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Europe Polyvinyl Alcohol Industry Outlook from 2024 to 2034

Europe polyvinyl alcohol industry is set to be valued at USD 829.7 million in 2024 and is projected to reach USD 1,418 million by 2034. The sector will likely witness a modest CAGR of 5.5% over the forecast period 2024 to 2034. Growing use of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) in sectors such as pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, textiles, and cosmetics is anticipated to propel sales.

The European Union (EU) has placed legislation to reduce plastic waste and encourage the use of bio-degradable, recyclable materials in several sectors. PVA is often preferred as an eco-friendly alternative for packaging purposes due to high biodegradability and low toxicity.

Attributes Description
Estimated Europe Polyvinyl Alcohol Industry Size (2024E) USD 829.7 million
Projected Europe Polyvinyl Alcohol Industry Value (2034F) USD 1,418 million
Value-based CAGR (2024 to 2034) 5.5%

Demand for bio-compatible materials is rising from the healthcare sector for producing contact lenses and surgical implants. PVA’s lack of toxicity and biocompatibility is anticipated to propel demand for this application.

Use of PVA for food packaging in Europe continues to rise due to increasing preference for convenient and sustainable foods. In this sector, PVA is gradually emerging as a highly desirable packaging material, thereby augmenting demand. Utilization of PVA in European construction industry will likely rise, especially in adhesives, coatings, and paper manufacturing, among others.

Europe PVA industry size is estimated to rise by 1.7x through 2034, with a significant 3.1% increase in expected CAGR compared to the historical one. The region is witnessing expansion, pushed by growing demand for biodegradable products to promote the use of sustainable packaging.

The surge is rooted in the imperative to minimize negative environmental and health effects, resulting in high consumption of PVA films in diverse sectors. These include packaging, textile, and laundry storage. However, growing consumer demand for eco-friendly and sustainable products made with PVA alternatives is anticipated to hamper sales. Competition from low-cost PVA producers in other regions like Asia is projected to create intense pressure.

PVA films are anticipated to provide a wide range of advantages, including biocompatibility, non-toxicity, and water resistance, making these well-suited for multiple applications. Also, the integration of chemicals in several sectors has effectively addressed challenges associated with electronics disposal, which is one of the trends in the European PVA sector.

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Key Industry Highlights

Emergence of 3D Printing and Need for High Adaptability to Propel Demand

PVA encompasses significant film-forming, emulsifying, and adhesive capabilities. These are set to make the polymer an ideal solution in several products, such as adhesives, coatings, and materials for 3D printing. Additionally, the polymer shows properties such as resistance to oil, grease, and solvents, demonstrating high adaptability in multiple applications.

High tensile strength, flexibility, and excellent resistance to oxygen and aroma are anticipated to make the product an ideal choice in applications where stringent parameters are necessary. However, the performance of PVA is set to be affected by fluctuations in humidity levels, influencing numerous properties in different environmental conditions. Also, fluctuations in oil prices are affecting the cost of raw materials for PVA production, which may hinder demand.

Films to Create High Sales with Surging Use in Food Packaging

Ability of PVA to provide several benefits in adhesive and sealant applications is anticipated to propel growth. As PVA adhesives are water-based, these can be easily cleaned with water, thereby minimizing the need for harsh chemicals during application. These do not emit fumes, thereby enabling interior applications without the requirement for ventilation.

In terms of cost-effectiveness, such adhesives are considered a good choice compared to alternatives such as two-component epoxies. Rapid economic growth in Eastern Europe is creating new opportunities for PVA applications. Food packaging firms are set to demand these polymers for use in packaging.

The introduction of PVA films is anticipated to be a boon for packaging manufacturers providing innovative solutions to fruits, vegetables, meat, and cheese vendors. With high resistance to moisture, oxygen, and other contaminants, these films are set to provide new opportunities.

Sustainability Regulations and Policies Impacting the European PVA Industry

Europe’s sector may experience a restraint due to the rise of sustainable alternatives that can surpass PVA in terms of environmental impact. Alternatives such as polylactic acid (PLA) and cellulose-based materials offer biodegradability, recyclability, and minimized resource consumption compared to PVA. PLA is often sourced from natural materials such as corn starch or sugarcane, thereby creating high demand among eco-conscious consumers.

