Silicones Market - Snapshot

Silicones belong to the family of high-performance specialty materials. Silicones are polymers with large molecules consisting of several repeated sub-units. These polymers consist of siloxane, which is essentially a chain of alternating oxygen and silicon atoms combined with hydrogen and/or carbon. Several steps are involved in the production of silicones. First step involves the reaction between silicon and methyl chloride. The product of this reaction is then treated with water to remove chlorine atoms. During the production process, silanes are produced first. These act as intermediaries in the production of siloxanes and finally silicones. Silicones possess a wide range of physical and chemical properties. They are resistant to ultraviolet radiation, cold, heat, moisture, and several chemicals.

Electric and Electronic Products are Major Consumers of Silicone Products

Increase in production of electric and electronic products in Asia Pacific is a major driver of the silicones market. The region is a manufacturing hub of products. A wide range of products, from consumer goods to industrial equipment, is manufactured across countries in the region. Large number of electrical and electronics products are manufactured in Asia Pacific. Several countries in Southeast Asia are leading manufacturers and exporters of electric and electronic products. For instance, electronic products account for more than 50% share of the Philippines’ exports. China holds 31% share of the global Information and Communication Technology (ICT) goods export. Electric machinery and equipment are among the top exported products of Thailand. Indonesia is a major consumer of electric and electronic products in ASEAN. Malaysia has focused its manufacturing efforts on semiconductor ecosystems.

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Fluctuation in Supply and Prices of Raw Materials can Significantly Affect Silicone Product Prices

Fluctuating prices of raw materials is a major restraint of the silicones market. These prices are dependent upon several factors such as currency exchange rates, environment protection measures, and energy costs. Silicone manufacturing companies bear some portion of increased raw material prices, while the rest is passed on to customers. In most cases, a rise in prices of raw materials is temporary; manufacturers reduce prices of silicones once they return to the usual level. However, fluctuation in supply raw materials and increase prices of raw materials refrain manufacturers from planning for long term. For instance, China is an important provider and manufacturer of raw materials in the silicones market. However, in several cases, market players based in the country are unable to meet environment protection regulations. They frequently cease the production of silicones during government investigation and restart it once these are over. This has a direct but temporary effect on the prices of raw materials.

Transportation Industry Presents Major Opportunity for Silicones Market

In terms of end user industry, transportation accounted for more than 10% share of the silicones market in 2017. Usage of silicones in the transportation industry is expected to increase at a rapid pace in the near future. New applications of silicones are consistently being developed in the industry. Silicones are employed across all segments of the transportation industry, i.e. automotive, marine, and aviation. Silicones are used in the manufacture of car components such as airbags, ignition coils, engine seals, gaskets, turbocharge hosing, radiator seals, and hoses. They are also employed in the manufacture of components such as windscreens, deck cleats, storage hatches, bilge pump seals, and hull/deck seals in marine vessels. Silicones are part of components such as instrument seals and electronic component potting. They are also used as sealants in in-flight entertainment systems, lighting, overhead bins, fuel tanks, and hydraulic gear boxes during aircraft manufacturing.

Raw Material Supply Issues Compelling Silicone Manufacturers to Increase Product Prices 

Various companies manufacturing silicones such as Wacker Chemie AG, Elkem Silicones, Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., and Momentive Performance Materials Inc. increased product prices by 10% to 30% in late 2017 and early 2018 due to the rise in raw material and energy costs. However, companies have continued with their expansion plans. In June 2018, Wacker Chemie AG awarded the U.K.-based Intertronics a distribution contract for silicone products for the U.K. and Ireland. In the same month, Shin-Etsu Silicones of America introduced its advanced eight-carbon silane coupling agents. The company’s KBM-4803 and KBM-1083 lines have eight carbons. This helps create more space between the reactive ends of silanes.

Fluids and Elastomers are Commonly Used Forms of Silicones, while Rubber and Emulsions are Widely Used Applications of Silicones

In terms of form in volume, elastomers was the dominant segment of the market in 2017. However, in terms of form in value, fluids accounted for marginally larger share than that of elastomers due to the higher price of fluids. In terms of application, rubber was the dominant segment, followed by emulsions. Rubber is the preferred application due to its usage in a wide range of industries such as consumer goods, transportation, energy, and paper. In terms of end-user industry, the consumer goods segment accounted for key share of the silicones market in 2017. It was followed by construction & architecture, and electrical & electronics segments. In terms of region, Asia Pacific dominated the market in 2017 due to higher production and consumption of silicones.

