Polypropylene random copolymer has gained wide acceptance across the packaging sector in recent decades. Manufacturers heavily depend on the material for the packaging of food, beverage, medical, and pharmaceutical products owing to properties such as excellent durability, light weight, transparency, and inertness.
Polypropylene random copolymer is also a popular choice for making pipes commonly used in potable water supply and food grade applications. The material is also in demand across healthcare as well as building and construction sectors.
Global polypropylene random copolymer market size is estimated to reach an annual valuation of more than US$9 billion by 2024.
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Extensive application in food and beverage packaging
Over the past decade or so, a considerable shift has been observed in people’s lifestyle trends. One of the most noticeable trends is an increased consumption of packaged food and beverage products. With busier routines and longer working hours, packed foods serve as a convenient option for a vast majority of the population.
Polypropylene random copolymer is extensively used in food packaging and storage applications such as food containers and vessels. This can be attributed to favorable properties such as high impact resistance, exceptional flexibility, and suitable optical characteristics. The material provides additional properties such as gloss, transparency, and optimum thermal resistance. In addition, polypropylene random copolymer packaging also helps maintain organoleptic characteristics of packed products.
The consumption of polypropylene random copolymer in packaging applications accounted for more than 50% share by volume in 2015. Growing attraction of consumer towards artistic packaging and labeling will further boost the product adoption. Polypropylene random copolymer has immense potential for use as an efficient alternative to conventional packaging materials like glass and PET.
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Well-established healthcare sector in North America
North America polypropylene random copolymer industry size was estimated to be worth more than US$950 million in 2015. The regional growth can be largely credited to rapid expansion of the packaging industry. The U.S. and Canada are among the leading consumers of packed foods.
Presence of a well-established healthcare industry in North America will also complement the industry outlook. In the healthcare sector, polypropylene random copolymer is prominently used in the production of medical devices and instruments such as nozzles and syringes due to its transparency. Various laboratory instruments and equipment is also made up of polypropylene random copolymer owing to the material’s durability and light weight. Healthcare application segment was valued at US$1 billion in 2015.
Regional companies are constantly exploring partnership opportunities in the form of supply contracts to expand their market presence. Citing an instance, in September 2019, Uponor North America and Pestan North America had signed an agreement as per which, Uponor will serve as the exclusive distributor of Pestan’s proprietary polypropylene random copolymer with modified crystallinity and temperature resistance (PP-RCT) products across the U.S. and Canada.
Some key factors impacting the product demand
Naphtha and ethylene are among the main raw materials used in the manufacturing of polypropylene random copolymers. Uncertainty in crude oil prices and high raw materials prices may negatively impact the industry forecast. For instance, the price of naphtha had surpassed US$900/ton in 2010, up from US$500/ton in 2009.
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