By Cameron Chai
According to the new research report released by Reportlinker.com, the worldwide demand for fluorine-containing chemicals is expected to increase 3.9% annually and reach 3.5 million metric tons in 2016.
The market will be driven by growing production of refrigeration and cooling equipment globally, and also by increasing primary aluminum output. However, fluorochemical suppliers are facing a number of challenges. One challenge is getting access to major raw materials like fluorspar as exports from China has been restricted. Another issue is dealing with the ever-shifting regulatory environment for fluorocarbons, and lastly competition with alternative products is increasing in several sectors, mainly in commercial refrigeration and blowing agents.
HCFC demand is expected to decline through 2016 because of Montreal Protocol requirements, which has made developed world countries to reach the final stages of restricting ozone-depleting HCFCs, whereas restrictions for developing countries will commence in 2015. The HFC market will continue its strong growth as the products replace HCFCs in the developing regions. Fluoropolymers are another group of fluorochemical products that will experience rapid demand due to increasing opportunities for high-performance materials in the coatings, electronics, chemical processing and motor vehicle markets. Similarly, rising production of advanced batteries, semiconductors and other electronic parts will increase demand for specialty gases and other fluorochemicals.
The report reveals that the Asia-Pacific region will continue to remain the largest market for fluorine-containing chemicals. China will continue to show strong demand gains in the fluorochemicals market. Smaller Africa/Mideast and Eastern Europe markets are expected to show above-average gains.