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Increasing Need for Medical Implants Fuels Demand for Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene, Market Valuation to Rise Impressively at 13.40% between 2020 and 2026, Globally

Astute Analytica offers key insights into the global ultra high molecular weight polyethylene market in its new report, titled "Global Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene Market – Forecast to 2026. The market is expected to witness high revenue growth over the period between 2020 and 2026, expanding at an impressive CAGR of 13.40%. A number of factors have come into play for such a progress, on which Astute Analytica has provided significant information in this report.

A wide array of factors influences the worldwide market for ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMW PE). Predominantly, the increasing pool of geriatric people and the rising demand for orthopedic implants drive this global market, whereas, volatile prices of raw materials act as the main restraint in the market’s growth.

The report analyzes the global UHMW PE market at length and provides estimates in terms of revenue (US$ Mn) from 2010 to 2026.

Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene Market – Growth Factors and Challenges

The demand for medical implants has been soaring over the last decade. The way it has been progressing, the global medical implant industry is likely to become a US$100 bn industry by 2025. Since UHMW PE has a clinical history as a biomaterial for usage in knee, hip, and, spine implants, its demand has naturally been boosted by this factor across the world. The geriatric population has been the key end user of medical implants for years. The substantial rise in the number of people under the age bracket of 60 to 80 has fueled the need for various types of implants in the medical and healthcare industry, which is reflected on the growth of the global UHMW PE market.

The increasing cases of sports injuries and road accidents are some other reasons behind the rising demand for medical implants. Orthopedic implants, in particular, have gained tremendous momentum in the last few years. With superior sound dampening traits, excellent dielectric and electrical insulating properties, and tremendous chemical resistance, the uptake rate of UHMW PE in orthopedic implants have been noticeably high. “There is a high demand for UHMW PE for the production of orthopedic implants due to its unique properties, such as high strength-to-weight ratio, impact resistance, and self-lubrication and it is likely to remain so over the forecast period,” says an analyst at Astute Analytica.

Although the future of global UHMW PE market looks profitable, it may face severe challenge from the volatile prices of raw materials in the coming years. The source product for UHMW PE is natural gas or crude oil and both the products have been experiencing high volatility in their prices – a trend, which is likely to remain so over the next few years due to the global economic instability.

Other factors that may limit the growth of this market are the easy availability of substitutes, such as urethane, polyoxymethylene, polycarbonate, and fluoropolymers, and the concerns over the increasing use of plastic. Nonetheless, the augmenting demand for ballistic protection products – the production of which UHMW PE has found extensive application in – will normalize the impact of restraining factors in the long term.

Covid 19 Impact – Negative

The Coronavirus outbreak has put all the manufacturing activities on halt due to the government-imposed lockdown across several economies. This has severely affected the sales and profitability of market players and resulted in a decline in the overall growth of the global UHMW PE market. Players are at continued risk of disruption amid ongoing cost volatility and amendments in policies. However, the market is expected to see a positive economic recovery and an optimistic response to aftereffects of the pandemic’s impact; although much of it depends on how authorities rollout economic stimulus in the near future.

Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene Market – Growth Pockets

North America, South America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East and Africa have surfaced as the key regional markets for UHMW PE, worldwide. With 33.3% share in the overall revenue, North America led the global market in 2019, thanks to increased number of joint replacement surgeries. The regional market is projected to continue to lead during the forecast period due to the presence of a large pool of prominent players. The expanding application base of UHMW PE in several industries, including automotive and defense and aerospace, will also support its growth in the years to come. The US has emerged as the most prominent country in the North America UHMW PE market with high production and consumption rates. Analysts predict the scenario to remain same over a couple of years.

In terms of end-use, the medical and healthcare industry is leading the worldwide UHMW PE market and is expected to continue doing so over the period of the forecast. The segment is likely to report a consumption volume of 37.3 Kilo Tons by 2026.

The application base of UHMW PE is quite large and continuously expanding. Among all the application, the demand for UHMW PE is highest in the medical grade and prosthetics segment. The consumption volume of this application segment is anticipated to reach .3 Kilo Tons by the end of the forecast period.

In the market, UHMW PE is available in various forms, which includes rotary sheets, rods and tubes, fibers, films, tapes, and several others. Among these, the demand for rotary sheets has been the highest. Expanding at a CAGR of 12.8%, this segment is expected to remain dominant in terms of volume throughout the forecast period.

The report provides in-depth segment analysis of the global UHMW PE market, thereby providing valuable insights at macro as well as micro levels. The assessment of key countries that hold growth opportunities or account for significant share has also been included as part of geographic analysis of the worldwide market for UHMW PE.

Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene Market – What competitors are doing?

With the presence of numerous players at global, regional, country, and local level, the competitive landscape of the global UHMW PE market looks highly fragmented. The key market participants, including Celanese Corp., LyondellBasell Industries Holdings B.V., and Braskem S.A., focus mostly on mergers and acquisitions to maintain their position in this market. Let’s have a look at latest instances: 

·       In June 2019, Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials acquired Advanced Polymer Technologies (APT).

·       In August 2018, LyondellBasell completed its acquisition of A. Schulman Inc., a leading supplier of high-performance plastic compound, powder, and composites.

·       In February 2018, Celanese Corp. took over Omni Plastics LLC and its subsidiaries.

These acquisitions were aimed at strengthening the asset base of the host company.


Other significant market players analyzed in this report are Asahi Kasei Advance Corp., DoW Inc., Mitsui Chemicals Inc., Rochling Engineering Plastic Pvt. Ltd., Garland Manufacturing Company, Crown Plastics Co. Inc., A&C Plastics Inc., and Global Polymer.

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