Masterbatches are solid or liquid mixture of additive or pigments used for coloring or enhancing other properties of polymers such as UV stabilizing, flame retardation, antistatic and antilocking. Masterbatches can be used by several technological methods including injection, blow, spinning and others. Growing end user markets such as packaging, automobile and healthcare is boosting the demand of masterbatch market. Moreover, increasing demand of plastics from construction and luxury goods packaging industries are further driving the global masterbatch market. Among the end-user industries, packaging accounts for the largest share in global masterbatch market. Packaging industry uses all types of masterbatches, wherein color and white masterbatch are the most commonly used segments. Food and beverages manufacturers’ increasing interest in enhancement of packaging colors is escalating demands for the color masterbatches.
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The raw materials for masterbatch production include pigments, carrier, dispersant and some additives. Masterbatch market can be classified into four segments – additive, color, white and black. Additive masterbatche is the fastest growing segment which finds its application in customized plastic products in industries such as automotive, electronic appliances, textile, pharmaceutical packaging, and food and beverages packaging. Color masterbatche is used in the production of plastics for automobiles, electronic appliances, flexible packaging for food and beverages and medicine packaging. Black masterbatche is mainly used in construction, automotive and electronic appliance industries.
The demand for light weight vehicles is escalating globally due to European Union’s concern for reduction in green house gases. Increasing the plastic content in vehicles reduces their weight and carbon emission, and also increases fuel efficiency. This is leading to replacement of metal parts in the vehicles by plastic components. This shows growth opportunities for the masterbatch market for the forecasted period (2014-2020). However, the rising oil prices and stringent environmental laws related to non-biodegradability of plastics are posing significant challenge to the growth of plastic industries which is in turn affecting the masterbatch market.
Asia Pacific was the largest market for masterbatch in 2013 owing to high demand of plastics from construction and automobile industries. Asia Pacific, Latin America and Middle East are expected to witness high growth rates during the forecasted period.
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Masterbatch market in Europe and North America is consolidated, whereas the masterbatch market in Asia Pacific has a fragmented structure where china alone is a home to about 500 masterbatch manufacturers. Due to large number of mergers and acquisition taking place, rivalry in the masterbatch industry is expected to reduce during the forecasted period. The major companies operating in global masterbatch market include, A. Schulman Inc., Ampacet Corporation, Clariant International Ltd., PolyOne Corporation, GABRIEL-CHEMIE GROUP, Ferro Corporation and Americhem, Inc.