Tapes: World Pressure Sensitive Tapes
World demand to exceed 50 billion square meters by 2018
Worldwide demand for pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA) tape is projected to exceed 50 billion square meters by 2018. This represents a considerable improvement over the 2008-2013 period, which included the recent global economic slowdown. As tape technologies continue to improve, they will take additional market share away from non-PSA tapes, standalone adhesives, staples, and other mechanical fasteners in packaging and other applications.
Carton sealing tapes to benefit from increases in manufacturing activity Strong demand in the dominant carton sealing tape segment will be bolstered by overall increases in manufacturing activity, including in the key processed food and beverage market, which is the largest single user of corrugated boxes and the tapes used to seal them. The turnaround in manufacturing activity will be most significant in North America and Western Europe, two of the largest regional tape markets. The growing popularity of online shopping will result in more direct shipping of purchases to consumers, boosting tape demand.
Strong opportunities will also lie in the electrical and electronic, double-sided, and medical tape segments, although these applications are considerably smaller. Tapes demand will benefit from continued growth in electronics production, although the more salient dynamic within that market will be the continued shift of activity to the Asia/Pacific region; and within the region, a shift to new manufacturing sites in Vietnam and other countries. Double-sided bonding tapes will further supplant alternative joining and sealing techniques in a host of industrial applications, while PSA medical and surgical tapes are expected to continue to replace traditional bandages in some medical procedures.
Asia/Pacific region to remain largest market, lead gains
In Asia/Pacific, the largest regional markets will exhibit the fastest gains due to large and growing manufacturing industries. China and other rapidly developing Asian economies are not expected to replicate the potent growth of the past decade, but will continue to outpace the rest of the world. Overall, the fastest growth will be seen in India, China, and Indonesia. In particular, China alone will account for close to half of global pressure sensitive tape market volume gains in the forecast period. Central and South America, Eastern Europe, and the Africa/Mideast region will also experience healthy growth, though advances will stem from much lower base levels.
North America and Western Europe, where markets are more established, are both expected to register slower growth than the global average. More significant, though, is the extent to which the market in each region will improve, coming off declines in manufacturing and construction activity, which contributed to a sluggish market for tape. The US, which accounted for about 18 percent of sales volume in 2013, will remain the second largest national pressure sensitive tape market in the world, after China. Other large, but generally mature markets include Japan and Germany. Nonetheless, good opportunities will still be found in developed countries, especially for technical tapes, due to the development of newer specialty applications such as conductive adhesive tapes for use in telecommunications equipment.
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