Emulsion polymer demand in the United States is expected to rise 5% annually to 5.5 million pounds in 2004. Market value is forecast to rise 5% per year to $4.8 billion, aided by shifts toward higher priced emulsions, particularly acrylics. Good opportunities are expected for acrylic, vinyl acrylic and styrene-butadiene latex emulsions as they outperform their primary end-use industries (e.g., paints, paper/paperboard, textiles, tufted carpets and rugs). Emulsion polymer demand will benefit in these applications from their good environmental profile. Emulsions also offer low cost, easy cleanup, good adhesion and flexibility, and abrasion resistance.

The study “Emulsion Polymers,” available from the Freedonia Group, Cleveland, analyzes the $3.8-billion U.S. emulsion polymer industry. The study indicates that acrylic emulsions will exhibit the best growth prospects, expanding nearly 4% annually to 1.5 billion pounds in 2004. Acrylics will benefit from their compatibility with waterborne products in applications including coatings, adhesives and textiles. Opportunities will be centered in industrial and specialty coatings where reformulation has lagged due to higher performance requirements. Demand for vinyl acrylics will benefit from cost advantages over acrylic emulsions in coatings applications and growing use in paper coatings, packaging adhesives, and nonwovens.

Styrene-butadiene latex is predicted to remain the largest emulsion polymer segment due in part to opportunities in paper and board, and specialty applications. Paint and paper and board coating markets will continue to account for one half of total emulsion polymer demand. Opportunities in industrial paint uses will result from the replacement of traditional solventborne interior trim, industrial, and high-gloss exterior coatings. Paper and board coating markets will be stimulated by needs for high-quality glossy and other papers, as well as enhanced graphic capabilities for cartons and other board products used for food and beverage packaging. Other areas of opportunity include packaging adhesives, construction adhesives and printing ink.

The study presents historic (1989, 1994 and 1999) data and forecasts to 2004 and 2009 by type (e.g., styrene-butadiene latex, acrylics, vinyl acrylics, polyvinyl acetate, vinyl acetate-ethylene), by function and by market. The study also examines the market environment, details industry structure and market share, and profiles over 40 key companies including Rohm and Haas, Dow Chemical, Air Products and Chemicals, Reichhold, OMNOVA Solutions and BASF.

For more information, contact The Freedonia Group Inc., 767 Beta Drive, Cleveland, OH 44143-2326; call Corinne Gangloff at 440/684.9600; fax 440/646.0484; e-mail pr@freedonia group.com; or visit www.freedoniagroup.com.