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The EMEA polyamide 6 market size was valued at USD 2.67 billion in 2021. The market is projected to grow from USD 2.72 billion in 2022 to USD 3.33 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 2.9% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with polyamide 6 experiencing lower-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the market exhibited a decline of 18.6% in 2020 as compared to 2019.
Polyamide 6 or PA 6 is traditionally formed with the polymerization process of caprolactam in the presence of an acid catalyst and water vapors. The polyamide fibers offer excellent chemical as well as physical properties, including higher strength, abrasion resistance, elasticity, electric insulation, and many others. It is resistant to many organic acids, inorganic acids, and alkalis. Thus, these fibers are widely used in a variety of industrial applications such as textiles, automotive, packaging, electronics, and others.
Declined Demand from Textile and Automotive Industries amid COVID-19 Hindered Market
Textile and automotive industries are the largest consumers of nylon 6. Thus, the downturn of these industries during the outbreak of COVID-19 negatively impacted the overall global market growth. In 2020, many countries imposed lockdowns, which entirely disturbed the upstream and downstream supply chains of the textile and automotive industries. Owing to less production, demand for raw materials, including polyamide declined. According to the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, the overall automotive production will go down by more than 16% in 2020. Key manufacturing countries in Europe reported a production decline in the range of 11-40%. Thus, COVID-19 severely hit the overall automotive sector and hindered this market.
However, during 2021, with collective efforts of private and government organizations, all end-use industries of nylon slowly revamped their production. Therefore, the overall market showed a slow but steady recovery. In 2022, the market indicated a strong recovery as compared to 2021 and is expected to reach pre-COVID-19 level within a few years.
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Rising Adoption in Innovative 3D Printing to Strengthen the Market Growth
Modern 3D printing requires a material with high flexibility and durability. The unique combination of toughness and strength offered by nylon 6 makes it a good go-to material for 3D printing. It is suitable for popular 3D technologies such as Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), and Multi-Jet Fusion (MJF). The polymer is easily blended with other plastics to form composites. Glass or carbon fiber-filled nylon is a popular material for 3D printing. In today’s world of modern industrialization, 3D printing has gained significant importance in developing prototypes prior to mass production. 3D printing has proven advantages, such as speed, accuracy, and cost-effectivity, as compared to traditional techniques. Thus, the rising emphasis on 3D printing is projected to create potential opportunities for nylon 6 during the forecast period.
Growing Demand from the Textile Industry to Drive Market Growth
A significant share of nylon 6 produced in the region is used to manufacture textile. This includes the production of non-woven fabrics, which are used to make clothing, carpets, and industrial textile, among other products. The textile produced using polyamide 6 is light in weight and offers superior strength & high durability.
In addition, polyamide 6 has an affinity to dyes, which makes it easier to color. This enables the production of colorful fabrics with brighter shades and a lustrous finish. For instance, the typical sheen and translucency seen in fabrics, such as hosiery, chiffon, and organza, are attributed to the polyamide present in these fabrics.
According to a report published by the European Environment Agency, fibers, such as polyester and polyamide, that have a synthetic origin account for around 70% of household textiles and 60% of clothing. This includes daily used products such as clothes, towels, carpets, curtains, cushions, and bed sheets, among others. Other common technical and industrial textile applications are seen in products such as car tires, safety belts, sportswear, and safety-related workwear.
The average consumption of clothing per person has increased in the European Union by around 40% over the past few decades. The reduced prices and wider acceptance of fast fashion trends are anticipated to keep creating demand for synthetic polymers such as polyamide 6 used in manufacturing fabrics. This, in turn, is likely to benefit and drive market growth.
Strict Standards to Reduce Environmental Impact to Hinder Market Growth
Polyamide 6 is a synthetic polymer derived from petroleum. Similar to most synthetic polymers and engineering plastics, PA 6 is also non-biodegradable in nature. Discarded polyamide products end up in the environment and remain there for several years. Another major issue arising due to lack of plastic disposal systems is microplastic pollution. Microplastics, which are formed as a result of the breakdown of macroscopic plastics, have a negative impact on the environment. Laundry lint, along with discarded polyamide fishing nets, is among the major sources of microplastic pollution in the ocean. In addition, dyeing nylon fibers can lead to significant water pollution, thus further contributing to environmental damage.
To address this global plastic pollution crisis, governments and international organizations are collaborating with each other along with the private sector to establish permissible standards for these synthetic polymers. Thus, to fulfill the stringent standards, companies utilizing polyamide and similar polymers will need to limit and regulate their use, which is likely to restrict the global and EMEA polyamide 6 market growth.
