Global Hot Melt Adhesives & Sealants

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Adhesives and Sealants

Global demand for hot melt adhesives and sealants is forecast to grow 4.0% per year to 4.2 million metric tons valued at $12.3 billion in 2025. Gains will be supported by:

  • the higher performance of hot melts compared to natural and solvent-based formulations
  • increased manufacturing activity, particularly of transportation equipment globally and of consumer goods – most notably nonwovens – in Southeast Asia, markets where hot melts have become increasingly popular
  • a global increase in construction activity, including new governmental investment in infrastructure in the US

However, the development of improved adhesive technologies that allow for smaller volumes of adhesives will limit gains to some degree.

Textiles & Transportation Markets to See the Fastest Gains

Demand for hot melt adhesives and sealants in textiles experienced healthy growth in 2020 and 2021 due to a spike in the use of nonwoven wipes, masks, and other cleaning and PPE during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the market will not continue to experience such strong gains, demand will remain at an above average level even as the pandemic wanes. In addition, the market for personal hygiene products is expanding in both developed and developing countries, boosted by aging populations and growth in personal incomes, respectively.

The transportation industry experienced sharp declines in 2020, with motor vehicle production levels falling at a double-digit rate in a single year. Though demand for hot melt adhesives and sealants in transportation equipment began to rebound in 2021, supply chain issues in 2021 limited recovery. The market has substantial room to expand through 2025 as supply chain issues resolve and pent-up consumer demand for motor vehicles is released.

Strong Gains in E-Commerce Activity Will Support Hot Melt Demand

As e-commerce continues to expand at a double-digit pace, more packages and more types of packages are being shipped. While water-activated tape is widely used in e-commerce applications due to its high strength and tamper-evident properties, strong growth in the number and variety of packaged shipped benefits the use of all types of adhesives and sealants, including hot melts. The strength of hot melt adhesives means they are more likely to be use with larger, heavier packages, which are accounting for an increasing share of e-commerce shipments as consumers become more comfortable purchasing all types of products via the internet.

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