Cellulose-based materials derived from wood pulp or agricultural residues are also gaining traction as these present enhanced environmental performance. Adoption of sustainable alternatives is anticipated to create hurdles for Europe, impacting competitiveness and share. Also, government policies promoting sustainable practices and bio-based alternatives to traditional PVA sources are set to hamper demand.

2019 to 2023 Europe Polyvinyl Alcohol Sales Analysis Compared to Demand Forecast for 2024 to 2034

Sales of polyvinyl alcohol in Europe grew at a CAGR of 2.4% between 2019 and 2023. Total revenue reached about USD 790.5 million in 2023. In the forecast period, the sector is set to thrive at a CAGR of 5.5%.

In the historical period, growing consumer demand for eco-friendly and sustainable products made with PVA alternatives hampered sales. In addition, competition from low-cost PVA producers in other regions like Asia hindered growth to a certain extent. Stringent trade policies impacting the import and export of PVA within Europe also acted as a key hindrance from 2019 to 2023.

The historical period witnessed several challenges and opportunities for the European PVA industry. The COVID-19 pandemic was a critical disruption during this period. The pandemic disturbed supply chains and manufacturing operations, leading to temporary slowdowns in production and distribution. However, as the situation stabilized and industries adapted to new norms, there emerged a growing demand for the polymer from various sectors. These included packaging, pharmaceuticals, and textiles.

Growing focus on hygiene and safety measures further boosted the use of polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH) in applications such as food packaging and  medical products. Despite initial challenges, the resilience of the sector in Europe was evident. The region rebounded and adapted to the evolving circumstances, paving the way for continued innovation in the years to come.

Europe’s sector is poised for substantial growth through 2034. Increasing demand for water-based adhesives in cold glue for packaging, paper manufacturing, and textile production is set to aid polyvinyl alcohol sales.

Increasing demand for laundry detergent sheets, strips, and pods containing polyvinyl alcohol is also set to propel sales. These act as water-soluble films or coatings that envelop the detergent elements, thereby providing accurate completion and ease of use.

Films made of PVOH tend to disintegrate slowly during agitation. Upon complete dissolution, these allow detergent components out into the water, effectively cleaning the fabrics. This programmed dissolving process ensures even distribution of soap throughout a load, further providing an efficient cleansing procedure.

Economic growth in Eastern Europe is anticipated to help in creating new sectors for PVA applications. Circular economy initiatives for PVA recycling in Europe are another significant factor pushing the sector forward. However, the potential for bioplastics and natural polymers is anticipated to disrupt the European PVA sector in specific applications. Besides, European Union (EU) regulations on the safety and environmental impact of chemicals like PVA can create hindrances.

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Nikhil Kaitwade

Principal Consultant

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Sector Concentration

Tier 1 companies in Europe include DuPont de Nemours, Inc., Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation, Eastman Chemical Company, and Sekisui Chemical Co. Ltd. Out of these, DuPont de Nemours, Inc. focuses on providing high-quality chemicals like PVOH to clients across Europe and other parts of the world. In May 2024, the company announced plans to separate into three different companies. Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation, on the other hand, provides GOHSENOL™ EG for use in cosmetic ingredients.

Tier 2 companies like Kuraray Co. Ltd., Denka Company Limited, and Anhui Wanwei Group Co., Ltd. will likely create new growth opportunities in the sector. Kuraray Poval™, provided by Kuraray Co. Ltd., is a best-selling PVOH that has several applications, including textile, adhesive, paper, and construction sectors. Electronics, packaging, and ceramic industries also seek the company’s PVOH for multiple uses.

TER Chemicals Distribution Group, Sun Chemical, and Cofermin Chemicals GmbH & Co. KG are a few of the Tier 3 players. These companies are offering a wide range of chemicals, including PVOH to cater to the needs of local consumers. The companies also aim to serve several industries, such as animal feed, electronics, and food.

Comparative Industry Overview

The section below provides an in-depth evaluation of two interrelated sectors: the polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) and the polyvinyl butyral sectors. The section also dissects the unique features of each sector, encompassing respective CAGRs and sales in 2024 while also delving into the pivotal factors that exert influence on growth trajectories.

