Beaker is a cylindrical container, which is mostly used for an array of applications, from preparing solutions to holding waste fluids. Beakers are usually made from the glass, owing to the exceptional transparency and resistance to contaminants and chemicals, and the ability to sustain radical changes in temperature. However, plastics are also a preferred material for certain applications. Growing research activities in healthcare and chemical sectors are expected to fuel the demand for beakers across the globe.
From the last few years, per capita healthcare spending has been increasing on account of the surging prevalence of lifestyle-related diseases, such as obesity and diabetes, aging population, increasing health awareness, and newly emerging pathogenic viruses, further driving the demand for laboratory glassware, including beakers, ampoules, syringes, and vials. Additionally, private health insurance plays a vital role in carving up healthcare systems.
The national health protection schemes, such as Ayushman Bharat (India) and Jaminan Kesehatan Nasional (Indonesia), are further fueling the per capita healthcare expenditure. Apart from this, an increasing number of well-trained medical professionals, combined with the upgrading medical institutes, is expected to fuel the demand for healthcare products, such as beakers, ampoules, and syringes. The current per capita healthcare ng of ASEAN countries is approximately 4.0% of GDP and has witnessed more than 250% growth from the year 1998.
Figure: Health Expenditure (% of GDP)
Borosilicate glass is an ideal material for the manufacturing of laboratory apparatus and pharmaceutical packaging, owing to its exceptional mechanical and chemical properties. Stringent government regulations and norms, especially in the European and U.S. pharmacopeias, are encouraging manufacturers to utilize borosilicate glass to maintain the quality required for the intended use of the medication and research. As per the European and the U.S. pharmacopeias, the equipment and glassware used for primary packaging and handling of parenteral drugs should be constructed in such a way that the surfaces that come in direct contact with drug products, in-process materials, or components do not react with the packaging material and alter the quality and purity of the products beyond the official requirements.
Borosilicate glass beakers fulfill almost all criteria set by regulatory committees. This rapidly increasing adoption of borosilicate glass beakers in the pharmaceutical sector for laboratory applications is expected to drive the market, especially in emerging economies such as Brazil and India, owing to the stringent regulatory framework regarding drug handling. To meet the rising demand, most of the companies have increased their production capacity of borosilicate glass beakers in the past few years. Additionally, the borosilicate glass producers are ensuring an adequate supply of raw materials and engaging in expanding their production capacity to cater to the increasing demand of borosilicate glass for laboratory glassware. For instance, in October 2018, SCHOTT AG announced the capacity expansion and built a new plant in India and China, respectively, to cater to the increasing demand for borosilicate glass tubing for high-quality pharmaceutical apparatus in Asia.
Almost every country in Southeast Asia is growing and possesses great potential and opportunities for beaker manufacturers, owing to the growing end-use sectors. India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand are the fastest growing healthcare markets in the world and are expected to significantly affect the global beaker demand in upcoming years.
The Indian laboratory glassware industry has evolved and adopted technological changes, including modern processes and automation, and is one of the leading producers of beakers. The Indian beaker market is expected to witness considerable growth during the forecast period, owing to the growing pharmaceutical sector, increasing number of laboratories, and huge ongoing R&D projects. Additionally, the launch of the Make in India campaign has resulted in the huge investments in the pharmaceutical sector, which has generated considerable demand for premium laboratory apparatus.
Indonesia is one of the significant economies in the Southeast Asian region and holds lucrative opportunities and potential for the beaker market. Since 1996, the Indonesian government has allotted a series of deregulation packages, where the restrictions have been reduced, and non-tariff barriers are exchanged with more transparent tariffs to encourage domestic as well as foreign private investment for the economic growth of the country. The pharmaceutical sector is the leading driver for the country’s economy, and after the election of a new government in 2019, the Indonesian pharmaceutical market has witnessed immense growth.
Malaysia is a newly industrialized economy and has witnessed the second-highest growth in ASEAN countries. Malaysia represents lucrative opportunities for beaker manufacturers, owing to the lack of presence of local beaker manufacturers, growing end-use sectors, and supportive government policies. The presence of homegrown raw materials providers, such as Duraglas Sdn Bhd and KSFE, accelerates the market growth. These companies import borosilicate glass from Japan, India, and Germany, for the manufacturing of technical glassware to cater to the increasing demand from end-use sectors, including pharmaceuticals, chemical, and clinical laboratories. Additionally, a growing number of laboratories are expected to increase the demand for laboratory glassware. As per the Department of Standards Malaysia, as of 2018, the country had 691 accredited laboratories, and the number is expected to grow considerably in the coming years.
Thailand is expected to witness considerable growth in the beaker market during the forecast period, owing to the growing adoption of premium laboratory glassware in the pharmaceutical sector and increasing R&D activities. Moreover, Thailand is gaining an identity as a pharmaceutical hub in the ASEAN region and has witnessed approximately 30% growth in the production volume of pharmaceuticals from 2011 to 2015. Additionally, CPhI South East Asia has announced the event ‘Thailand Edition 2019’ to attract pharmaceutical companies from diverse locations.
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