical product markets. 

The Asia-Pacific region will remain the largest market for TPEs, rising at an above-average pace to account for half of total world demand in 2019.  China, the world’s largest consumer of TPEs in volume terms, will see nearly eight percent annual growth. Regional gains will also benefit from robust expansion in India and Southeast Asia, although growth in the Japanese market will be sluggish. The Africa/Mideast region, which currently has the world’s lowest TPE consumption levels per capita, will also produce above-average advances in demand. TPE demand in North America and Western Europe will slow from the recovery enhanced 2009-2014 performance, yet will still see healthy growth; however, these regions are expected to account for a smaller share of global TPE demand. 

World Thermoplastic Elastomersis available from The Freedonia Group Inc. For further details, contact Corinne Gangloff by phone 440/684.9600 or e-mail Information may also be obtained through