Global Polycarbonate demand was estimated to be around 4498.5 kilo tons in 2018. The global market has grown at an average of 1.9% from 2014 to 2018 mainly due to strong demand from polycarbonate end-user industries like automotive, electrical & electronics, and construction in the Asia-Pacific region. The global Polycarbonate market was impacted by the economic meltdown in 2008-2009. The demand declined during that period, with an estimated decline of more than-3.4% in 2009. The demand bounced back in 2010.
The global polycarbonate demand is dominated by the polycarbonate sheets production to serve the construction sector. The dynamics in the electrical & electronics, automotive and construction industries have a major impact on the global polycarbonate market. The downturn observed in the automotive industry in the USA and Western Europe owing to the global economic recession had a severe impact on the automotive industry in 2008-2009.
Polycarbonate application for the construction sector accounted for 24.1% followed by electrical& electronics applications at 22.4%. The third biggest application is the automotive sector accounting for 16.5% of the total demand followed by Consumer appliances accounting for 11.4% of total demand. Medical devices and packaging together trailed with 9.1% of the total.
The growth of the global polycarbonate consumption will strongly depend on the economic growth as well as the other dynamics in the construction and the automotive sector, fluctuations in the energy market and the automotive industry. The growth rate will be dramatically different in major regions of the world. It is forecast that mature economies like Western Europe and Japan will witness lower to marginal growth and countries in Asia-Pacific region including China and India will witness higher than global average growth during the forecast period till 2025. The polycarbonate growth in the mature economies to an extent will depend on the future improvements and advancements expected in polycarbonate technologies.
According to Prismane Consulting, utilization rates for polycarbonate globally averaged nearly at about 83.9% between 2005 and 2018. The utilization rates peaked to 93% in 2007 before declining to low 70s in 2009 mainly due to decline in demand as well as a result of new production capacities coming on-stream in the previous two years. The demand for polycarbonate was affected in 2008-2009 with market contracting significantly, however, the demand recovered steadily after that. In 2010, global demand exhibited strong growth, resulting in an improvement in the global utilization rate to 82%.
The global polycarbonate market has shown moderate growth rates largely driven by rising demand from different end-use industries and from countries like China, India and other emerging economies in the region. Historically, the mature regions like North America and Western Europe will continue to lose their demand market share to Asia-Pacific. At the same time central & Eastern Europe will grow at a moderate rate in the long-term forecast albeit from a low base. The Middle Eastern & African markets starting from a very small base, have witnessed high growth rates and are expected to grow at an annual average of 2.8%.
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