Due to the usage of pressure sensitive tapes in a broad range of commercial, consumer, industrial, and institutional applications, aggregate demand tends to be relatively acyclical:
The large share of demand used for packaging applications insulates the tape market from the fluctuations of the business cycle since key packaging markets tend to track consumer spending on items such as food, beverages, and pharmaceuticals.
Pressure sensitive tape demand growth also benefits to some degree from its supplantation of competitive bonding and joining products, which aids sales growth during periods of weakness in the overall economy.
However, tape is widely used in the highly cyclical building construction and durable goods industries, and in these particular sectors, tape demand will see upward momentum during periods of economic vitality and slower growth or declines during recessionary periods.
The primary determinant of pricing trends for pressure sensitive tapes is raw material cost, which in turn may experience volatility due to changes in crude oil and natural gas prices. Among key raw materials are:
pressure sensitive adhesives
other backing/lining materials
release chemicals and liners
Through 2025, the global average price for pressure sensitive tape is forecast to rise 1.2% annually to $0.88 per square meter, supported by more stable economic growth worldwide. Growth in plastic resin prices will boost prices for pressure sensitive tapes backed with polypropylene, PVC, and other plastics. Paper prices are also expected to rise, following a tightening of the global pulp market as a result of production issues following the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the commodity nature of many pressure sensitive tapes will restrain stronger gains through 2025.
Demand by Market
Global demand for pressure sensitive tapes is projected to advance 3.8% per year to 58.4 billion square meters in 2025.
Packaging and shipping will remain by far the largest market for tapes, with 64% of demand in 2025, supported by the fact that nearly every manufactured good is packaged in some way before entering distribution and retail channels:
Packaging and shipping tape applications are the most mature markets for pressure sensitive tapes in higher-income countries and face competition from water-activated tapes in carton sealing applications.
There is significant room for growth for packaging and shipping tapes in low- and middle-income nations due to the low penetration of e-commerce.
Construction and manufacturing markets are adopting new uses for tape – primarily in joining and sealing – which will support healthy sales increases. Gains will also be supported by rising construction and manufacturing activity.
Healthcare will post robust gains going forward, although they will be largely due to demographic factors rather than new applications within the market.
Included in the scope of the study are single- and double-coated tapes, covering such products as:
carton sealing tape
masking tape (e.g., general purpose, high-temperature)
adhesive transfer tape
other tape products, such as:
clean room tapes
personal hygiene product tapes
bag sealing tape
lane marking tape
safety and reflective tape
sports and athletic tapes
strapping and bundling tape
surface protection tape
weather stripping tape
Pressure sensitive tapes typically include three components – backing, pressure sensitive adhesive, and one or more release coatings. Among backing materials used are:
polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
other plastic (e.g., cellulose acetate, fluoropolymer, nylon, polyester, polyethylene, polyimide)
other materials such as cloth, rubber, glass fabric, foam, foil, and nonwovens
Excluded from the scope of the study are water-activated/gummed, heat-activated, and other non-pressure sensitive tapes; related pressure sensitive items such as adhesive bandages and medical patches, pipeline tapes, contact papers, and protective films; and PSA labels. Also excluded are electronic tapes used for “masking” functions in electronic components and production operations. Please note that pressure sensitive medical tapes are included.
Markets evaluated in the study include:
packaging and shipping
manufacturing, such as:
electronics and electrical equipment manufacturing
medical device assembly
motor vehicles and other transportation equipment
packaging and printing production
personal care product manufacturing
building and construction
consumer and office
healthcare and medical
other markets (e.g., automotive aftermarket, event setup, law enforcement, libraries, museums, picture framing, schools, signs and graphics, warehouses, movie sets and theater/concert venues)
For markets, a given tape is included in the application in which it is used. For example, manufacturing tapes include PSA tapes that are used in joining, sealing, protecting, and mounting various components. When this product is packaged for sale (such as an appliance being placed in a box), this is considered to be the packaging and shipping market.
Historical data are provided for 2010, 2015, and 2020, with forecasts for 2025 and 2030. The term “demand” refers to “apparent consumption” and is defined as production (also referred to variously as “shipments”, “output”, or “supply”) from a country’s domestic manufacturing facilities plus imports, minus exports. “Demand” is used interchangeably with the terms “market”, “sales”, and “consumption”. Data are presented in thousands of metric tons and millions of US dollars.
Global demand for pressure sensitive (PSA) tape is projected to increase 3.8% per year to 58.4 million square meters in 2025, following declines in 2020 due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Demand will be boosted by:
growth in global manufacturing and an ongoing shift away from mechanical fasteners toward tape in the manufacture of many durable goods, most notably transportation equipment and electronics
increasing building construction activity
rising personal incomes in low-income countries
Carton Sealing Tape Will Remain Widely Used But Faces Competition from Alternatives
Carton sealing tape was the leading product type in 2020, accounting for nearly two-thirds of global demand. Rising manufacturing output will support demand in lower-income countries, as will the relatively low cost of carton sealing tape compared to other options.
However, growth in high-income countries will be more restrained. In these areas, e-commerce applications play a larger role in shipping:
Water-activated tape is a greater competitor for carton sealing in higher income nations, where its higher cost compared to PSA tape poses less of a barrier to use, especially in e-commerce applications where its strength and ability to provide tamper evidence are highly valued.
Some e-commerce retailers are shifting away from corrugated boxes altogether and instead favoring flexible packaging, which does not use carton sealing tape.
Providers of carton sealing tape can focus on remaining cost competitive while increasing strength and adhesive to better maintain their share of the market.
Higher Performance Tape Will Benefit From Increasing Manufacturing & Construction Activity
Unlike packaging and shipping applications, the use of PSA tapes for bonding, joining, and sealing in manufacturing and building construction is not fully mature, particularly in less-industrialized regions. As a result, double-sided and adhesive transfer tapes continue to penetrate these less-industrialized markets, with their use supported by:
their lighter weight compared to conventional physical fasteners
the clean and instantaneous bond provided by PSA tapes
their ability to dampen noise and vibration
However, maturity in the North American and West European markets will limit greater market share gains for double-sided and adhesive transfer tapes.
The Asia/Pacific Region, Driven by China, Will Remain the World’s Largest Market
Through 2025, the PSA tape market in the Asia/Pacific region is expected to post above average growth and will account for over 60% of global demand increases. The dominant Chinese market, which represented approximately one-third of global demand, will drive growth. However, the fastest gains will be seen in the less-developed markets in India, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam, where there are more opportunities for PSA tape to further penetrate manufacturing and construction applications. In addition, these countries represent targets for manufacturers that wish to operate in outside of China.