InterviewAsia engineering plastics demand to grow 32% by '15 – BASF

07 February 2012 08:50  [Source: ICIS news]

By Ong Sheau Ling

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Global chemical major BASF expects Asia’s consumption of compounded engineering plastics to increase by 32% in four years’ time to 1.45m tonnes, backed by the region’s growing population, improving infrastructure and stable economic growth, a senior company official said on Tuesday.

The huge emerging markets of China and India will likely show the highest increase in demand for polyamide (nylon) and polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) products, at 10-11% from 2010 to 2015, Andy Postlethwaite, senior vice president for engineering plastics for Asia-Pacific at BASF, told ICIS.

By 2015, consumption is estimated to hit 803,000 tonnes/year in China; 306,000 tonnes/year in Japan; 138,000 tonnes/year in South Korea; 103,000 tonnes/year in India, and; 102,000 tonnes/year for the rest of Asia, he said.

“In the next 10 years, PA [polyamide] and PBT compounds [consumption in Asia] is expected to grow on an average [of] about 8% per year,” Postlethwaite said.

In 2011, the Asian consumption of polyamide and PBT compounds breached the 1m-tonne mark, with China accounting for 562,000 tonnes or half of the total, the BASF official said.

Postlethwaite said that the automotive sector is expected to remain the key demand driver for engineering plastics, citing India’s case, wherein the sector accounted for half of the total consumption of these types of material.

BASF is upbeat on the growth prospects of the South Asian country’s demand for engineering plastics in the long term, given that its consumption of compounded polyamide at 6-7 kg/car in 2010, was just half of Europe’s numbers, he said.

“Western and Japan OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] are putting large investments in India. India’s engineering plastics consumption will increase,” he added.

Compounded polyamide is now used in cars as engine mount, structural inserts, concept seat, cross beam, oil pan, lower bumper stiffener and front-end carrier.

BASF and South Korean car manufacturer Hyundai Motor Group are collaborating to come up with a car model made up of 50% engineering plastics.

Read John Richardson and Malini Hariharan’s blog – Asian Chemical Connections


By: Ong Sheau Ling
+65 6780 4359



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