Fluorspar end market focus: Q3 2014
Published: Friday, 18 July 2014
Downloadable: IM Data analyses the recent developments in the fluorocarbon market
As slowing economic growth rates, particularly in
emerging countries, restricted refrigerant demand in 2013,
fluorocarbon producers have been sceptical about an upturn in
the market this year. Entering H2 2014, however, positive
end-market sentiment suggests we may have already seen the
bottom of the market.
The push towards HFOs
The phase-out of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) ramped up in H1 2014
as the European Council announced plans for 2015, which are
scheduled to reduce emissions from the region by 66% by
Furthermore, China announced ambitious plans in May to cut HFC
emmissions by 280m tonnes of CO2 equivalent over the
next two years.
Cooperation from China the second largest emitter of
greenhouse gases would represent a major step in the
transition from HFCs to hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs).
With leading chemical companies stepping up the production and
development of HFO alternatives, utilisation rates are set to
increase considerably over the coming 18 months.
Cars driving demand
As fluorspar demand from the fluorochemical sector continues to
be stifled by slow economic growth rates, the automotive market
is providing some reasons for optimism, particularly in
The European Automobile Manufacturers Association have reported
that in the five months to May 2014, car registrations
increased by 6.9%, while IHS Automotive have forecast growth in
global automotive production of 3.7% in 2014.
Although consumption rates in emerging markets have slowed over
H1 2014, an upturn in production is expected over H2 2014,
particularly in China where the government is aiming to
drastically increase its output of electric vehicles.
Consumption of refrigerant chemicals from the automotive air
conditioning sector, subsequently looks set to increase.
Refrigeration hots up in China
The development of emerging economies has, and will continue
to, drive fluorocarbon production.
Rapid urbanisation will be the driving force behind this demand
despite slowing economic growth levels in recent years.
According to McKinsey Global Institute estimates, Chinas
upper middle class is expected to increase from 14% of the
population to 54% between 2012 and 2022.
This development will fuel a rise in consumption of household
goods, such as refrigerators. By 2035, Rio Tinto expect there
to be 0.7 refrigerators per person in China, up from close to
0.5 today, illustrating the growth potential for fluorocarbons
in developing countries.
To download IM Datas Quarterly outlook for the fluorspar
market, please click