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Keywords of this article:  packaging 
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masterbatch 
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The global market for thermoplastic masterbatch.
The global market for thermoplastic masterbatch.

The masterbatch industry is showing strong growth on the back of growing polymer demand and its ability to replace alternative methods of polymer modification. The growth rate of the industry will be in excess of 5% per annum for the medium term, according to a report by AMI Consulting.

The masterbatch industry continues to outperform both GDP and polymer demand growth with all regions of the world and all product types benefiting from these trends.

The emergence of global players combined with the active role played by private equity is driving a revised business structure in all markets. Currently the largest ten global producers of masterbatch account for around one third of the industry, given the pace of this change in the world this share is forecast to accelerate in the medium-term future.

However, grasping the opportunity is not easy. Growing competitive intensity, raw material supply and pricing volatility, increased specifications and heightened customer service requirements all demand that participants think carefully about the sectors that they engage in. It is already clear that missteps are costly to company development and profitability.

The over 130,000 injection moulders in the world account for the largest customer group for masterbatch, however, as many of these companies are active in packaging applications (almost two thirds of colour masterbatch demand) there will be challenges as the “circular economy” debate influences the market in all the corners of the world.

The market is intrinsically linked to the size, growth and relative maturity of demand for polymers around the world. Thus China, as the world’s largest consumer of polymer, is also the largest individual country market and in total Asia accounted for 46% of global masterbatch demand in 2018, compared with 18% in Europe and 26% in the Americas. The markets of Asia will continue to be key drivers for the masterbatch industry going forward driven by the markets of China and India.

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