CLEVELAND - Global demand for emulsion polymers is forecast to rise over five percent per year to 13.3 million metric tons (dry basis) in 2016. Advances will be fueled by increased production of water-based coatings and adhesives, which are displacing solventborne formulations in virtually all parts of the world. In the developed world, where emulsion polymer markets are more mature, gains will benefit from a rebound in construction spending and manufacturing activity, as well as the adoption of more stringent environmental regulations concerning the emission of VOCs. Acrylics will remain the largest and fastest-growing emulsion polymer product type through 2016, when they will account for nearly 40 percent of the world market. These and other trends are presented in World Emulsion Polymers, a new study from The Freedonia Group Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.  

Water-based paints, paper and paperboard coatings, and general-purpose adhesives accounted for over three-quarters of global demand in 2011. The most rapid gains through 2016 will be for emulsion polymers in coatings, where water-based formulations are steadily increasing their share of the market. Even in industrialized regions such as North America and Western Europe, where water-based paints are dominant in the architectural sector, there remain ample opportunities for emulsion polymers in the industrial and specialty coatings markets. More moderate gains in demand are expected in the adhesives market, where emulsion polymers are facing competition from other low-VOC technologies such as hot melts. Below-average advances in emulsion polymer demand are forecast for the highly mature and slow-growing paper and paperboard coatings market.

Driven by strong gains during the 2001-2011 period, the Asia-Pacific region has overtaken North America and Western Europe to become the leading regional market for emulsion polymers. The Asia-Pacific region will continue to see above-average gains in demand through 2016, fueled by strong growth in India and China, the two fastest-growing national markets for emulsions in the world. While demand in North America and Western Europe will rise at a subpar pace, advances will represent a notable rebound from the declining demand of the recession-plagued 2006-2011 period. Other world regions, which accounted for 12 percent of emulsion polymer demand in 2011, will see healthy gains in aggregate demand through 2016, with the best opportunities expected in the Africa/Mideast region.

World Emulsion Polymers(published 08/2012, 319 pages) is available for $5900 from The Freedonia Group Inc. For further details, contact Corinne Gangloff by phone at 440/684.9600, fax 440/646.0484 or e-mail Information may also be obtained at