CLEVELAND – According to a new study released by The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based industrial research company, world demand for silicones will rise 6.2 percent per year to $16.7 billion in 2015. Advances will represent a notable acceleration from the 2005-2010 period in which most developed world markets in North America and Western Europe experienced sluggish increases, or even declines, in silicone demand.

The Asia-Pacific region will remain the largest and fastest-growing outlet for silicones through 2015. Gains will continue to be driven by the large silicone market in China. Although slowing from the nearly 20 percent growth seen during the 2000-2010 period, the country will post strong double-digit gains going forward. Silicone demand in the region will also benefit from healthy gains in countries such as South Korea, Taiwan and India, although subpar increases in the Japanese market will temper this to some extent. Above-average growth is also forecast for Central and South America, Eastern Europe and the Africa-Mideast region, areas in which silicone demand per capita is currently among the lowest in the world. North America and Western Europe, the historical centers of the world silicone industry, saw demand severely hampered by the recent economic recession. Through 2015, however, silicone demand is expected to make a solid recovery, fueled in large part by a strong rebound in construction spending and motor vehicle production.

Electrical and electronic products will continue to be the leading outlet for silicones, advancing at an above-average pace through 2015. Silicone gains will be bolstered by demand in high-growth new applications. The most rapid increases, however, will be in the construction market. Similar factors will also fuel healthy growth in transportation markets, as motor vehicle production in the developed world rebounds from recent declines.

Elastomers and fluids were the two leading silicone product types in 2010, accounting for over 80 percent of total demand. Of the two, stronger growth is expected for elastomers, which will benefit from the rebounding construction and transportation markets. The fastest increases, however, will be for silicone gels and other smaller-volume products, fueled by emerging opportunities in electronic components and motor vehicles.

This new industry study, World Silicones, presents historical demand data and forecasts for 2015 and 2020. Visit www.freedoniagroup.com for additional information.