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Automotive Segment to Hold Highest Revenue Share by 2029 Owing to Rising Product Adoption
Currently, the industrial fiber & textile segment dominates the market in EMEA in terms of volume and value. Lightweight and durable garments can be produced by PA 6 or the blends of PA 6 & other polymers. This polymer or blend of polymers offers higher abrasion resistance and strength, which is the key requirement for industrial fiber applications. The rising industrialization in emerging economies is the main driver for the growth of this segment in the regional market.
By the end of 2029, the automotive segment is projected to hold the lion's share in the market. Owing to their superior mechanical properties, polyamide 6 is widely employed in manufacturing auto parts. The polymeric material offers significant strength, and thus has been able to replace conventional metal parts in automobiles. The high workability offered by the material makes it possible to mass produce lightweight auto parts with complex shapes by using different molding techniques. The rising adoption of EVs across Europe is expected to drive segment growth in the near future.
In the packaging industry, barrier films are manufactured with nylon 6. These films are extensively adopted by food & pharmaceutical companies to retain the product quality. Nylon films are UV absorbent and offer extended protection against viral transmission. Thus, with the rising demand for packaged food, the demand for PA-based barrier films is expected to increase. Electrical & electronics and consumer appliances segments also significantly contributed to the market growth. Nylon offers superior physical and chemical properties such as good strength, durability, and electric insulation, among others. With growing digitization, the demand for advanced electronics & consumer appliances is projected to fuel the demand for PA 6 in the future.
Europe Polyamide 6 Market Size, 2021 (USD Billion)
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The European market size was USD 2.34 billion in 2021. Europe held the second largest position in this market in 2021. Europe has been a pioneer in riding the electric wave for mobility. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), electric car sales reached 2.3 million units in 2021, a 70% rise compared to the previous year. This is expected to increase further during the forecast period owing to government initiatives such as those that provide purchase subsidies for EVs.
Germany is among the leading automotive markets in Europe, both in terms of sales and production. The country also has the largest concentration of OEM plants in Europe, along with a robust R&D sector. To cater to the rising demand from the electric mobility sector, the country has built a robust network of lightweight material manufacturers. Demand for such lightweight auto parts is likely to expand during the forecast period to compensate for the increase in electric vehicles’ weight. France, Italy, the U.K., and Eastern European countries are likely to generate substantial demand for nylon 6 due to rising demand from their robust manufacturing sectors.
Due to the flourishing textile and automotive sectors, Turkey and the rest of the Middle East have primarily contributed to the market growth in the region. Growing textile manufacturing, automotive manufacturing, and packaging industry is the key factor for market growth in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Also, the Saudi Arabian construction sector has witnessed significant growth over the past few decades. In a similar manner, the UAE has witnessed considerable growth in the textile, automotive, packaging, and electronics industries. This, in turn, is expected to create potential demand in the country. The South African packaging industry is anticipated to witness significant growth during the forecast period owing to rising demand from the packaging sector. According to the Flexible Packaging Association, food and beverage packaging continues to dominate the country’s packaging sector. Other key end-use industries, including automotive and textile are dominating consumers of polyamide 6 in South Africa.
Companies are Focusing on Distribution Networks to Boost Sales
The polyamide supply chain in Europe is well-established due to a considerable number of key players operating in the regional market. However, due to less number of manufacturers in the Middle East & Africa, these regions are still significantly dependent on imports from other regions. Both the global and regional players are strategically collaborating with local distributors to form resilient supply chains and to understand the regional trends in the market. Moreover, to meet the rising demand for polyamide from the EMEA market, global players, such as BASF, Lanxess, Ube Industries, and Domo Chemicals, are focusing on increasing their production capacities in Asia Pacific, North America (United States), and Latin America.
An Infographic Representation of EMEA Polyamide 6 Market
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The market report provides qualitative and quantitative insights on the EMEA polyamide 6 market share, size, and growth rate by different segments at regional and country levels. Along with this, the report provides an elaborative analysis of the market dynamics and competitive landscape. Various key insights presented in the report are Porter’s five forces, recent industry developments in the market, the regulatory scenario in crucial countries, macro and microeconomic factors, key industry trends, competitive landscape, and company profiles.
Value (USD Billion), Volume (Kilo Tons)
By Application and Geography
Fortune Business Insights says that the market was valued at USD 2.67 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 3.33 billion by 2029.
Growing at a CAGR of 2.9%, the market will exhibit considerable growth in the forecast period.
The automotive application segment is expected to lead this market during the forecast period.
Increasing consumption from automotive, textile, packaging industries shall drive the growth of the market.
Europe holds the highest market share in terms of revenue in the market.
Inclusion of nylon 6 in 3D printing is a key trend in the market.
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