The Asia/Pacific region has risen to become the leading market for silicones, accounting for nearly 40 percent of global demand in 2012. Demand in the region grew nearly 10 percent annually from 2002 to 2012, fueled primarily by the rapid advancement of China as a silicone consumer. While slowing to some extent through 2017, silicone demand growth in the Asia/Pacific region will remain the world’s fastest. Gains will be driven by continued strong growth in China, the emergence of India as a significant silicone market, and a favorable economic outlook for the higher income countries in the region. Above average growth is also forecast for South America, Eastern Europe, and the Africa/Mideast region, areas in which silicone demand per capita is currently among the lowest in the world.
While silicone demand in the more mature markets of North America and Western Europe will rise at a pace below the global average through 2017, advances will be a marked improvement over the performance of the 2007-2012 period. In North America, demand for silicone will benefit from a strong rebound in construction spending as the large U.S. market continues to recover from a housing slump.
Demand in Western Europe will be fueled by a turnaround in manufacturing and construction activity. As silicones become increasingly well established in these regions, technological advancements and product innovation will become essential to expand the application base for long term market growth.