A new report by Future Market Insights delivers key insights on the global hydrofluoric acid market. The long-term outlook on the global hydrofluoric acid market remains positive, with market value expected to increase at a CAGR of 2.9% during the forecast period (2018-2028). On the basis of grade, the global hydrofluoric acid market is dominated by the anhydrous grade which is typically used for the manufacture of fluorochemicals and accounts for more than 60% of the overall demand for hydrofluoric acid. The aqueous grade or the dilute form of hydrofluoric acid is used for applications such as steel pickling and metal processing industry, rust remover and other such applications and accounts for a relatively smaller share.
Global sales of hydrofluoric acid is estimated to be valued at US$ 4,313.2 Mn by the end of 2018, witnessing a Y-o-Y growth of 2.6% over the year 2017. China is estimated to account for a value share of ~47% in the global hydrofluoric acid market by 2018 end and is anticipated to show significant demand for hydrofluoric acid from the fluorochemicals manufacturing industry.
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Multiple Applications of Hydrofluoric Acid to Dictate Product Demand During the Forecast Period
The use of hydrofluoric acid as an intermediate for the manufacture of fluorochemicals is by far considered as a relatively larger application area accounting for a share of ~65% in the overall demand. Other applications such as metal processing, steel pickling, metal surface treatment amongst others are projected to expand significantly over the forecast period. Hydrofluoric acid is also widely used in the glass etching process to provide finish and shine to glass surfaces and to improve fuel efficiency in the alkylation process in the petrochemical industry. Another major application of hydrofluoric acid is in the manufacture of aluminium fluoride, which is predominantly used as a raw material for the manufacture of aluminium. There has been an increase in the use of aluminium over the past few years across major end-use industries such as automotive, packaging and other applications. This rise in demand for aluminium will lead to the growth of hydrofluoric acid in the coming years.
However, the global hydrofluoric acid market is projected to face numerous challenges. The raw material largely used for hydrofluoric acid production is fluorspar, which is unevenly distributed with more than 50% of the reserves in China. In order to benefit the local manufacturers, China has restricted the supply of fluorspar to other regions, thus creating significant negative impact on the profitability and margins of global manufacturers.
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Hydrofluoric Acid Market: Segmentation Analysis
- On the basis of grade, anhydrous grade is projected to retain its dominance throughout the forecast period holding a share of ~65% by the end of 2018
- On the basis of application, the use of Hydrofluoric Acid as starting material or intermediate for the manufacture of fluorochemicals or fluorocarbons is projected to hold major share throughout the forecast period. The rise in demand of such chemicals from refrigeration and air conditioning systems is projected to fuel market revenue growth
- There are a number of other application areas for hydrofluoric acid including steel pickling and metal treatment to remove layer and stains from the surface and provide shine and finish to the surface of the material. Other industries such as glass etching, uranium fuel production, petroleum catalyst, pharmaceuticals, herbicides and other niche applications are also projected to drive the demand for hydrofluoric acid over the coming decade.
Hydrofluoric Acid Market: Regional Analysis
From a regional perspective, China is projected to lead the global market both in terms of production and consumption of hydrofluoric acid. The country has an added advantage of ease of raw material procurement and hence manufacturers are able to offer products at relatively cheaper prices. The growth of end-use industries and the increase in demand for fluorochemicals from refrigeration and air conditioning systems is projected to create significant opportunities in the market.
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India is also projected to expand at a relatively higher growth rate over the forecast period. Western Europe is considered a relatively mature market with sluggish growth owing to the stringent regulations pertaining to the use of fluorochemicals. Latin America and MEA are projected to hold significant share in terms of production; however, the consumption of hydrofluoric acid is expected to exhibit low volume and high growth during the forecast period.