Home Speciality Chemicals Specialty Polystyrene Resin Market Size, Share | Growth Report 2031

Specialty Polystyrene Resin Market

Specialty Polystyrene Resin Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Function (Protection, Insulation, Cushioning, Others), By Application (Protective Packaging, Building and Construction, Automotive and Transportation, Electrical and Electronics, Healthcare, Others) and By Region(North America, Europe, APAC, Middle East and Africa, LATAM) Forecasts, 2023-2031

Report Code: SRSC55522DR
Study Period 2019-2031 CAGR %
Historical Period 2019-2021 Forecast Period 2023-2031
Base Year 2022 Base Year Market Size USD 122.52 Million
Forecast Year 2031 Forecast Year Market Size USD 153.01 Million
Largest Market Asia Pacific Fastest Growing Market North America
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Market Overview

The global specialty polystyrene resin market size was valued at USD 122.52 million in 2022 and is projected to reach a value of USD 153.01 million by 2031, registering a CAGR of 2.5% during the forecast period (2023-2031). The need for protection functions from various applications is projected to drive the specialty polystyrene resin market growth.

Specialty polystyrene resin (HIPS) is a polystyrene polymer developed to have certain properties and features, making it ideal for various specialized applications. Unlike regular polystyrene, which is hard and brittle, specialty polystyrene resin is engineered to perform better in areas like impact resistance, heat resistance, UV stability, flame retardancy, and chemical resistance.

Due to their varied uses, one of the primary aspects that may drive market expansion is the increasing demand from various industries such as building and construction, healthcare, and electrical and electronics. During the projected period, the global market is expected to be driven by increased demand for various applications with protective qualities and thermal insulation systems. Some factors likely to increase the Specialty polystyrene resin market share throughout the forecast period include severe government regulations for reducing greenhouse gases in the rising vehicle industry in emerging economies.

Market Dynamics

Market Drivers

Growth in Packaging Industry

The rise of the packaging industry is driving the global market for specialty polystyrene resin. Specialty polystyrene resins are commonly employed in packaging applications because of their outstanding molding capabilities, impact resilience and adaptability. The specialty polystyrene resin market trend stays strong as the packaging sector expands. Manufacturing expanded polystyrene (EPS) packaging materials is one of the most common applications of specialty polystyrene resins in the packaging industry. EPS, sometimes known as foam or Styrofoam, is well-known for its lightweight, insulating, and protecting qualities. 

Smithers states that the worldwide packaging market is predicted to rise at a 3% annual rate between 2021 and 2026. This expansion is driven by rising demand for packaging materials, particularly in the e-commerce and food industries. With the growth of e-commerce, there has been an increase in demand for protective packaging solutions, particularly those constructed from specialty polystyrene resins. A primary driver is the need for efficient and dependable protective packaging to minimize product damage during shipping.

Market Restraints

Environmental Concerns and Regulations

Concerns about the environment and regulatory limits have become major challenges for the worldwide specialty polystyrene resin industry. As public awareness about plastic pollution and its environmental impact grows, governments and organizations worldwide are passing legislation to prohibit certain plastics, notably polystyrene. Many governments and localities have banned or restricted single-use plastics, especially polystyrene-based items. One noteworthy example is the restriction on expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam products in many countries, particularly in the food service business. These bans frequently target foam cups, takeaway containers, and packaging materials.

Several cities and states in the United States have banned or restricted EPS foam containers in the food service business, including New York City and San Francisco. These bans are intended to reduce plastic waste and litter in the environment. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), EPS is not biodegradable and can last for hundreds of years in the environment. The environmental impact has influenced regulatory activities. Hence, these issues are projected to impede market expansion.

Market Opportunity

Development of Sustainable and Biodegradable Variants

The growing emphasis on sustainability and environmental responsibility creates a considerable opportunity to develop biodegradable specialty polystyrene resins. Manufacturers can spend in R&D to manufacture specialty polystyrene resins that are environmentally benign, biodegradable, and recyclable. Such materials meet the growing need for environmentally friendly alternatives in various applications. Major chemical companies invest in sustainable resins, such as biodegradable polystyrene substitutes. These investments are intended to reduce the environmental impact of plastics. The New Plastics Economy initiative of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation promotes the development of sustainable materials and the transition to a circular economy. Furthermore, customer demand for eco-friendly items, including packaging, food service, and consumer goods that previously used polystyrene are increasing. Companies that can provide biodegradable specialty polystyrene resins will be able to capitalize on this expanding market niche.

Furthermore, governments and regulatory agencies are enacting laws and regulations to promote using biodegradable and ecologically friendly products. The European Union, for example, has implemented directives to decrease single-use plastics and encourage biodegradable alternatives. This potential addresses environmental concerns and positions manufacturers as contributors to a more sustainable future. Manufacturers of specialty polystyrene resins have the potential to play a critical role in reducing plastic waste and its associated environmental effects as the market for biodegradable alternatives grows.

Regional Analysis

The global specialty polystyrene resin market analysis is conducted in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, and Latin America.

Asia-Pacific Dominates the Global Market

Asia-Pacific is the most significant global specialty polystyrene resin market shareholder and is estimated to grow at a healthy CAGR over the forecast period. This region's expansion is driven by low-cost labor and affordable and easily accessible raw resources. This increases investment, resulting in increased production of specialty polystyrene resin in the region. The prevalence of demand for furniture, appliances, and automobiles in developing countries will help the region's growth. Asia-Pacific has been the main consumer of specialty resins owing to rising demand in China and India.

