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. Going forward, gains will be driven by an improved economic outlook as these regions recover from the recent economic recession. Advances will also be fueled by the increased penetration of high-value silicone materials into emerging applications, particularly in the newly industrialized nations of the world where the use of silicones is not yet mature.

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. As silicones become increasingly mature in these regions, technological advancements and product innovation will become essential to grow the application base for long-term market growth.

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 such as components for LEDs and solar energy products. The most rapid increases, however, will be in the construction market, driven in large part by a recovery in the silicone-intensive construction sectors of the United States and Western Europe. Similar factors will also fuel healthy growth in transportation markets, as motor vehicle production in the developed world rebounds from recent declines. More moderate gains are expected for outlets such as paper production, textiles and plastic additives, restrained by slow-growing markets and limited new applications for silicones.

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 by product, market, world region and for 14 countries. The study also assesses key market environment factors, evaluates company market shares and profiles 33 global industry competitors. Visit www.freedoniagroup.com for additional information.