Styrene is a derivative of benzene and is commonly used in the production of elastomers, resins, and plastics, including styrene-acrylonitrile (SAN), acrylonitrile-butadiene styrene (ABS), styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR), polystyrene, and styrene-butadiene elastomers. Additionally, “the chemical is widely used in the packaging sector for the packaging of various consumer products such as fruits, meat, and milk and many other types of packaged food items”. This is mainly because of the higher resistance of the chemical to moisture as compared to other chemicals.
In addition, styrene is also highly flexible and lightweight, owing to which, it is extensively used in various packaging applications. Furthermore, the ballooning popularity of ready-to-eat-food items and the growing cold storage sector are significantly pushing the demand for styrene across the world. In addition to this, styrene is used for making disposable containers and cups and insulation. Styrene monomer is considered a basic building block of the plastics industry. Driven by these factors, the global styrene market is predicted to demonstrate rapid advancement in the forthcoming years.
The major application areas of this chemical are styrene-butadiene elastomer, polystyrene, acrylonitrile-butadiene styrene resin, and latex. Out of these, the usage of polystyrene is predicted to be the highest in the coming years. This is predominantly because of the fact that polystyrene is highly sought after in a plethora of applications such as automotive body components, food packaging, home appliances, and insulation. Additionally, the growth of the automotive, construction, and packaging industries in various developing nations such as India, Brazil, Thailand, and China will massively fuel the demand for polystyrene in future.
“Across the globe, the Asia-Pacific (APAC) styrene market is predicted to register substantial growth over the next several years, as per the forecasts of P&S Intelligence, a market research company based in India”. This is mainly ascribed to the presence of thriving automotive and textile industries and rapid industrialization and the subsequent rise in the requirement of the chemical in various industrial applications in the region. In addition to this, the soaring infrastructural development and construction activities are further propelling the demand for the chemical in the region.
Besides the APAC region, the European and North American regions are also predicted to observe large-scale utilization of styrene in the future years. This is credited to the surging usage of expanded polystyrene (EPS) in the construction and packaging industries, on account of its application in heavy and high value product packaging including food packaging and insulation panels used in buildings. Furthermore, the increasing building renovation activities in the developed nations are predicted to contribute tremendously toward the mushrooming popularity of styrene across the world.
Hence, it can be said with surety that the sales of styrene will skyrocket throughout the world in the upcoming years, mainly because of the widespread usage of the chemical in the packaging sector and the automotive and textile industries.
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