US Silicones Market - 2016 Forecasts say Industrial Market to Offer Best Growth Prospects
Apr 26, 2012, 05:09 ET
DALLAS, April 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
ReportsnReports adds a new market research report "Silicones to 2016" to its store. This report covers the silicone industry by:
A. Products: Fluids, Elastomers, Resins, Gels, Other Silicone Products
B. Markets: Industrial, Consumer, Construction, Medical
C. Applications: Vehicles & Binders, Elastomeric Components, Surfactants, Polishes, Lubricants & Greases, Conditioning Agents, Emollients, Defoamers and Other Applications
US demand for silicones is forecast to reach $4 billion in 2016, with advances accelerating strongly from the pace of the recession-impacted 2006-2011 period. Gains will stem from rebounding growth in manufacturing output and construction activity, spurred by improving economic conditions. In volume terms, silicone demand is projected to reach more than 800 million pounds in 2016. The average price of silicones is expected to increase at a more moderate rate than that of the 2006-2011 period, restrained by intense price competition. Pricing growth will further be restricted by greater competition from lower cost imports. Imports from China, for example, have risen substantially in recent years.
Silicone gels to advance rapidly from small base
Silicone fluids and elastomers comprised the largest share of silicone demand in 2011, combining to account for more than four-fifths of the total. Although silicone fluids will experience the slowest gains through 2016 due to maturity in certain markets, increasing output of cosmetics and toiletries will drive demand for silicone fluids used in emollients and conditioning agents. Above average gains in silicone elastomer demand will be based on rebounding growth in the construction market, as well as greater use in medical applications, where liquid silicone rubber (LSR) is increasingly valued for its ease of processing, flexibility, and ability to form high precision parts. Silicone gels represent the smallest and fastest growing product segment, with rapid expansion driven in part by the increasing utilization of silicone gel encapsulants in the electronics market, especially in the fast growing photovoltaic sector. Moreover, silicone gel-filled breast implants -- which were reintroduced to the market in 2006 after a 14-year ban -- will continue to capture market share from their salinefilled counterparts.
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Industrial market to offer best growth prospects
The industrial market will account for the majority of silicone demand through 2016. The motor vehicle segment is projected to achieve the most significant gains, driven by substantial increases in vehicle output from relatively low 2011 levels, as well as advancements in silicone technology aimed at improving vehicle safety and fuel efficiency. In addition, consumer preferences for quieter cabins will promote the use of silicone sealants and other products that aid in noise and vibration reduction.
Among other markets, construction and medical products will achieve the most rapid growth. Advances in the construction segment will be propelled by a strong recovery in building construction expenditures, particularly in the new residential segment, as well as the use of high performance silicone-based adhesives and sealants, caulks, and coatings. The medical market has been the fastest growing segment of the silicone industry in recent years, and will continue to expand strongly due to the ongoing technological development of new products. Silicone's biocompatibility, low surface tension, chemical and thermal stability, and water-resistant qualities make it ideal for medical applications, ranging from tubing to implants to medical adhesives and wound care products.
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