Polyvinylidene Fluoride (PVDF) Industry Assessment:

Increasing use of PVDF in several applications requiring high purity, strength, and resistance to heat, acids, bases, and solvents is anticipated to push demand. The chemical is also anticipated to find increasing use in premium paints for metal roofing in residential and commercial applications.

Attributes Description
Related Industry Polyvinylidene Fluoride (PVDF) Industry
CAGR (2024 to 2034) 9%
Growth Factor Increasing demand for photovoltaic films, coatings, and lithium-ion batteries is set to augment sales.
Opportunity Key companies are set to develop PVDF-based coatings for the construction sector.
Key Trends Rising adoption of the mass balance approach among several leading companies to manufacture PVDF grades is a key trend.

Polyvinyl Butyral Industry Assessment:

High demand for solar energy in developing countries is anticipated to augment sales of polyvinyl butyral. The chemical is set to be utilized in photovoltaic modules due to high weather resistance and durability.

Attributes Description
Related Industry Polyvinyl Butyral Industry
CAGR (2024 to 2034) 6.9%
Growth Factor Rising need for laminated safety glass in architecture and automotive sectors is anticipated to push sales of polyvinyl butyral interlayers.
Opportunity Key companies are developing new features of polyvinyl butyral, including resistance to yellow spots, robust strength, and high optical clarity.
Key Trends Automakers are set to use polyvinyl butyral in side windows and windshields to enhance safety of drivers and passengers.

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Country-wise Insights

The table below shows the estimated growth rates of the five leading PVA-producing countries in Europe. NORDICS, Italy, and Poland are set to record high CAGRs of 7%, 6.7%, and 6.4%, respectively, by 2034. Emerging applications of PVA in Europe are anticipated to create new opportunities in the countries mentioned above. The section would help potential clients get a better understanding of the impact of regional trends on European PVA demand.

Countries CAGR 2024 to 2034
Italy 6.7%
Poland 6.4%
France 6.1%
Rest of Europe 5.8%

Germany to Lead amid High Demand from Construction Sector

Germany is considered one of the leading PVOH-producing countries in Europe. Increasing demand for the polymer in the pharmaceutical and personal care industries is set to fuel sales. PVOH is also anticipated to find application in ophthalmic drug formulations by 2034 with growing research activities.

The booming construction sector in Germany will likely create a high need for PVOH. Residential and commercial construction projects are set to seek the polymer for use in joint cement, drywall mud, caulks, and sealants. Apart from that, strict regulatory approvals for PVOH utilization in food packaging and pharmaceuticals are projected to boost demand. As per the Europe PVA industry growth forecast, Germany is set to hold around 22.8% of the share in 2034.

Packaging and Textile Sectors to Seek Sustainable Materials in France

Sales of polyvinyl alcohol in France are projected to soar at a CAGR of around 6.1% during the assessment period. The total value in the country is anticipated to reach USD 232.1 million by 2034.

The polymer plays a key role in packaging and textile sectors. The sectors require effective encapsulation to safeguard delicate items from external environmental factors and ensure long-term performance. As France increases efforts in renewable energy projects, demand for the polymer in diverse applications is poised to surge. This is one of the emerging trends driving PVA demand in Europe.

PVA is also set to be used in adhesive labels, flexible packaging, and paper coatings. High demand for packaging solutions that have less ecological impact is anticipated to create novel opportunities in France.

High Demand for Water-based Adhesives to Spur Sales in Italy

Water-based polyvinyl alcohol adhesives and coatings provide several benefits, which are pushing demand across Italy. Minimized volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions, environmental footprint, and increased safety for both workers and consumers are a few advantages. Sectors such as construction, packaging, and textile are shifting towards water-based solutions to ensure sustainability objectives, which are set to aid demand.

In the construction sector, water-based adhesives are set to be applied in tasks such as wood bonding, drywall installation, and tile adhesion. Similarly, packaging companies in Italy are preferring these adhesives for moisture resistance and barrier properties. The impact of e-commerce on the European PVA industry is set to bolster Italy’s growth.

