Global demand for fluorine-containing chemicals is forecast to rise 3.9 percent per year to 3.5 million metric tons in 2016, valued at $19.7 billion. 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.
This Freedonia industry study, “World Fluorochemicals”, presents historical demand data (2001, 2006, 2011) and forecasts for 2016 and 2021 by product, market, world region and for 15 countries. The study also assesses key market environment factors, evaluates company market share and profiles global industry competitors.