Global consumption of formulated adhesives was 10.24 million metric tons in 2014, worth $29.4 billion, according to a recent study from Kusumgar, Nerlfi & Growney. Volume has increased modestly since the 2009 recession, and a 5% annual growth rate is forecast through 2019. Growth in Europe and North America is forecast at a mature 2% annual rate, while the Asia-Pacific region, led by China, is expected to expand at a 7% annual rate.
China represented two-thirds of the formulated adhesive volume in the Asia-Pacific region in 2014, and 32% of the global share. Adhesive growth in China is moderating, but a still robust 8% annual growth rate is forecast through 2019. Japan is the second-largest consumer in Asia-Pacific, with 8% of the volume and a growth forecast at only 1% per year. India is third in the region with 6% of the volume, but is predicted to surpass Japan by 2019 due to a forecasted double-digit growth rate.
Brazil is the leading consumer of adhesives in the South and Central American countries, accounting for over 60% of the region’s volume. A modest 5% annual rate of growth is forecast for Brazil and the region. Figure 1 shows the global consumption of formulated adhesives by region.
Pressure-sensitive products are the largest end use for formulated adhesives, representing 27% of the volume in 2014 (see Figure 2). Packaging tape is the largest end use, with modest growth prospects, but many specialized applications are growing faster. Packaging is the second-largest adhesive end use, with 22% of the volume and a forecasted 4% yearly rate of growth. Flexible packaging was 15% of the packaging volume and one-quarter of the value; it is growing at a rate of 6% per year.
Woodworking was an outlet for 19% of the adhesive tons; the sector includes furniture, building products and other applications. Construction was the other larger volume adhesive end use industry, accounting for 14% of the volume. The top four formulated adhesive end uses combined for 82% of the volume in 2014 and 63% of the value. Smaller, higher-value end uses include aerospace, electronic, disposable products, and windmill blades.