Global demand for pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA) tapes is projected to rise 5.6% per year through 2016 to 43.5 billion square meters, valued at $37 billion. This represents an improvement from the 2006-2011 period, which was negatively affected by the recent global economic slowdown. In particular, advances will be driven by an acceleration in manufacturing activity. Among the various types of tapes, the best gains are expected for polypropylene products and value added specialty tapes including foam and fiberglass types. These and other trends are presented in World Pressure Sensitive Tapes, a new study fromThe Freedonia Group, Inc.(, a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.  

In 2011, carton sealing tapes accounted for over two-thirds of the global pressure sensitive tape market (in volume terms). Demand will be bolstered by an upswing in the processed food and beverage manufacturing sector, which represents the largest single user of corrugated box packaging. Demand for masking tapes will see a significant acceleration, boosted by strong improvements in building construction expenditures, including architectural paint projects. Good opportunities will also be found in the electrical and electronic, double-sided, and medical tape segments, though growth in these applications will stem from relatively small bases. Double-sided bonding tapes will further supplant alternative joining and sealing techniques in a range of industrial applications, while PSA medical and surgical tapes are expected to continue to replace traditional bandages.

The Asia/Pacific region will see the most rapid gains and remain the largest regional market, due to its large manufacturing industries. Central and South America, Eastern Europe, and the Africa/Mideast region will also experience healthy growth, though advances in these areas will stem from much lower base levels (collectively, these three regions only accounted for 15% of global pressure sensitive tape demand in 2011). Overall, the fastest growth will be seen in Asia, specifically in India, China, and Indonesia. In particular, China alone will account for close to half of global pressure sensitive tape market volume gains between 2011 and 2016. In contrast, advances will be below average in North America and Western Europe, where markets are more established. The US, which accounted for 18% of global sales volume in 2011, will remain the second largest national pressure sensitive tape market in the world, after China.