Plasticizers Procurement Intelligence: Key Insights for Success

Posted by Manisha S on April 8th, 2024

The plasticizers category is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 5.5% from 2023 to 2030. A plasticizer is a compound or material that is added to a polymer solution in order to enhance its flexibility and plasticity. In the plastics industry, plasticizers are among the most frequently utilized additives. The most common polymer to employ plasticizers is Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), which is the third largest by volume after Polypropylene (PP) and Polyethylene (PE). Numerous chemical families fall under the category of plasticizers based on the classification of chemical composition. However, the most prevalent ones are - Trimellitate ester plasticizers (like TINTM, TIDTM, and TEHTM), Phthalate ester plasticizers (like DIDP, DINP, and DEHP), Energetic plasticizers (like BDNPA, BTTN, and DNT), Benzoate plasticizers (like benzoate esters), Adipate plasticizers (like DIDA and DEHA), Bio-based plasticizers (vegetable oil plasticizers), and Citrates plasticizers (like TOC, ATBC, and ATOC).

The growing demand for plasticizers from manufacturing and films & sheet industry, the robust growth in PVC demand, the increasing focus on sustainability, and the booming automotive industry are some of the major factors driving the category growth. The growing use of the product in electrical applications such as jacketing & insulation and medical applications such as blood bags and IV tubing owing to the emergence of new diseases are further aiding category expansion. An area of recent interest for researchers is the use of reactive plasticizers.

The polymers and in turn the plasticizers industry is highly fragmented. The nature of the polymer industry is such that it comprises a diverse range of specifications and end-user markets, leading to market fragmentation. It is even more complex in the recycled plastics industry. At the regional level, the plastics and polymers industry are primarily characterized by the presence of numerous small and micro-level players who dominate the market. All such factors increase the bargaining power of buyers. Many large companies/suppliers are now prioritizing the production of this substance using renewable technologies due to the increasing focus on sustainability. For instance, BASF’s plasticizer portfolio includes the use of renewable feedstocks, which can reduce carbon footprint by 60%. Other examples include:

• In September 2023, LANXESS took a significant step towards sustainability by introducing a new, eco-friendly plasticizer to replace its “Mesamoll” plasticizers. The eco-friendly product will be made using 30% raw materials sourced from sustainable sources. This move aims to reduce the carbon footprint of the product by 20%.

• Similarly, in May 2021, Evonik introduced new sustainable plasticizers with 20 – 59% of recycled content. Its proprietary, “Eastman 168 Renew 20 non-phthalate” plasticizers use 20% certified recycled content for roofing and flooring applications. Its “Eastman Triacetin Renew 59” plasticizers have 59% recycled content for food packaging adhesives and other food wrap applications. Eastman is working towards producing plasticizers using its carbon renewal technology. 

Order your copy of the Plasticizers Procurement Intelligence Report, 2023 - 2030, published by Grand View Research, to get more details regarding day one, quick wins, portfolio analysis, key negotiation strategies of key suppliers, and low-cost/best-cost sourcing analysis

Companies are also expanding their product lines to meet the growing demand for the category. For instance,

• In April 2023, Evonik expanded its plasticizer product line with the introduction of its “ELATUR” product. This material is appropriate for challenging applications, including high-temperature cables, and high-quality interior fittings – like vehicle dashboards, steering wheels trim, etc. The main raw material in this type of plasticizer is Isononanol.

• In January 2022, Evonik announced the launch of its new plasticizer, named “ELATUR DINCD”. This new isononanol-based plasticizer is aimed at demanding applications (both interior and exterior) such as – roofing membranes, adhesives & sealants, paints and coatings, textile fabrics, and floor coverings.

The key raw materials associated with the production of plasticizers are olefins, alcohols, and acids. Hence, the major cost components include raw materials, energy and equipment, labor, facilities and storage, and transportation. Other costs include utilities and administrative expenses, repairs and maintenance, testing, marketing, recycling, tax, insurance and depreciation, R&D, etc. A few common examples of olefins include butene or butylene, propene or propylene, etc. Fluctuations in the prices of raw materials can have a significant impact on the total cost of plasticizers. For instance, since July 2022, Eastman has increased its plasticizer prices due to ongoing pressure from raw materials, energy, and transportation costs. Price increases were in the range of USD 0.075 to USD 0.100 /LB in North America and Latin America.

