Fluorochemicals find numerous applications across a host of industries including refrigeration, aluminum production, blowing agents and others. Broadly, fluorochemicals can be classified as fluorocarbons, fluoropolymers and inorganics. Fluorocarbons are essentially hydrocarbons, with fluorine replacing a minimum of one hydrogen atom; key fluorocarbons include CFC, HFC and HCFC. Inorganics generally include inorganic fluorochemicals such as aluminum fluoride, fluorosilicate, silicofluoride and cryolite and find applications in aluminum production, steel making, fumigation, cleaning agents, herbicides and other pesticides. Fluoropolymers are fluorocarbon based polymers, with high resistance to acids, solvents and bases, fluoropolymers are widely used in pharmaceuticals and industrial coatings. Growing demand for refrigerants, aluminum, and steel in key industries including HAVC, refrigeration, automotive, and construction is expected to drive fluorochemical demand over the next six years. Automotive industry is expected to be very strong in Asia with China accounting for over 36% of total vehicles produced in the region in 2013. Global fluorochemical market volume was estimated at 3,292.5 kilo tons in 2013 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.3% from 2014 to 2020. Issues related to profitability through high cost of production coupled with growing environmental concerns and regulatory pressures are expected to be critical challenges for market participants over the forecast period.
Key product segments analyzed and reported in the study include fluorocarbons, inorganics and fluoropolymers. Fluorocarbons dominated the global market in 2013, accounting for over 52% of total volumes. CFC and HCFC, being highly hazardous for the environment, through their depletion of the ozone are being phased out and increasingly replaced by HFC. Fluoropolymers are expected to be the most promising product segment in terms of growth prospects, with demand volume estimated to reach 1,290.2 kilo tons by 2020, growing at a CAGR of over 10% from 2014 to 2020. Global demand for inorganics and other specialty fluorochemicals is expected to grow at a CAGR of 2.4% from 2014 to 2020.
Global Fluorochemical Market Volume, by Product, 2013
Key application markets analyzed in the report include refrigerants, aluminum, blowing agents, components and others. Refrigeration applications dominated the market in 2013, accounting for over 42% of global fluorochemical volumes; with a major chunk coming from fluorocarbons. Aluminum fluoride is extensively used in aluminum production, in 2013, this application segment accounted for just under 10% of global fluorochemical demand. Fluorochemicals are used as components in home and industrial appliances, which accounted for over 37% of the total demand in 2013; these are also expected to be the fastest growing application market for fluorochemicals over the next six years.
Owing to possessing the largest application industries of refrigeration, automotive and electronic consumables, Asia Pacific dominated the global market in 2013, accounting for over 46% of total fluorochemical demand. With increasing domestic consumption and exports, Asia Pacific is also expected to be the fastest growing regional market for fluorochemicals over the next six years. North America and Europe are highly regulated mature markets, estimated to grow at a CAGR of 2.8% and 3% from 2014 to 2020, respectively.
The global fluorochemical market is moderately concentrated with top four participants catering to over 40% of global demand in 2013. The market also displays somewhat oligopolistic characteristics, with a few multinational corporations accounting for a large chunk of the total revenue generated by the industry. DuPont, Daikin, Solvay SA, Arkema SA, Honeywell, Dongyue and Asahi Glass are a few key participants operating the global market.