Category-wise Insights

The section below demonstrates the industrial grade segment dominating based on grade type. The segment is forecast to thrive at 5.2% CAGR between 2024 and 2034. Based on the end-use industry, the paper and textile segment is anticipated to hold a dominant share in 2034. The segment is set to exhibit a CAGR of 5% during the forecast period.

Industrial Grade Polyvinyl Alcohol to be Highly Preferred

Segment Industrial Grade (Grade Type)
Value CAGR (2024 to 2034) 5.2%

Industrial-grade polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) finds extensive usage across a wide spectrum of industries, spanning paper, packaging, textiles, construction, electronics, and medical products. This broad versatility stands as a fundamental driver behind the significant demand for industrial PVA.

PVA possesses superior properties that make the chemical highly suitable for industrial applications. These attributes include water solubility, biodegradability, resistance to oxygen and grease, as well as emulsifying and adhesive capabilities. Such unique traits are greatly valued in numerous industrial processes and products.

Increasing demand for industrial PVA is closely intertwined with the growth trajectories of pivotal end-use industries like packaging, construction, and electronics. Particularly in burgeoning regions such as the Asia Pacific, where these industries are experiencing robust expansion, demand for industrial PVA escalates in parallel. However, the impact of rising raw material costs on European PVA prices is set to be negative.

Paper and Textile Sector to Seek Environmentally Friendly Polymers

Segment Paper and Textile (End-use Industry)
Value CAGR (2024 to 2034) 5%

Polyvinyl alcohol is set to play a key role in the paper industry, primarily due to the capacity to adhere to surfaces and impart flexibility. The use of PVA for textiles in Europe is projected to remain high in various paper-related applications, including coatings, surface sizing, fiber reinforcement, and packaging solutions.

High demand for environmentally friendly packaging materials serves as a significant catalyst propelling the adoption of the polymer in the paper industry. Additionally, PVA offers numerous advantages in the textile sector, such as water solubility, film-forming characteristics, adhesion, and flexibility. High versatility is evident through wide applications of the polymer, ranging from yarn sizing and dyeing/printing to fabric finishing and fiber spinning processes.

Competition Outlook

The competitive landscape of the European PVA sector is consolidated. Kuraray Co. Ltd., Sekisui Chemical Co., Ltd., Denka Company Limited, Mitsubishi Chemical Group Corporation, Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., Merck KGaA, Wacker Chemie AG, Kanto Chemical Co. Inc., Chang Chun Group, Nacalai, Polysciences, Inc., Kishida Chemical, Co., Ltd., and Intercol BV are the leading manufacturers and suppliers of polyvinyl alcohol listed in the report.

Key manufacturers and suppliers of polyvinyl alcohol in Europe are increasingly investing in research and development activities to come up with novel materials. The focus is on enhancing existing manufacturing techniques to meet the evolving demands of end-users. A few companies are also focusing on investment in PVA production capacity expansion within Europe.

Strategies of leading PVA producers in Europe include acquisitions, collaborations, mergers, and facility expansions to fortify industry foothold and augment capabilities. These strategic initiatives are geared toward addressing the increasing demand for polyvinyl alcohol-based products while ensuring sustained competitiveness in the industry.

Industry Updates

  • In October 2023, Amsterdam-based Nouryon introduced two latest offerings, the Berol Nexxt surfactant and the Dissolvine GL Premium chelating agent, at SEPAWA 2023. Berol Nexxt demonstrates exceptional performance in cold water cleaning, while Dissolvine GL Premium is specially formulated for polyvinyl alcohol films. These deliver powerful chelating capabilities. These innovative products would help provide efficient cleaning solutions for both consumer and industrial purposes.
  • In June 2023, United Kingdom-based Aquapak Polymers, the developer of Hydropol derived from polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH), partnered with CEFLEX to propel circular economy objectives. Hydropol's alignment with recycling infrastructure enhances the circularity of flexible packaging, facilitating efficient and sustainable recycling processes. This endeavor is set to foster resource conservation and environmental safeguarding.

Leading Polyvinyl Alcohol Brands in Europe

  • Kuraray Co. Ltd
  • Sekisui Chemical Co, Ltd.
  • Denka Company Limited
  • Mitsubishi Chemical Group Corporation
  • Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.
  • Merck KGaA
  • Wacker Chemie AG
  • Kanto Chemical Co. Inc.
  • Chang Chun Group
  • Nacalai
  • Polysciences, Inc.
  • Kishida Chemical Co., Ltd.
  • Intercol BV

Key Segments of Industry Report

By Product Type:

The industry is segregated into fully hydrolyzed PVA, partially hydrolyzed, and sub-partially hydrolyzed.

