KONSTANZ, Germany - According to the latest study from Ceresana, worldwide revenues generated with silicones have risen by 6.7% per annum since 2005. In 2013, silicones valuing about $15.5 billion were sold. The market research institute expects sales of silicone to increase by another 5% in the coming years. Silicone elastomers, silicone oils and silicone resins are utilized in industries such as construction, automotive and E&E, as well as in medical technology, cosmetics, textiles and paper.  

A decisive advantage for manufacturers of silicone is the variety of sales markets for silicone products. Demand is distributed evenly among several large sectors. The most important growth motors are the construction and E&E sectors. In the construction industry, silicones are mainly used as sealants, adhesives and in coatings. The continuous boom of the construction sector in China and the recovery of the American construction industry are likely to result in an increase of global market value in the construction industry by 5.4% per annum in the upcoming years. Ceresana expects similarly high growth rates for the E&E sector, with this application reporting the highest revenues. In this segment, silicones are already used in keyboards, computers, telephones and several other products, and application possibilities keep increasing. A new market offering strong growth is lenses for LED lights made from silicone rubber.

Asia-Pacific accounted for more than half of global silicones production in 2013. China is the largest consumer of silicones worldwide. The gap to the second- and third-largest sales markets, Western Europe and the United States, is likely to widen in the future. However, China is still producing and using a larger amount of cheaper products rather than high-end specialty silicones. Thus, relative revenues (compared to consumption) in industrialized countries are much higher.

Because of the large E&E industry, Asia-Pacific consumes a disproportionately large amount of silicone elastomers. Net import in Asian countries will fall in the future, since China, in particular, massively expanded production capacity in previous years. Market values of elastomers in Western Europe and North America are almost as high as market values of silicone oils. The market for silicone resins has so far accounted for a much smaller market share in all regions, but is likely to develop at sound growth rates.

For additional information about the report, visit www.ceresana.com/en/market-studies/plastics/silicones/.