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Demand for Emulsion Polymers to Rise 5.2% Annually Through 2014

This report covers emulsion polymers including water-based paints, acrylic emulsions, and Vinyl acetate emulsions

Rockville, MD, November 05, 2010 --( has announced the addition of Freedonia Group Inc’s new report “World Emulsion Polymers” to their collection of Plastics market reports. For more information, visit

World demand for emulsion polymers is forecast to rise 5.2 percent per year to 12.8 million metric tons in 2014. Gains will be driven by rising global demand for latex polymers used in the production of water-based paints, coatings and adhesives. In the developed world, the adoption of more stringent environmental regulations concerning the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) will continue to drive increased demand for emulsions in waterborne paints and coatings. Emulsion polymer consumption is also rapidly rising in developing nations such as China and India, driven by strong economic growth and the ongoing replacement of solvent-based coatings and adhesives with waterborne products.

Though emulsion polymers are highly versatile and used throughout the industrial economy, the market will remain closely linked to a relatively narrow group of products, most prominently water-based paints, paper coatings and general purpose adhesives. These three outlets accounted for over three-quarters of global demand in 2009. Best prospects are expected for emulsion polymers in water-based paints, which are gaining share over solvent-borne coatings in virtually all world markets. Even in industrialized countries, where latex paint dominates the architectural sector, emulsions in waterborne coatings are becoming more widespread in the industrial coating market. Demand growth in adhesives and paper coatings is forecast to rise more slowly, however, as emulsion technology is much more mature in these markets.

Acrylics will remain the leading emulsion polymer product type through 2014, accounting for 35 percent of total demand. Acrylics will also be the fastest growing class of emulsions, driven by increasing demand in latex paints and coatings. Vinyl acetate emulsions, which are used in adhesives and water-based coatings, will also see healthy gains in demand. More subdued advances are expected for styrene-butadiene (SB) latexes, restrained by ties to slowergrowing markets such as paper coatings and carpet backing adhesives. Nonetheless, gains for SB latexes will represent a substantial acceleration over the sluggish increases of the 2004-2009 period.

While emulsion polymer demand has historically been concentrated in developed world regions such as North America and Western Europe, the Asia/ Pacific region rose to become the largest consumer of emulsions in 2009. Much of the growth has been driven by the rapidly expanding Chinese market, which nearly quadrupled in size between 1999 and 2009. Going forward, the Asia/Pacific region will continue to be the fastest growing emulsions market through 2014. However, while North America and Western Europe post subpar gains, both will see a significant improvement over recent historical performances. North America, in fact, will reverse a nearly three percent annual decline experienced during the 2004-2009 period. Other world regions, which accounted for ten percent of emulsion polymer demand in 2009, will register slightly above-average gains in demand through 2014.

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Veronica Franco

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Veronica Franco

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