Hotmelt market to grow to USD 9.5-bn by 2027, Smithers forecasts

According to the latest market data forecasting from Smithers, increased demand in packaging, non-wovens and other core end-use segments is likely to push the global demand for hotmelt adhesives forward at a steady 3.0% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) across 2022-2027.

09 Dec 2022 | By Pooja Mahesh

Between 2022 and 2027, global consumption of hotmelt will rise from 2.3-mm tonnes to 2.8-mn tonnes

Smithers’s new report, the future of hotmelt adhesives to 2027, charts how this will push a market valued at USD 8.2-bn in 2022 to USD 9.5-bn in 2027 at constant prices. Across the same five-year period, global consumption of hotmelt adhesives will rise from 2.3-mm tonnes to 2.8-mn tonnes.

For 2022 and into 2023, the war in Ukraine is causing volatility in the supply of raw materials, but the main impact is the soaring price of energy and natural gas. This is leading hotmelt suppliers to examine reformulating products and localising feedstock supply. In particular the extra input costs for manufacturing ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), means the most popular polymer chemistry for hotmelt adhesives is losing its cost competitiveness.

This will mainly benefit polyolefin-based formulations, as well as smaller niche segments using polyesters, polycarbonates, fluoropolymers, silicone rubbers, polypyrrole and various other copolymers. Smithers forecasts for some minor price corrections in 2023 and 2024, but pricing of EVA adhesives will stay comparably higher in the future.

A major commercial challenge for the next five years will be protecting hotmelt sales in those applications that saw a surge during Covid-19. The increased demand for eCommerce packaging, including tapes and labels, led to a boom in hotmelt sales; coupled with much wider use in face coverings and other non-woven goods. Combined these factors saw hotmelt sales increase by USD 1.7-bn across 2019-2022.

In the post-Covid market space, many industries are looking at their carbon impact. This trend is particularly marked in nonwovens and packaging, which combined represent 45.9% of the contemporary market. This is seeing multiple planet-friendly claims, including bio-based, biodegradable and recyclable becoming more prominent in hotmelt marketing literature. Recyclability/repulpability is an important consideration for paperboard users in particular which benefits hotmelts that are solid and hence easier to separate.

Across the next five years iterative improvements in the carbon footprint of hotmelts will be one of the priorities for R&D. While the polymer base of hot melts cannot be eliminated; bio-based grades of polyolefins are now available commercially, as are EVA formulations with an up to 70% bio-based content. Other sustainability gains will come from refinements in chemistry to optimise cure time and bonding.

Tags : Smithers Pira
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