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Fluorochemicals market expected to reach US$21.5 bln globally by 2018

Fluorochemicals market expected to reach US$21.5 bln globally by 2018

The global fluorochemicals industry was valued at US$15.3 bln in 2011 and is expected to generate revenue of US$21.5 bln by 2018, growing at a CAGR of 5% from 2012 to 2018, as per Transparency Market Research. Increasing demand for aluminum, refrigerants, automobiles, along with emerging economies of the Asia Pacific region are expected to drive the demand for fluorochemicals over the next five years. Refrigerants market constituted 43% of total volume consumption in 2011. However, it is expected to experience slight decline in its market share due to regulatory constraints. The components and others segment is expected to exhibit fastest growth among all segments of fluorochemicals. Refrigerants and components and others market together accounted for the largest share of the fluorochemicals industry in 2011 and are expected to occupy 81% of the overall demand by 2018. The demand for aluminum production and blowing agents is expected to be driven by the growth from automobiles, construction, and polymer industries. Fluorocarbons led the overall fluorochemicals market and accounted for a market share of 54% in 2011 owing to their extensive use in pharmaceuticals, industrial coatings, refrigerants, blowing agents, etc. HFC and others are amongst the fastest growing segments of fluorocarbons. HFC is extensively used in refrigerants, blowing agents, etc. The others include fluorocarbons such as perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), methoxyflurane, enflurane, polyvinylidene fluoride, etc. Asia Pacific dominated the global fluorochemical market with a share of 46% in 2011 and is expected to keep continue this domination through 2018 on the back of increasing global export and domestic consumption. China has the third largest fluorspar reserves in the world and was also the largest regional market for fluorochemicals.

Global demand for fluorine-containing chemicals is forecast to rise 3.9% pa to 3.5 mln metric tons in 2016, valued at US$19.7 bln, as per Freedonia. Gains will be fueled by increasing production of refrigeration and cooling equipment worldwide, as well as an acceleration in primary aluminum output. However, there are a number of challenges facing fluorochemical suppliers. The first is obtaining access to key raw materials such as fluorspar, as exports from China -- by far the world’s leading producer -- have increasingly come under restrictions. Another challenge is dealing with the ever-shifting regulatory environment for fluorocarbons, which are subject to multiple global and national regulations that vary considerably by region and change over time. Finally, competition with alternative products is intensifying in a number of sectors, particularly blowing agents and commercial refrigeration, placing pressure on fluorochemical suppliers serving these markets. In the fluorocarbon segment, demand will rise at slightly below the overall fluorochemical average through 2016. However, there are significant shifts taking place among individual products. Due to Montreal Protocol requirements, developed world countries are in the final stages of phasing out ozone-depleting HCFCs, while restrictions for developing countries will begin to take effect in 2015. As a result, HCFC demand will decline through 2016. The HFC market, which grew considerably during the 2001-2011 decade, will continue its strong advances as HFCs replace HCFCs in the developing world. However, concerns over the global warming potential (GWP) of HFCs will begin to limit demand, particularly in Western Europe, presenting opportunities for low-GWP HFO fluorocarbons to capture a portion of the market. Among other fluorochemical products, fluoropolymers will see the most rapid gains in demand, driven by expanding opportunities for high-performance materials in the motor vehicle, chemical processing, electronics, and coatings markets. Fluoropolymers have a very low penetration rate in many parts of the world, offering ample room for market growth. Demand for inorganic and specialty fluorochemicals will rise at a pace close to the overall average through 2016, benefiting from strong growth in global aluminum production. Additionally, rising production of semiconductors, advanced batteries and other electronic components will fuel demand for specialty gases and other high-value fluorochemicals. The Asia/Pacific region will continue to be the largest market for fluorochemicals, accounting for over half of worldwide demand in 2016, and will also grow at the fastest rate. China will continue to post particularly strong gains in fluorochemical demand, further increasing its position as the world’s largest national market, as will other Asian countries such as India. Above-average gains are also forecast for the smaller Eastern Europe and Africa/Mideast markets, fueled by demand for aluminum fluoride in their rapidly expanding aluminum metal industries. In a continuation of long-term trends, the US, Western Europe, and Japan will account for a shrinking share of the world fluorochemical market through 2016, although each will see an increase in demand following the declines of the 2006-2011 period.

The global market for Fluorochemicals is forecast to exceed 2.6 mln tons by the year 2015, as per Global Industry Analysts, Inc. Growing use of cooling equipment and refrigerators is likely to impact market growth. In addition, growing demand for fluorochemicals in developing world is expected to significantly improve market prospects. Worldwide economic recession negatively affected fluorochemicals market that was already reeling under the pressure of stringent environmental regulations and consumer shift towards non-fluorochemical options. During 2008 and 2009, major end-use sectors of fluorochemicals such as electronics, wire & cable, refrigeration, and air conditioning fell noticeably, thereby resulting in drop in demand for fluorochemicals. The gloomy scenario impacted fluorochemicals sales for various product applications including air-conditioning, firefighting, and commercial refrigeration equipment such as smart defrost systems and self-chilling beverage cans. The market demonstrated negative growth in the US, Canada, Japan, and Europe, while it remained positive in Asia-Pacific, and Rest of World markets. Going forwards, worldwide demand for fluorochemicals is expected to improve in the coming years driven by increase in production of refrigerators and cooling equipment, leading to increased usage of fluorocarbon refrigerants. The market growth is likely to be higher in developing nations owing to low market penetration of fluorochemical-based consumer goods, rise in aluminum and automobile production, favorable demographic changes, and increasing income levels. In addition, prospective growth could be attributed to rise in demand for fluoropolymers, which is expected to remain strong throughout the world. The United States represents the largest regional market for fluorochemicals worldwide, as stated by the new market research report on Fluorochemicals. While environmental concerns discouraged the US fluorochemicals market in the past, financial crunch significantly weakened the demand for fluorochemicals during the crisis period of 2008 & 2009. Europe represents the second largest regional market for fluorochemicals worldwide. Asia-Pacific is portended to register fastest growth for fluorochemicals. The world fluorocarbon market has been undergoing huge fluctuation due to various international agreements, including Kyoto and Montreal Protocols along with nationwide government policies. While market for hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) (considered less harmful) continues to grow, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) have been phased out almost completely in majority of the markets owing to concerns over their ozone depleting properties. Further, demand for fluorocarbons shifted to developing counties from developed countries due to increasing consumption levels driven by rising incomes. However, demand for HCFCs is growing worldwide, excepting in Western Europe where concerns related to climatic changes and competition from alternatives such as nonfluorinated materials are hindering growth.

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