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 by an acceleration in primary aluminum output. However, fluorochemical suppliers face a number of challenges. 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. Finally, competition with alternative products is intensifying in a number of sectors. These and other trends, including market share and product segmentation, are presented in World Fluorochemicals, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.
In the fluorocarbon segment, demand will rise at a rate slightly below the overall fluorochemical average through 2016. Demand for HFCs grew considerably from 2001 to 2011, and they will continue their strong advances as replacements for 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 penetrate 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. 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.
The Asia/Pacific region will continue to be the largest market for fluorochemicals, accounting for over half of global consumption in 2016, and demand in that region will also grow at the fastest rate. China will continue to see particularly strong gains in fluorochemical demand, further increasing its position at the world’s largest national market. Above-average advances are also forecast for the smaller markets in Eastern Europe and the Africa/Mideast region, each 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 experienced during the 2006-2011 period.
The Freedonia Group is a leading international business research company, founded in 1985, that publishes more than 100 industry research studies annually. This industry analysis provides an unbiased outlook and a reliable assessment of an industry and includes product segmentation and demand forecasts, industry trends, demand history, threats and opportunities, competitive strategies, market share determinations and company profiles.