In 2012, the global demand for polyols exceeded 7.5 million tons. From 2012 to 2018, the compound annual growth rate of polyol demand is expected to be 5.5%. By 2018, the demand for polyols will reach 10.4 million tons. In 2012, the market value of polyurethane was 43.2 billion U.S. dollars. It is estimated that from 2012 to 2018, the compound annual growth rate of polyurethane market value is 7.4%, and it will reach 66.4 billion U.S. dollars in 2018.
Polyurethane is the most widely used polymer in the world. The main raw materials used to produce polyurethane include diisocyanates, polyols and other additives, of which polyols account for a large proportion. The application of polyols is very wide, including furniture, interior decoration, construction and other fields. The pressure from fluctuating raw material prices and sustainable solutions are challenges faced by industry players.
Industrial polyols are mainly used in the production of polyurethane, so the influencing factors in the polyurethane industry are also the main influencing factors in the polyol market. The dominant position in the polyol market is polyether polyol, which accounts for 70% of the entire polyol demand.
Soft foam and hard foam are very important areas in the demand for polyurethane. In 2011, the demand for soft and hard foam accounted for 65% of the total demand for polyurethane. Polyurethane is mainly used in furniture, interiors, construction, electronics, home appliances, automobiles, In the field of shoe materials and packaging, the furniture and interior decoration industries dominate the entire market demand, followed by the construction field, and the electronics and home appliances market will be the main growth market for polyurethane demand in the next five years.
In 2011, the polyurethane market in the Asia-Pacific region accounted for 40.4% of the total global market, followed by Europe and North America. Moreover, the Asia-Pacific region is also a major growth market for polyurethane production and consumption. This is because the Asia-Pacific region's economy is developing rapidly and the consumption of luxury goods is also rising rapidly. Polyurethane manufacturers choose to settle in the Asia-Pacific mainly because of the relatively low cost of raw materials, mature labor, land and equipment in the region. Europe is another major area of polyurethane, and the consumption of polyurethane in this region is strong. BASF, Bayer, Huntsman, Dow and Yantai Wanhua are the major large manufacturers in the polyurethane industry.