The liquid crystal polymer (LCP) market is valued at 52.4 kilotons in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 4% during the forecast period.
Covid-19 has negatively affected the demand for LCP in 2020 due to the lockdown in various countries and the shutdown of manufacturing plants. For instance, according to the OICA data, global automotive production declined significantly in 2020 due to the pandemic, registering a declining growth of 16% in 2020. Compared to the last two years, the top 20 global auto manufacturers witnessed negative growth and registered losses by approximately USD 100 billion in 2020. Due to this, radars, sensors, and other components, made by LCPs, witnessed negative growth in this period. In addition, the disrupted supply of raw materials was one of the major factors that affected the electronics industry during the pandemic. Although some companies resumed their production facilities in various countries, imports and exports between countries were not as prevalent as before 2020.
Key Highlights Over the medium term, the major factors driving the growth of the market studied is the strong demand for smaller and thinner electrical components that must withstand higher temperatures and wear.
By application, the electrical and electronics segment accounted for the largest share and is also expected to witness the highest CAGR.
The increasing potential in the fields of medical and home appliances is expected to offer vast opportunities for the growth of the market.
Asia-Pacific accounted for the largest share, with about 75% of the total volume of the market studied.
Key Market Trends
Increasing Demand for Miniaturization of Electrical and Electronic Components
Liquid crystal polymer (LCP) is a super engineering plastic, with a combination of high strength, modulus and impact properties, flame retardance, resistance to a wide range of aggressive chemicals, very low and tailor-able coefficients of thermal expansion (CTE), excellent dimensional stability, thin-wall flow-ability, and unique processability. With the miniaturization trend of many electronic products, manufacturers are streamlining devices to pack more features into smaller packages. For instance, the pitch (spacing) between contacts in electrical connectors is narrower than ever before and as small as 0.2 mm, when compared to older-style power connectors, with pitches exceeding 12.0 mm. For the same reasons, LCPs are also injection molded into an integrated circuit (IC) sockets, high-frequency (HF) network switches, power modules for wind and solar inverters and converters, custom high-power electrical connectors, and many other precision devices. Daily use of electronic equipment, like cell phones, laptops, or tablet PCs, is increasing at a rapid pace. At the same time, these devices are becoming more powerful and inexpensive from generation to generation, while decreasing in size and weight. LCP is delivering the properties that permit the successful development of the miniaturization of electrical equipment. Global electronics output has recovered quickly as the global economy and main consumer markets gradually emerged from a severe economic depression in the first half of 2020. This recovery is reflected in China’s electronics export data, which surged sharply in November 2020, climbing 24.8 % year on year due to strong Christmas demand for consumer electronics in key international market, most notably the United States and the European Union. The increase in global demand for personal computers (PC) mitigated the pandemic’s negative impact on consumer electronics consumption, which remained flat in 2020 at USD 1.02 trillion. According to Statista, global consumer electronics revenues are predicted to expand by 3.6% year on year (YoY) and reach USD 1.06 trillion in 2021. Despite a boom in PC demand due to remote working and distance learning, the computing segment’s revenue is predicted to grow by only 1.8%, to USD 280 billion in 2021. Such factors are expected to drive the global liquid crystal polymer market during the forecast period.
Asia-Pacific Region to Dominate the Market
The Asia-Pacific region dominated the global market. It is also expected to witness the fastest growth owing to the growing demand from various end-user industries in the countries such as China, India, Japan, and South Korea.
China is the world’s largest electronics production base and offers a tough competition to the existing upstream producers, such as South Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan. Electronic products, such as smartphones, OLED TVs, and tablets, among others, have the highest growth rates in the consumer electronics segment of the market, in terms of demand. With the increase in the disposable incomes of the middle-class population, the demand for electronic products is projected to increase steadily in the future, thereby, driving the market studied.
The electronics manufacturing industry is constantly expanding in China, as a result of the low cost of and increasing demand for electronics products. With the increase in the disposable incomes of the middle-class population, the demand for electronic products is projected to grow in the near future, thereby, driving the Chinese liquid crystalline polymer market.
The Chinese automotive manufacturing industry is the largest in the world. The “Made in China 2025” initiative is expected to support the upgrade of the existing low-cost mass production to higher value-added advanced manufacturing.
The 3D printing sector in China is expected to witness a tremendous growth, and it is projected to witness a CAGR of more than 20% during the forecast period. Developments are being witnessed in the fields of industrial manufacturing and construction, with manufacturers trying out new materials in the form of feedstock. LCPs have the potential to stand out as suitable alternatives to feedstocks, in the field of 3D printing.
China has been witnessing rapid developments in the automotive sector, with many players focusing on vehicles with the latest infotainment systems or rapidly expanding production capacities and outputs of electric vehicle models (new energy vehicles) that are packed with cutting-edge technologies.
Such factors are expected to support the growth of LCPs in the region in the coming years.
The global liquid crystalline polymers market is consolidated, with the top five companies accounting for over 80% of the global production. Key players in the global LCP market include Polyplastics Co. Ltd, Celanese Corporation, Sumitomo Chemical Company, Shenzhen Wote Advanced Materials Co. Ltd, Kingfa Sci. & Tech. Co. Ltd, among others.
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288 pages •
By Reed Electronics Research
• Sep 2021
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Gross Domestic Product
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