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More than 4 million tons of plastic masterbatches were consumed worldwide in 2016, according to Ceresana.
More than 4 million tons of plastic masterbatches were consumed worldwide in 2016, according to Ceresana.

More than 4 million tons of plastic masterbatches were consumed worldwide in 2016. Market research company Ceresana expects total revenues generated with masterbatches to increase by 3.7% per year until 2024.

The masterbatches industry in Asia Pacific accounted for about 40% of global demand in 2016. This region generated about one third of total revenues, North America almost 24% and Western Europe 19%.

The most important masterbatch type in 2016 was white masterbatches. Color masterbatches ranked second; colored inorganic and organic pigments are added to them for example.

Over the past eight years, global demand for white masterbatches rose by an average of 2.2% per year, according to Ceresana's report.

Titanium dioxide is the most important product for the production of white masterbatches. The plastics industry colors toys, electric devices, automotive parts, furniture, plastic films, and other products with them on a large scale. Additionally, Titanium dioxide pigments absorb UV radiation and thus protect the so colored products against damaging sunrays.

The black color mainly results from the addition of carbon black. Carbon black is often used for conductive packaging, films, fibers, forms, tubes, and cables. A known end product are also, for example, garbage bags. Carbon black has advantages as a color additive in many plastic applications and especially for engineering polymers: It is extremely resistant to color changes and fading – even under extreme (outdoor) conditions.

The most important end applications for masterbatches in plastics, Ceresana said, are packaging, construction, transportation, electrical and electronics as well as industrial products.

Accounting for 31% of total global demand in 2016, packaging was the most important sales market. The construction industry ranked second at a considerable distance, followed by the segments industrial products and transportation.

The category "packaging" includes all masterbatches for flexible plastic packaging, such as films, bags, and sacks, and for rigid packaging such as yogurt cups, cans, bottles, and caps.

The highest growth rate between 2016 and 2024 is forecast for the segment transportation that is likely to see market volume increase by 3.1% p.a. in the next eight years, the report said. This promising application area for plastic parts also includes, among others, the aerospace industry.

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