COVID-19 Impact on Pharmaceutical Packaging in Chemicals and Materials Industry

COVID-19 Impact on Long-Chain Polyamide in Chemicals and Materials Industry

  • Chemical and Materials
  • Feb 11, 2022

COVID-19 Impact on Long-Chain Polyamide in Chemicals and Materials Industry

ANALYSIS ON IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON THE Global Long-chain Polyamide Market

Long-chain polyamides have a wide range of applications due to their properties such as excellent chemical, fatigue and crack resistance, and dimensional stability. They are also efficient in withstanding aggressive chemicals and extremely high temperatures. Owing to their superior and favorable properties, they are aggressively used in the production of components such as rollers, pulleys, conveyor systems, hoses and tubes connectors, and filaments.

Increasing demand for long-chain polyamides by the electrical and electronics industry in across the globe is fueling up the market growth. Rising application is various industries and areas such as automotive sector for long-chain polyamide as well as growth and expansion of various end user industries will also positively impact the market. Favourable regulations regarding the application of long-chain polyamide, surging demand for lightweight materials in the automotive and transportation industry, growing focus on the technological advancements and modernization in the production techniques will further shape the way for the growth of the market.

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected the global demand and supply of long-chain polyamides. Disruption in global shipping and logistics networks caused an acute shortage of key raw materials in the market and thereby creating volatility in the price of raw materials. Moreover, key suppliers of raw materials, including Evonik Industries, Solvay, Ashland, Petro China Company Limited, and Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd had to shut down their factories as per government guidelines, which further impacted the market in terms of raw material, which disturbed the whole global long-chain polyamide market.

For instance,

  • In March 2020, Evonik Industries closed its manufacturing plants temporarily. The closing of raw material production capacities created a huge demand-supply imbalance in the market

AFTERMATH OF COVID-19 AND GOVERNMENT INITIATIVE TO BOOST THE Global Long-chain Polyamide Market

Widely used petrochemical-derived polymers have a negative impact on the environment and climate, so the use of bio-based material should become widespread due to growing interest in sustainability and environmental issues such as climate change. The use of renewable and biodegradable raw materials improves the carbon footprint and has a positive impact on the life-cycle of plastic products. Therefore, governments across various nations are focusing on the development of polyamides from renewable resources. In addition, the government is supporting local manufacturers with loans and financial support to kick start their production sites again, as they have incurred large losses during the pandemic. Moreover, government initiatives to support and intensify the automotive, electrical, and aviation industry will have a positive outlook towards the demand for long-chain polyamide, which will boost the growth of the global long-chain polyamide market.

STRATEGIC DECISIONS FOR MANUFACTURERS AFTER COVID-19 TO GAIN COMPETITIVE MARKET SHARE

Some of the prominent players in this market are DuPont, Evonik Industries AG, BASF SE, Arkema, DSM, and EMS-CHEMIE HOLDING AG. They have a strong global presence with a wide distribution network, as well as large production capacities. These companies are continuously focusing on strengthening their global presence and market share by adopting and undertaking various initiative strategies.

Numerous research activities are being conducted to explore the wide scale production of long-chain polyamides from bio-based raw materials. Castor oil is one key instance of bio-based raw material being used for the development and production of long-chain polyamides is castor oil. However, lower yields and labor-intensive production processes are major factors limiting the wide-scale adoption of castor oil in the long-chain polyamides production process. Some other developments by major players have resulted in their increased efficiency in production and gaining popularity in the global market.

For instance,

  • In June 2021, Ascend Performance Materials expanded its production capacity for HiDura long-chain polyamides in its Greenwood, S.C., plant. This is a multi-million dollar expansion, which will help the company meet the growing demand for its new product line
  • In November 2020, Ascend added new products to its long-chain polyamide range named HiDura PA610 and 612. These products are used in a variety of consumer goods, industrial, renewable energy, automotive, and electric vehicle applications.
  • In November 2020, Sculpteo, a subsidiary of BASF SE launched four new bio-sourced 3D printing materials based on Nylon PA11. The new materials, namely Ultrasint PA11, Ultrasint PA11 ESD, Ultrasint PA11 CF, and PA11 MJF are derived from renewable castor oil and exhibit high chemical resistance, elongation, and durability properties
  • In February 2019, Evonik Industries launched a new polyamide powder for 3D printing applications in a high-temperature range. This product features high mechanical strength, excellent chemical and temperature resistance for use in the fast-growing 3D printing market

IMPACT ON PRICE

The global long-chain polyamide market has witnessed intensive price volatility in the products and raw materials as industrial production of long-chain polyamide products and raw materials have been put on hold or were running at lowered capacities owing to the restrictions imposed o curb the spread of the pandemic. Manufacturers in the long-chain polyamide market have faced various challenges such as shortage of raw materials, availability of labor, and disruptions in transportation operations of finished products to other industries and end users. All these factors have largely influenced the price of long-chain polyamide products. The key raw materials used in the production of polyamide are Hexamethylenediamine, Adipic acid, and Caprolactam, among others. These are majorly derived from crude oil, which has been under high price fluctuations. Due to the continuous price fluctuations and the environmental concerns associated with crude oil-derived products, the price of long-chain polyamide products has been greatly affected. In addition, the shortage of products has driven prices too high.

IMPACT ON DEMAND

The COVID-19 pandemic has a negative impact on the long-chain polyamide industry. The adverse economic environment led to major job losses and pay cuts across the world and thereby affecting the demand for consumer electronics and automotive vehicles. Thus, the major long-chain polyamide manufacturers had to cut down their production outputs due to a drastic decline in demand from key industries, including automotive and industrial goods, which were the major users of long-chain polyamide products. Lockdown and movement restrictions had a direct and immediate effect on the demand and supply of these products, and once the restrictions ease, the market is expected to gain back its fast-growing pace in very short time and the demand is expected to increase again.

IMPACT ON SUPPLY CHAIN

The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected the supply chain operations of many businesses, with imposed lockdown policies affecting the movement of people and business operations such as transportation of goods and shortage of labor in production units and logistics chain. Moreover, most of the countries restricted border movements due to fast-spreading COVID-19 disease. This negatively affected the volume of exports and imports, which reduced significantly as retailers in both online and offline distribution channels found it challenging to deliver their products to the consumers and other industries.

CONCLUSION

This COVID-19 pandemic had a profound effect on the global long chain polyamide market. Demand for long-chain polyamide from the electrical and electronics industry and automotive industry saw a downward trend. Moreover, the demand was accompanied by disruptions in supply chain operations and shortage in raw materials owing to the lockdown and volatility in their prices. However, an increase in the sales of long-chain polyamide is expected in the future owing to their benefits in many end-uses and applications such as cable harnesses, lamp holders, fuel supply systems like quick-action couplings, fuel filter housings, and fuel lines; in engine compartments such as inlet pipe and intake manifold oil sensors, and many others. The market is expected to gain its pre-COVID position as the restriction ease up slowly and demand and supply witness a positive trend.