By Grade:

The main grades include food grade, industrial grade, and pharmaceutical grade.

By Form:

Two key forms are solid and liquid. Solid form is further trifurcated into flakes, powders, and granules.

By Function:

Key functions in the industry include binder/adhesive, sizing agent, intermediate, and additive.

By End-use Industry:

A few leading end-use industries are food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and personal care, building and construction, paper and textile, packaging, electronics, and agrochemicals. The food and beverage industry is sub-segmented into dairy-based desserts (ice cream and frozen yogurt), confectionery (chocolate bars), cereals and cereal products (ready-to-eat breakfast cereals), food supplements (tablets), and ready-to-eat savories.

By Country:

Insights into prominent countries of Europe such as Germany, Italy, France, United Kingdom, Spain, BENELUX, NORDICS, Russia, Poland, and the rest of Europe are provided.

Frequently Asked Questions

What was the Europe polyvinyl alcohol industry value in 2023?

The industry was valued at USD 790.5 million in 2023.

How big is the Europe polyvinyl alcohol industry?

The industry is set to reach USD 829.7 million in 2024.

At what rate will demand in Europe rise through 2034?

Demand is anticipated to rise at 5.5% CAGR through 2034.

What is the expected industry size in 2034?

The industry size is set to reach USD 1,418 million by 2034.

Which end-use segment is expected to lead the industry?

Paper and textiles are expected to lead the industry.

What is the ideal grade for polyvinyl alcohol?

Industrial grade is mostly used in the paper and textile sector.

Table of Content

1. Executive Summary

2. Industry Introduction, including Taxonomy and Industry Definition

3. Trends and Success Factors, including Macro-economic Factors, Industry Dynamics, and Recent Industry Developments

4. Demand Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, including Historical Analysis and Future Projections

5. Pricing Analysis

6. Industry Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034

    6.1. Grade

    6.2. Product Type

    6.3. Form

    6.4. Function

    6.5. End Use Industry

7. Industry Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, By Grade

    7.1. Food Grade

    7.2. Industrial Grade

    7.3. Pharmaceutical Grade

8. Industry Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, By Product Type

    8.1. Fully Hydrolyzed PVA

    8.2. Partially Hydrolyzed

    8.3. Sub-partially Hydrolyzed

9. Industry Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, By Form

    9.1. Solid

        9.1.1. Flakes

        9.1.2. Powders

        9.1.3. Granules

    9.2. Liquid

10. Industry Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, By Function

    10.1. Binder / Adhesive

    10.2. Sizing Agent

    10.3. Intermediate

    10.4. Additive

11. Industry Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, By End Use Industry

    11.1. Food & Beverages

        11.1.1. Dairy-based Desserts (Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt)

        11.1.2. Confectionery (Chocolate Bars)

        11.1.3. Cereals and Cereal Products (Ready-to-eat Breakfast Cereals)

        11.1.4. Food Supplements (Tablets)

        11.1.5. Ready-to-eat Savouries

    11.2. Pharmaceuticals

    11.3. Cosmetics & Personal Care

    11.4. Building & Construction

    11.5. Paper & Textiles

    11.6. Packaging

    11.7. Electronics

    11.8. Agrochemicals

12. Industry Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, By Region

    12.1. Germany

    12.2. Italy

    12.3. France

    12.4. United Kingdom

    12.5. Spain

    12.6. BENELUX

    12.7. NORDICS

    12.8. Russia

    12.9. Poland

    12.10. Rest of Europe

13. Germany Sales Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, by Key Segments and Countries

14. Italy Sales Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, by Key Segments and Countries

15. France Sales Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, by Key Segments and Countries

16. United Kingdom Sales Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, by Key Segments and Countries

17. Spain Sales Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, by Key Segments and Countries

18. BENELUX Sales Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, by Key Segments and Countries

19. NORDICS Sales Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, by Key Segments and Countries

20. Russia Sales Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, by Key Segments and Countries


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