Consolidated Market for Silicones with Top Few Players Accounting for Around 50% Share

Silicones is a highly organized market where the top players account for around 50% of market share. Key players operating in the silicones market include Wacker Chemie AG, DowDuPont, Momentive Performance Materials Inc., Evonik Industries, and Shin-Etsu Chemical Co. Ltd.

Silicones Market - Overview

Silicones belong to the family of high-performance specialty materials. They are polymers with large molecules and consist of many repeated sub-units. Silicones possess a wide range of physical and chemical properties such as resistance to heat, cold, ultraviolet radiation, moisture, and several chemicals. Therefore, they are used in various industries such as consumer goods, transportation, paper, textiles, and construction & architecture.

This report analyzes and forecasts the market for silicones at the global and regional level. The market has been forecast based on volume (tons) and revenue (US$ Mn) from 2018 to 2026, considering 2017 as the base year. The study includes drivers and restraints of the global silicones market. It also covers impact of these drivers and restraints on demand for silicones during the forecast period. The report also highlights opportunities in the silicones market at the global and regional level.

The report includes detailed value chain analysis, which provides a comprehensive view of the global silicones market. Porter’s Five Forces model for the silicones market has also been included to help understand the competitive landscape in the market. The study encompasses market attractiveness analysis, wherein forms and applications are benchmarked based on their market size, growth rate, and general attractiveness.

The study provides a decisive view of the global silicones market by segmenting it in terms of form, application, end-user industry, and region. In terms of form, the silicones market has been classified into fluids, elastomers, and resins. Based on application, the silicones market has been classified into rubber, coatings, emulsions, sealants, and others. In terms of end-user industry, the market has been divided into consumer goods, construction & architecture, transportation, energy, electrical & electronics, paper, textiles, and others. These segments have been analyzed based on present and future trends. Regional segmentation includes current and forecast demand for silicones in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa.

The report provides the actual market size of silicones for 2017 and estimated market size for 2018 with forecast for the next eight years. Market numbers have been estimated based on forms, applications, and end-user industries of silicones. Market volume and size have been provided in terms of global, regional, and country level markets.

The report comprises profiles of major companies operating in the global silicones market. Key players functioning in the silicones market are Wacker Chemie AG, Elkem Silicones, Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., and Momentive Performance Materials Inc. Market players have been profiled in terms of attributes such as company overview, financial overview, business strategies, and recent developments.

The global silicones market has been segmented as follows:

Silicones Market, by Form

  • Fluids
  • Elastomers
  • Resins

Silicones Market, by Application

  • Rubber
  • Coatings
  • Emulsions
  • Sealants
  • Others (Greases, etc.)

Silicones Market, by End-user Industry

  • Consumer Goods
  • Construction & Architecture
  • Transportation
  • Energy
  • Electrical & Electronics
  • Paper
  • Textiles
  • Others (Health Care, etc.)

Silicones Market, by Region

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Mexico
    • Rest of Latin America
  • Europe
    • Germany
    • U.K.
    • France
    • Italy
    • Spain
    • Russia & CIS
    • Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • Japan
    • India
    • ASEAN
    • Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Middle East & Africa (MEA)
    • GCC
    • South Africa
    • Rest of Middle East & Africa

Key Takeaways

  • In terms of volume, the elastomers segment is larger vis-à-vis fluids, as elastomers are used in a wider range of products. However, in terms of value, the fluids segment accounts for higher share than the elastomers segment, as the price of silicone fluids is higher than that of silicone elastomers.
  • In terms of application, the rubber segment holds higher share vis-à-vis other segments. Emulsions is also a common application of silicones.
  • Based on end-use industry, consumer goods constitutes major share of the silicones market. It is followed by construction & architecture and electrical & electronics.
  • In terms of demand, transportation, medical, and personal care industries offer significant potential for silicones
  • Fluctuation in supply and prices of raw materials is a major hindrance to the market
  • Asia Pacific is anticipated to dominate the market during the forecast period
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