The global silicones market was valued at around US$ 13,700 Mn in 2017 and is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of more than 5.0% from 2018 to 2026, according to a new report by Transparency Market Research (TMR) titled ‘Silicones Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast, 2018–2026.’ Silicones can be defined as a family of high-performance specialty materials. These polymers with large molecules consist of many repeated sub-units. Silicones are used in a wide range of industries due to their favorable physical and chemical properties. For instance, they are resistant to ultraviolet radiation, cold, heat, moisture, and several chemicals. They also provide insulation and long-term elasticity.
Market Driven by Rise in Manufacture of Electric and Electronic Products in Asia Pacific
Several countries in Asia Pacific are leading manufacturers and exporters of electric and electronic products. China’s share of the global export of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) goods stands at approximately 31%. Electronic products account for more than 50% share of exports in the Philippines. Electric machinery and equipment rank among the top exports of Thailand. Malaysia’s manufacturing efforts are focused on the semiconductor ecosystem. Production of electronics and hardware is still at the nascent stage in India. On the other hand, Indonesia is a major consumer of electric and electronic products in ASEAN. Silicones are primarily employed in products such as television sets, refrigerators, and mobile phones. Silicones is used in these products in the form of fluids, elastomers, and resins.
Uncertainties Associated with Raw Material Supply Adversely Affect Long-term Growth of Silicones Market
Supply and prices of raw materials of silicones depend upon several factors such as currency exchange rates, environment protection measures, and energy costs. China is an important manufacturer and provider of raw materials in the silicones market. However, often, market players based in the country are unable to meet the environment protection regulations. Hence, they need to frequently stop production during government investigation and restart it once it is over. This creates temporary shortage of raw materials in the market, resulting in increased prices. Companies manufacturing silicones bear some portion of increased raw material prices, while the rest is passed on to customers. However, these shortages of raw materials and associated rise in prices of silicones are difficult to predict. As a result, silicone manufacturers are unable to take pre-emptive actions or secure themselves against the shortage of supply. This adversely affects the ability of silicone manufacturers to plan for long-term.
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Silicon Used in Wide Range of Components in Automobiles, Marine Vessels, and Aircraft
The transportation industry comprises segments such as automobiles, marine vessels, aircraft, railways, and other modes of transport such as bicycles and drones. The industry has been expanding consistently. It provides stable revenue generation opportunities. The transportation industry accounted for more than 10% share of demand for silicones in 2017. Consumption of silicones in the industry is expected to increase at a rapid pace, as new applications of silicones are being consistently developed. Silicones are used in the manufacture of a wide range of components such as airbags, ignition coils, engine seals, gaskets, turbocharge hosing, radiator seals, and hoses in car or automobile manufacturing; windscreens, deck cleats, storage hatches, bilge pump seals, and hull/deck seals in marine vessel manufacturing; and instrument seals and electronic component potting, sealants for in-flight entertainment systems, lighting, overhead bins, fuel tanks, and hydraulic gear boxes in aircraft manufacturing.
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Global Silicones Market Segmented Based on Form, Application, End-user Industry, and Region
In terms of form, the global silicones market can be divided into fluids, elastomers, and resins. The elastomer segment is likely to expand at a rapid pace during the forecast period, as these are employed in a wide range of industries such as consumer goods, transportation, electrical & electronics, and construction. Based on application, the market can be segmented into rubber, coatings, emulsions, sealants, and others. The rubber segment is expected to expand at a faster pace during the forecast period, primarily due to the ease of use associated with the application. In terms of end-user industry, the silicones market can be segregated into consumer goods, construction & architecture, transportation, energy, electrical & electronics, paper, textiles, and others. The construction & architecture industry is anticipated to expand at a fast rate during the forecast period, followed closely by transportation. In terms of region, the market can be classified North America (U.S. and Canada), Latin America (Brazil, Mexico, and Rest of Latin America), Europe (Germany, the U.K., France, Italy, Spain, Russia & CIS, and Rest of Europe), Asia Pacific (China, India, Japan, ASEAN, and Rest of Asia Pacific) and Middle East & Africa (GCC, South Africa, and Rest of Middle East & Africa).
Top Few Players Account for Nearly 50% Share of Global Silicones Market
Key players operating in the global silicones market include Wacker Chemie AG, DowDuPont, Momentive Performance Materials Inc., Evonik Industries, and Shin-Etsu Chemical Co. Ltd. These companies constitute around 50% share of the market. Local and regional players in various countries capture the rest of market share. Companies are focusing on expanding their geographical footprint through organic sales, distribution channels, and e-commerce.
In coming years, as the debate on the potential impact of the chemical manufacturing across industries on the ecology gets fiercer, new monitoring technologies will emerge. Latest compliance regulations will expand the scope of green chemistries for businesses in the downstream value chain. Further, manufacturers in the market will increasingly leverage digital channels to reach high-value customers. Many will use them to avoid disruption such as by pandemics.
An assortment of analytics technologies will help in augmenting the commercial productivity. However, until now, the pace of adoption of digital technologies in the overall chemicals industry has been relatively slow. It thus remains to be seen how far the players in the market will be able to unlock long-term productivity benefits of AI-driven management of various business functions, particularly research and development and production.
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