Global demand for fluorochemicals is forecast to accelerate, rising nearly four percent per year through 2018. Robust global growth in aluminum demand, due in part to the increasing use of aluminum in motor vehicles, will lead to strong gains in inorganic and specialty fluorochemical demand. The rapid adoption of high performance fluoropolymers in motor vehicles and advanced manufacturing will also contribute to healthy global fluorochemical growth, albeit from a much smaller volume base. Despite strict, ongoing regulations, fluorocarbon demand will continue to increase at a healthy pace, reflecting strong demand for air conditioning and refrigeration equipment, especially in the developing world. However, faster growth will be limited by the development of fluorocarbon alternatives, and the efforts by a number of developing countries to begin implementing the Montreal Protocol.
Global aluminum production is forecast to grow significantly, due in large part to the increased use of aluminum as an alternative to steel in cars and light trucks. As a result, consumption of aluminum fluoride, a key component in the aluminum smelting process, will increase, boosting demand for inorganic fluorochemicals overall. Additionally, rising production of semiconductors, advanced batteries and other electronic components will fuel demand for specialty gases and other high-value, inorganic and specialty fluorochemicals.
Fluoropolymers will see the most rapid gains in volume demand, albeit from a small base, driven by expanding opportunities for high-performance materials in the motor vehicle, chemical processing, electronics, and coatings markets, especially in developing parts of the world where their intensity of use remains low. Fluoropolymers will continue to account for a disproportionately high portion of value demand.
Despite the ongoing impact of the Montreal Protocol and growing regulatory scrutiny of HFCs in developed countries, demand for fluorocarbons will remain healthy due to greater production of cooling and refrigeration equipment. The Protocol's phaseout schedule will continue to cause demand shifts in the fluorocarbon segment. Going forward, HFCs will experience robust demand growth as HCFCs are phased out throughout the developed world and begin a gradual step-down process in developing economies. However, even HFCs have come under scrutiny for their contribution to global climate change, which will limit faster gains as nonfluorinated alternatives are developed.
China will continue to be the largest and one of the fastest growing markets for fluorochemicals, and will account for over half of the overall increase in fluorochemical volume demand through 2018. Only India will post faster growth for fluorochemical volume demand through 2018, although from a much smaller base. Both the Eastern Europe and Africa/ Mideast regions will experience healthy growth through the forecast period, due in large part to higher primary aluminum output in those regions. In addition, while demand growth in Western Europe, North America, and Central and South America will be modest, it will signify an improvement from recent declines or flat growth.
This Freedonia industry study, World Fluorochemicals, presents historical data (2003, 2008 and 2013) plus forecasts (2018 and 2023) by product type and application for six regions and 15 countries. The study also details market environment factors, evaluates company market share and profiles 50 competitors.
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