World demand for flame retardant additives is forecast to rise 5.4 percent per year to 2.6 million metric tons in 2016. Advances will represent an acceleration from the pace of the 2006-2011 period, during which demand was severely impacted by the effects of a global economic slowdown, especially in the mature markets of the US, Western Europe, and Japan. In addition to an improved economic outlook, flame retardant demand will benefit from the rising use of plastic products in place of less flammable materials and trends promoting more stringent safety and flammability standards, particularly in the developing world. Alumina trihydrate, the leading flame retardant product by volume, is expected to post above average gains in demand through 2016, driven by trends toward non-halogenated chemicals. Even more rapid advances, however, are forecast for boron compounds, driven largely by the increased demand for cellulosic insulation in building construction. These and other trends, including market share and product segmentation, are presented in World Flame Retardants, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.
Concerns about the potential impact of halogenated flame retardants on the environment and health have considerably altered the product mix. Brominated flame retardants have come under increased scrutiny, and a combination of government regulations and image-conscious product manufacturers have led some suppliers to phase out production of some products. Additionally, although environmentally unfavorable chlorinated flame retardants continue to enjoy high levels of demand in less developed parts of the world, countries such as China are rapidly moving away from these chemicals, spurring robust growth in demand for other flame retardants.
The Asia/Pacific region will continue to be largest and fastest growing market for flame retardants, accounting for over half of world demand in 2016. Advances will be fueled by over eight percent annual growth in the Chinese and Indian markets, strong increases in Thailand and other less developed countries in the region, and solid growth in major electronics-producing countries such as Taiwan and South Korea. Gains in North America will be driven by above average expansion of the markets in the US and Mexico. Central and South America will also see strong growth, driven by rapid gains in the Brazilian market. Demand in Western Europe will rise at a subdued pace, although it will rebound from the declines of the 2006-2011 period.
The Freedonia Group is a leading international business research company, founded in 1985, that publishes more than 100 industry research studies annually. This industry analysis provides an unbiased outlook and a reliable assessment of an industry and includes product segmentation and demand forecasts, industry trends, demand history, threats and opportunities, competitive strategies, market share determinations and company profiles.