Electronic chemicals are chemicals employed in the production of electronic components and equipment. Electronic chemicals include chemicals in solid, liquid and gaseous forms. Some of the raw materials used in the production of electronic chemicals include silicon, fluorine and bisphenol, among others.
Demand for electronic chemicals is profoundly dependent on macroeconomic factors such as GDP growth. High growth in emerging economies, mainly in the Asia Pacific region, has been among the foremost factors driving the electronic chemicals market growth. There has been a surge in demand for smartphones across the globe. The smartphone market accounted for 22% of the global mobile phone market in 2010. However, at the end of 2013, the smartphone market accounted for about 55% of the mobile phones market. The growing demand for smartphone reflects in the fact that besides smartphone industry leaders such as Samsung, Apple and Nokia, Lenovo, the top PC manufacturer in 2013, sold more tablets and smartphones than PCs.
The increasing demand for smartphones is among major factors driving demand for electronic chemicals. There has been a surge in the global solar energy market and this trend is anticipated to continue during the forecast period. Increasing consumer awareness, coupled with government incentives to promote the use of solar energy, is expected to drive solar energy market growth in the coming years. This high growth in the solar energy market is anticipated to drive the demand for electronic chemicals during the forecast period. Hybrid electric vehicles are expected to offer huge growth opportunity for electronic chemicals market during the forecast period.
Based on the product segment, electronics chemicals market has been bifurcated into six segments: wafers, gases, CMP, wet chemicals, photoresists and others. Wafers dominate the global electronic chemicals market and this trend is anticipated to continue during the forecast period. CMP is expected to be the fastest growing product segment for the next six years. Others product segment comprises niche segments such as low k dielectric, laminates, etc. Based on its applications, electronic chemicals market has been segregated into three application segments: semiconductors & IC, PCB and others. In 2013, semiconductors & IC dominated the global demand for electronic chemicals and this trend is expected to continue during the forecast period. PCB is anticipated to be the fastest growing application segment during the forecast period.
Asia Pacific dominated the global electronics chemicals market with market share of over 60% in 2013, this trend is anticipated to continue for a foreseeable future. High GDP growth in the emerging economies of India and China leading to growth in several end use industries such as consumer electronics is expected to drive demand for electronic chemicals in Asia Pacific. North America was the second largest market for electronic chemicals in 2013. The demand for electronic chemicals in North America is anticipated to grow at a sluggish rate during the forecast period primarily owing to market saturation in several end user industries. Moreover, increasing number of environmental regulations is expected to hamper market growth in North America and Europe. RoW is anticipated to be the fastest growing region for electronic chemicals market for the next six years. High growth in the developing economies of South America and Africa is anticipated to drive demand for electronic chemicals in the RoW region.
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The electronic chemicals market is fragmented in nature, with the top five players constituting over 30% of the global market share. Therefore, the market is characterized by high price sensitivity. Major end-use industries include consumer electronics, defense and automobiles among others. Buyers enter into long-term agreements with electronic chemicals manufacturers for customized solutions. Moreover owing to environmental regulations, major players have increased their investment in research and development activities. Major players in the electronic chemicals market include Albemarle Corporation, BASF SE, Bayer MaterialScience, Huntsman Corporation and The Dow Chemical Company.