Caprolactam – Resins and Fibers that hold the World Together
Nylon 6 fiber and nylon 6 resin have wide applications in automotive and textile industry due to their high tensile strength and superior elasticity. Automakers are focusing on light weighting of vehicles in order to improve fuel efficiency and performance. Thus, metallic parts of automobile are being rapidly replaced by polyamide 6 and nylon 6 due to high temperature and chemical resistance. For instance, door handles, air bag containers, radiator grilles, relay boxes, air intake manifold and engine cover, among others are manufactured from polyamide 6 or nylon 6. Also, nylon 6 have wide applications in electrical and electronic equipment industry due to high electrical insulation and low weight as compared to metal tubes, which includes circuit breakers, voltage switchgears, contactors, tubes for wiring & cables protection, connectors, among others. Also, increasing number of women in the workforce, growing westernization, increasing disposable income and growing demand for convenience food across the globe, is expected to fuel demand for specialty films for packing. Nylon 6 is a key constituent in specialty films. The market is expected to gain traction in Asia Pacific due to burgeoning growth of various end-use industries in China and India. As per Coherent Market Insights, the nylon 6 fibers segment accounted for 52.94% revenue share in 2016.
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Plummeting costs of caprolactam due to increasing production capacity and oversupply is expected to be the key challenge for caprolactam market. As a result, from 2011, continuous caprolactam production capacity reduction are taking place to provide stability in supply and price. On September 12, 2016, BASF SE announced plans to reduce caprolactam production at its Ludwigshafen plant by 100,000 MT over the following 18 months. Moreover, DSM Chemicals plans to cease operations at its caprolactam plant in the U.S. by the end of 2017. Furthermore, according to Coherent Market Insights analysis, due to continuing oversupply of caprolactam by China, some existing caprolactam plants are expected to shut down during the forecast period.
The global caprolactam market size is estimated at US$ 11,453.48 million (revenue) and 5,747.09 kilo tons (volume) in 2016 and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 4.6% in terms of revenue and 2.7% in terms of volume from 2017 – 2025.
Asia Pacific, followed by Europe and North America accounted for major share in the global Caprolactam market both in terms of revenue and volume in 2016 and the trend is estimated to remain the same over the forecast period. In 2016, Asia Pacific held a share of 64.71% in terms of volume, followed by Europe (13.67%). The increasing sales for automobile in Asia Pacific due to growing population, increased urbanization and growing export of automobiles is expected to drive growth of the global caprolactam market over the forecast period. For instance, in 2016, according to Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), Indian automobiles exports for FY2016 totaled 3,641,212 units. According to the stats by Coherent Market Insights, the global nylon 6 fiber market is expected to witness a CAGR of 4.5% from 2017-2025 in terms of revenue, which is expected to fuel the global Caprolactam market.
Multinational players need to maintain the supply and price, as the market for caprolactam is fragmented in Asia Pacific.
Major players in the global Caprolactam market include BASF SE, China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation, China Petrochemical Development Corporation, Honeywell International Inc., KuibyshevAzot OJSC, Royal DSM N.V., UBE Industries, SINOPEC among others.
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