Market Research Analysis: The Covid-19 impact on the thermoplastic composites market

Source: Press release

Due to lockdowns in several countries, the demand for thermoplastic composites has declined significantly in many industries. Not only have supply-chains been disrupted, but also the absence of workers slowed down production.

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Thermoplastic composites are used to manufacture various automotive components, rail coaches, and heavy vehicles.
Thermoplastic composites are used to manufacture various automotive components, rail coaches, and heavy vehicles.
(Source: Public Domain / Unsplash)

According to a new market research report the Thermoplastic Composites market, the global composites market size is expected to grow from $ 22.2 billion in 2020 to $ 31.8 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 7.5 percent during the forecast period. The thermoplastic composites industry is growing due to the increase in the demand for high performance materials with properties such as ability to reform, recyclability, FST properties, high strength to weight ratio, good tensile strength, electrical conductivity, among others.

Covid-19 has negatively affected the demand for thermoplastic composites across various end-use industries such as aerospace & defense, transportation, wind energy, construction, consumer & electronics goods, and others. The disruption in the supply chain resulting in delays or non-arrival of raw materials, disrupted financial flows, and growing absenteeism among production line workers have compelled OEMs to operate at zero or partial capacities, leading to reduced demand for thermoplastic composites.

Companies operating in the thermoplastic composites market have strengthened their position in the global thermoplastic composites market by adopting expansions, partnerships, agreements, new product/technology launches, joint ventures, contracts, and mergers & acquisitions from 2015-2020. However, owing to lockdown announced by several countries in 2020, the demand for thermoplastic composites from wind turbine installations, consumer & electronics goods automotive and aircraft manufacturers, and construction sectors has declined sharply. For instance, the demand for composites from two major commercial aircraft manufacturers, Boeing and Airbus, has decreased drastically due to zero orders for new aircraft in January and February, respectively. In the wind energy sector, international and domestic travel bans are creating problems in the routine maintenance, operations, and procurement of materials and related equipment, thereby reducing thermoplastic composites demand.

The thermoplastic composites business of these companies is severely affected due to the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic resulting in reduced demand for thermoplastic composites from several OEMs and disruption in the supply chain. However, several thermoplastic composite manufacturers have focused their concentration on offering support medical and healthcare device manufacturers. For instance, in lieu of Covid-19, Celenase Corporation has assured assistance to medical equipment manufactures to provide their medical grade products such as long fiber reinforced thermoplastics and continuous fiber reinforced thermoplastics for making ventilators, respirators, and other medical and healthcare devices.

Glass fiber composites

The glass fiber thermoplastic composites are cheaper as compared to carbon, basalt, and aramid fibers composites. Low cost, ability to blend with all the thermoplastic resins, ease of manufacturing, and comparable properties to other fiber thermoplastic composites are driving the growth of glass fiber thermoplastic composites in various end-use industries such as construction, wind energy, transportation, and consumer goods & electronics.

PA resins accounts for the largest market share

The high demand for PA is mainly driven by the growing consumption of short glass fiber reinforced polyamide in transportation, sports & leisure, consumer goods, industrial, marine, energy, oil & gas, and construction & building applications. But, because of the lockdown situation occurred due to Covid-19, many floor workers are unable to work in manufacturing facilities, which has resulted in the reduction in output of resins and price fluctuations. Thus, the demand for PA thermoplastic resins is expected to decline in 2020. With the recovery of aforementioned industries, demand for PA based thermoplastic composites would rise gradually during the forecast period.

SFT holds a significant revenue share

High demand for SFT in transportation, consumer goods & electronics is driving the growth of the SFT thermoplastic composites market. China is the major market for SFT due to wel established automotive and electronics industries. However, the country being majorly affected by the pandemic, the demand for SFT in the automotive and electronics industries has reduced. The demand is expected to stabilize in 2021 and would increase with recovery of the industries.

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The transportation end-use industry accounts for the largest market share in the global thermoplastic composites market during the forecast period in terms of value and volume.

The demand for lightweight thermoplastic composites is driven by the increasing emphasis on enhancing fuel-efficiency in the automobile industry. Thermoplastic composites are widely used in interior automotive parts, which include brake pedals, airbag modules, engine noise shielding, instrument panel carrier, trunk liners, and air intake manifolds, among others. The demand for thermoplastic composites in automotive and penetration in electric vehicles has been severely impacted by the Covid-19. However, the demand for the thermoplastic composites would surge with recovery of the global automotive and electric vehicle sectors post 2020.

Apac is expected to account for the largest market share

Apac accounts for the biggest share of the global thermoplastic composites market. The electrical & electronics, automotive, and consumer goods sectors are the major consumers of thermoplastic composites in the region. North America is the second major consumer of thermoplastic composites. Aerospace & defense and automotive are the major industries fueling the growth of the thermoplastic composites market in this region. Moreover, the US is a manufacturing hub of various commercial, military, and private aircraft. However, the Covid-19 outbreak has affected the demand for thermoplastic composites in the region. On the positive side, the pandemic Covid-19 has instigated nations such as India to reduce dependency on imported goods and manufacture parts/components locally. Such initiatives coupled with recovery in the thermoplastic composites end-use industries will increase the demand for thermoplastic composites in Apac.

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