2019 saw the fluoropolymer market reach a value of $7.7 billion. But with unexpected circumstances in 2020, has the industry suffered at all? And what is the current outlook for the fluoropolymer industry?
We answer all of that (and more) right here.
COVID-19's Impact on The Fluoropolymer Sector
We can't guess about the future of the fluoropolymer industry without looking at the recent past and current state of the market. The COVID-19 pandemic has managed to make its way into that as well.
While it has been said a thousand times, the coronavirus impact was unprecedented. As a result, every economy worldwide implemented various lockdown protocols and restrictions that affected all industries, including fluoropolymer.
Specifically, these lockdowns resulted in:
- operation shut offs
- manufacturing shut offs
- distribution prevention
- the closing of retail stores
All of which concluded in a demand decrease for end products, thus sluggish market growth.
Who Uses Fluoropolymer Products?
The largest users of fluoropolymer tubing and other products are the aerospace and automotive industries. Unfortunately, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic forced a sudden and significant decline in both market sectors.
Factories across North America and Europe were forced to shut, and their workers to stay at home. So not only were people moving around less, but the shutdowns stripped millions of vehicles from production schedules. This cascades to the suppliers and manufacturers of fluoropolymer products, meaning less demand and forced production prevention.
Things Have Gotten Better of Course
Despite the temporary slowdown in demand for automotive and aerospace fluoropolymer products, the need for medical-grade fluoropolymers has boomed.
The coronavirus outbreak created a dire need for more health and testing equipment, prompting the much-needed boost in certain sectors of the fluoropolymer industry.
While the health impact of COVID-19 on the population is devasting, it's propelling global fluoropolymer producers into a very positive future.
We have hinted at a huge market increase over the next few years, and we stand by it. Data shows that future demand for the global fluoropolymer industry is strong.
Let's take a deeper look at the market breakdown:
The Fluoropolymer Industry Segments
The market is segmented a few ways:
- Product Type
- End-Use Industry
When segmenting based on product type, officials divide the market into Fluoroelastomer, PVF, PFA, ETFE, PTFE, FEP, PVDF, and others. You'll find subsections within these segments called PCTFE, ECTFE, and more.
As for application, the market divides into film, pipe, sheet, tube, sealant, membrane, additives, roofing, and others.
If we divide (and sub-divide) the fluoropolymer sector by end-use industry, it looks like this:
- Industrial equipment
- Chemical and Pharmaceutical Equipment
- Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment
- Other Industrial Processes
- Transportation equipment
- Automotive vehicles
- Electrical and electronics
- Wire and Cable
- Fuel Cells
Finally, the industry is analyzed via the following regions: North America, Asia-Pacific, LAMEA, and Europe.
The Bright Future
So, how can the fluoropolymer industry not only recover but expand production to meet anticipated demand? Despite the decline in 2020, the market is set to grow to $8.4 billion by 2026. There are a few major reasons for this, including:
- Increased demand for high-performance polymer plastics in the industrial processing sector
- Increased demand in the transportation, electrical, and electronics sectors
These industries understand the superior characteristics of fluoropolymers. The non-adhesiveness, non-stick, chemical resistance and low-friction properties make it one of the only materials perfect for new-and-growing global megatrends like automotive digitalization, mobility, neo-ecology, and connectivity.
The Bottom Line
Regardless of the industry blip in 2020, the future for fluoropolymers is strong. The economy is rebuilding, and so is this industry.