Linear alpha olefins prices increased by 22% in March 2023 in the U.S. region owing to high prices of crude oil and feedstock ethylene and high demand from polyethylene markets. Due to diminishing resources, the cost of extracting crude oil has increased dramatically. Consequently, alternative, cost-effective, and bio-based feedstocks are being used to produce olefins. At the end of November 2023, in Asia, propylene prices rose due to higher upstream crude prices, strong regional demand, and tighter supply. There has been a robust demand for propylene in Southeast Asia, particularly with the resumption of a PP line by the end of November at PRefChem, Malaysia, and HMC, Thailand. Weak demand in Northeast Asia is attributed to crude losses and subdued economic data. Prices at the end of November reached USD 675 – 1,000 / ton in Southeast Asia and China.

In terms of consumption, China is the world's largest consumer of plasticizers, accounting for more than 35 – 40% of the total share in 2022. Depending on the type of plasticizers, the top countries most preferred for procuring the products are China, India, Germany, Vietnam, the U.S., Canada, the Netherlands, the U.A.E, and the Philippines. Large manufacturers such as BASF, Dow Chemical, etc. have specialized in-house teams that can manufacture plasticizers from start to finish. However, for sourcing a few key raw materials from their approved providers with whom they have long-term agreements with. Some of the key sourcing strategies include evaluating suppliers based on product strength, durability, and specified parameters, whether the product can serve high-demand applications, and ensuring compliance with industry requirements such as CFR, REACH regulations, etc. It is crucial to ensure that the manufacturer is qualified before production, especially in the chemical industry. 

Browse through Grand View Research’s collection of procurement intelligence studies:

• Packaging Design Services Procurement Intelligence Report, 2023 - 2030 (Revenue Forecast, Supplier Ranking & Matrix, Emerging Technologies, Pricing Models, Cost Structure, Engagement & Operating Model, Competitive Landscape)

• Polyurethane Procurement Intelligence Report, 2023 - 2030 (Revenue Forecast, Supplier Ranking & Matrix, Emerging Technologies, Pricing Models, Cost Structure, Engagement & Operating Model, Competitive Landscape)

Plasticizers Procurement Intelligence Report Scope

• Plasticizers Category Growth Rate: CAGR of 5.5% from 2023 to 2030

• Pricing Growth Outlook: 10 - 20% (Annually)

• Pricing Models: Volume-based, contract-based, and spot pricing model

• Supplier Selection Scope: Cost and pricing, past engagements, productivity, geographical presence

• Supplier Selection Criteria: Production capacity, grade, application area (polymeric, specialized), properties (weight, pressure, volume, boiling point), operational and functional capabilities, technology used, and others

• Report Coverage: Revenue forecast, supplier ranking, supplier positioning matrix, emerging technology, pricing models, cost structure, competitive landscape, growth factors, trends, engagement, and operating model

Key Companies 

• Arkema S.A.

• BASF SE

• Daelim Industrial Co. Ltd.

• Dow Chemical Company

• LG Chem Ltd.

• Evonik Industries AG

• ExxonMobil Chemical

• Eastman Chemical Company

• INEOS Group

• LANXESS AG

• UPC Group

Brief about Pipeline by Grand View Research:

A smart and effective supply chain is essential for growth in any organization. Pipeline division at Grand View Research provides detailed insights on every aspect of supply chain, which helps in efficient procurement decisions.

Our services include (not limited to):

• Market Intelligence involving – market size and forecast, growth factors, and driving trends

• Price and Cost Intelligence – pricing models adopted for the category, total cost of ownerships

• Supplier Intelligence – rich insight on supplier landscape, and identifies suppliers who are dominating, emerging, lounging, and specializing

• Sourcing / Procurement Intelligence – best practices followed in the industry, identifying standard KPIs and SLAs, peer analysis, negotiation strategies to be utilized with the suppliers, and best suited countries for sourcing to minimize supply chain disruptions

Like it? Share it!


Manisha S

About the Author

Manisha S
Joined: August 2nd, 2017
Articles Posted: 251

More by this author