Worldwide PVC demand in 2016 was 41.5 million t. Since 2011, it has increased by 2.7 % per year (CAGR). For coming years, an annual growth of the order of 3 % is expected.
Globally, the most important applications for PVC are, practically unchanged, pipes and fittings (44 %), profiles and tubes (17 %), film and sheet (18 %) and cables (8 %). The specialties segment paste PVC has a share of 6 % (Fig. 1).
Fig. 1. Global PVC demand according to fields of application (figure for 2016: 41.5 million t)
The world’s biggest market for PVC, at 46 %, is North East Asia, followed by North America with 13 % and Western and Central Europe with 12 % together (Fig. 2).
Fig. 2. Global PVC demand according to regions (figure for 2016: 41.5 million t).
Global plastics production for PVC in 2016 was about 55 million t. Almost half of this was accounted for by China. The capacity growth since 2011, averaging at 2 % annually, can also be almost entirely attributed to China. Figure 3 shows the production capacities of the ten world’s biggest PVC manufacturers. Shin-Etsu Chemical, Tokyo, Japan, and Formosa Plastics Group, Taipei, Taiwan, still hold first and second place. The regional distribution of the headquarters of the biggest manufacturers also
reflects the importance of the regional markets: six companies in the top ten originate from Asia, three still from North America and only one from Europe.
Fig. 3. Production capacities of the world’s biggest PVC manufacturers.