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Polycarbonate demand on the up after downturn


After falling in 2009, global demand for polycarbonate grew 3% in 2011, driven mainly by automotive, appliance and electronics applications, according to a new report from IHS Chemical.
Electrical and electronic applications are the largest end-use for polycarbonates, accounting for 20% global demand at around 720,000 tonnes in 2011. The key driver for this market will be the increased use of consumer electronics, such as tablet devices and flat screen televisions.
The sheet and film sector, which primarily serves the construction industry, accounted for 18% of global demand, while optical media (CDs/DVDs) made up 18% and automotive 12%.
Several companies produce polycarbonate globally, but two companies, Bayer and Sabic, produce the lion’s share of world supply, owning around 28% and 25% of global capacity, respectively.
Looking forward, IHS Chemical says world demand for polycarbonate is expected to grow at an average rate of slightly less than 5% during the next five years, reaching around 4.5m tonnes by the end of 2016.

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