The world market for pressure sensitive (self-adhesive) tapes is projected to expand at an annual pace of 5.5 percent through the year 2006 to 25.4 billion square meters, valued at $20.8 billion. Gains off a depressed 2001 base will be supported by a global economic recovery, which will boost fixed investment, motor-vehicle output, corrugated-packaging demand and other tape-intensive sectors of the economy. Also important will be the development of new, high-performance tapes, which will open a range of novel applications.

The cost and performance advantages of self-adhesive tapes will allow them to capture a greater share of joining, sealing and bonding applications from competitive technologies. These and other trends are presented in World Pressure Sensitive Tapes, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industrial market research firm.

Carton-Sealing Tapes Out Front

Corrugated carton-sealing tapes will continue to account for over two-thirds of aggregate volume sales. Tapes will make further inroads at the expense of competitive carton-sealing media such as glues and mechanical fasteners. Rising corrugated-box sales — supported by a strong global economy, expanding international trade, the proliferation of Internet-based and other direct-to-consumer shopping, and supplantation of traditional storage containers (e.g., wooden crates) in the developing world — will also bode favorably for packaging-tape demand.

Among the other tape types, the best opportunities exist for technical and specialty tapes, such as the double-sided adhesive tapes increasingly utilized in fastening and bonding applications in industries such as building construction, motor-vehicle and aerospace assembly, electronics, and telecommunications.

KRATON polymers bring performance benefits to pressure sensitive adhesives used in carton-sealing tapes. Photo courtesy of KRATON Polymers, Houston.

Big Gains in Developing Regions

Healthy gains are expected in developing areas such as Latin America, Eastern Europe, China (especially) and the developing countries of Southeast Asia. These regions feature rapidly expanding personal incomes and largely untapped markets for many tape products. China alone will account for nearly one-fourth of global tape demand and will surpass the United States as the world’s largest market by 2006.

While there will be some opportunities based on the development of new, high-performance tapes and novel applications, the world’s developed areas (the United States and Canada, Western Europe, Japan, and Australia) generally represent mature markets for self-adhesive tapes. Per annum growth in the low- to mid-single digits is expected, with Japan offering some of the poorest prospects.

For more information:

World Pressure Sensitive Tapes(published August 2002, 352 pages) is available for $4,800 from The Freedonia Group, Inc., 767 Beta Drive, Cleveland, OH 44143-2326. For further details, please call Corinne Gangloff at 440-684-9600, fax 440-646-0484 or Additional information may also be obtained at.