Increasing demand for HFCs to 2016
USA: Increasing worldwide demand for HFC refrigerants is expected to be a significant factor in a predicted 3.9% year-on-year increase in the fluorochemical market to 2016.
The forecast, in the latest report from Freedonia, sees increasing production of refrigeration and cooling equipment worldwide being a key factor in pushing the global market for fluorine-containing chemicals to 3.5m tonnes by 2016.
However, the report recognises that restrictions on the supply of raw materials and a move towards lower GWP alternatives in Western Europe are challenges to this growth.
Fluorspar, for instance, a key raw materials in the production of HFCs, has increasingly come under restrictions from China, the world's leading producer of the mineral.
Another challenge is seen as the ever-shifting regulatory environment for fluorocarbons, which are subject to multiple global and national regulations that vary considerably by region and change over time. Competition with alternative products is also intensifying in a number of sectors, particularly blowing agents and commercial refrigeration.