Furthermore, the market will likely be driven by rising disposable income and the desire to spend in the future. Global automotive production has increased quickly in recent years due to rising demand from middle-class families and rising disposable income in developing countries such as China, Vietnam, India, and others. China controlled the regional market. The burgeoning manufacturing industry and the increasing number of infrastructure development projects will likely boost industry growth in the next years. China's construction business is expected to exceed those of other Southeast Asian countries because of government measures and funding to maintain its development.

North America is anticipated to exhibit a healthy CAGR over the forecast period. The market for specialty polystyrene resin in North America is an important part of the regional plastics industry. Specialty polystyrene resins are employed in various applications because of their versatility and adaptability. This market encompasses a wide range of functions, applications, and sectors that cater to the specific needs of North American businesses and consumers. 

In addition, the protective packaging industry in North America, which comprises materials such as specialty polystyrene resins, is likely to expand further. Factors such as the rise in online shopping, the necessity for efficient protective materials, and the desire for sustainable and eco-friendly packaging solutions all impact the industry. According to the Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce, US retail e-commerce sales projection for the second quarter of 2023 was USD 277.6 billion, a 2.1% rise from the first quarter of 2023.

The European biodegradable plastics market is expanding rapidly. This expansion is driven by rising environmental awareness and governmental support for sustainable materials. The European Union has demonstrated a strong commitment to environmental sustainability and responsibility. One solution is to develop specialty polystyrene resins that retain the beneficial features of regular polystyrene while being biodegradable. European countries have established single-use plastic rules and prohibitions and actively support using biodegradable and environmentally friendly materials. These laws alter the European plastics industry and push innovation in developing environmentally friendly specialty polystyrene resins.

The Middle East and Latin America are comparatively smaller markets. Still, their emphasis on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and rigorous government requirements on constructing energy-efficient buildings are projected to stimulate demand for specialty polystyrene resin.

Report Scope

Report Metric Details
By Function
  1. Protection
  2. Insulation
  3. Cushioning
  4. Others
By Application
  1. Protective Packaging
  2. Building and Construction
  3. Automotive and Transportation
  4. Electrical and Electronics
  5. Healthcare
  6. Others
Company Profiles BASF SE Synthos Sekisui Plastics Co. Ltd. VERSALIS NOVA Chemicals Corporation Atlas EPS Styropek LG Chem Ltd. BEWiSynbra Group AB Sunpor Kunststoff GmbH
Geographies Covered
North America U.S. Canada
Europe U.K. Germany France Spain Italy Russia Nordic Benelux Rest of Europe
APAC China Korea Japan India Australia Singapore Taiwan South East Asia Rest of Asia-Pacific
Middle East and Africa UAE Turkey Saudi Arabia South Africa Egypt Nigeria Rest of MEA
LATAM Brazil Mexico Argentina Chile Colombia Rest of LATAM
Report Coverage Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends
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Segmental Analysis

The global specialty polystyrene resin market is segmented based on function, application, and region.

The market is further segmented by function into Protection, Insulation, and Cushioning.

The protection segment holds the major market share. Protection polystyrene resins are designed to shelter objects or components from external forces, impact, and damage during transportation, handling, or storage. This function can be found in various protective packaging materials, including foam inserts, corner blocks, and cushioning materials. It protects fragile or sensitive things, electronics, and high-value items from harm, particularly during shipping and handling. 

During the projected period, the protection function is expected to maintain its dominance as the primary function. The protection segment's dominance can be ascribed to the demand in healthcare, electrical, electronics, and packaging applications.

Insulating specialty polystyrene resins are commonly employed in applications where temperature control is critical. Insulating panels for structures and construction and temperature-sensitive items such as food, medications, and medical supplies are examples of this. These resins aid in the preservation of contents and guard against temperature variations.

The market can be bifurcated by application into Protective Packaging, Electrical and Electronics, and Healthcare.

The healthcare segment dominates the market. Specialty polystyrene resins are critical in healthcare applications, particularly medical and laboratory equipment manufacturing. These resins have properties such as biocompatibility, clarity, and precise molding. The healthcare industry has the most applications. The demand for specialty polystyrene resin in the healthcare market is rapidly increasing due to a quick growth in demand for medical labware, pharmaceutical items, vacutainer trays, medical device components, and critical pharmaceutical packaging as the population grows.

The electrical and electronics industries rely on specialty polystyrene resins for components that require electrical insulation, heat resistance, and mechanical stress resistance. These resins are used to make electronic components and electrical applications.

Market Size By Function

Market Size By Function
  • Protection
  • Insulation
  • Cushioning
  • Others
  • Recent Developments

    • September 2023- R-Hybrid, the first vending cup constructed from recycled polystyrene, will be presented at Plast by FLO Group and Versalis.

    Key Players

    Specialty Polystyrene Resin Market Share of Key Players

    Specialty Polystyrene Resin Market Share of Key Players
    BASF SE Synthos Sekisui Plastics Co. Ltd. VERSALIS NOVA Chemicals Corporation Atlas EPS Styropek LG Chem Ltd. BEWiSynbra Group AB Sunpor Kunststoff GmbH Others

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    What is the size of global specialty polystyrene resin market?
    The global specialty polystyrene resin market size was valued at USD 122.52 million in 2022.
    The global market is growing at a CAGR of 2.5% from (2023–2031).
    The global market size is projected to reach USD 153.01 million by 2031.
    The Protection sector is expected to dominate over the forecast period.
    Growth in Packaging Industry and Development of Sustainable and Biodegradable Variants are some key drivers supporting the growth of the global market.

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