Chemical Market Associates, Inc (CMAI) is forecasting global demand for polycarbonate to grow at an average annual rate of around 5.8% over the next five years, reaching around 4.4 million tonnes by the end of 2015.
In its 2011 World Polycarbonate& ABS Analysis, the US research firm says the fastest growth for PC will be in the automotive glazing sector, although that is from a very low base.
Growth in electrical/electronics means this will become the largest volume application for polycarbonate by 2015. CMAI says the key driver for this market will be the increased use of consumer electronics like personal computers/laptops, flat screen televisions and office equipment like printers in the developing regions, like India, Southeast Asia and China.
But demand for PC in optical media, previously a bullish sector for PC, will contract over the next five years. “Substitution by other media is occurring more rapidly than originally expected, and we estimate that the US market contracted by around 4.5% in 2010,” said CMAI.
The global ABS market is forecast to continue to grow ahead of global GDP, at a rate of about 5% per year over the next five years.
The highest growth sectors will be in the transportation and appliance markets. The latter is expected to grow at an average rate of over 5% and will continue to be the largest market by 2015.
CMAI said: “Over the next two years, we expect supply growth to outstrip demand growth, especially due to the new capacity coming on line in China, thus reducing operating rates.
“However, during the latter stages of the forecast period, the capacity-demand gap will close in Northeast Asia as demand for ABS for domestic use in China, and exports of appliances, computer equipment, and cars, continue to grow, and the pace of new capacity additions slows.”
Good climate for ABS and PC