The global carbon fiber market features an increasingly dense and highly competitive vendor landscape. To sustain in the intensely competitive market, gaining sustainable returns, leading vendors are resorting to strategic collaborations with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) across key end-user industries. The collaboration between Ford Motor Company and Magna International to develop carbon fiber-based subframe for light-weight vehicles is an instance.
Companies are also focusing on exploiting the benefits of economies of scale to reduce product costs. Some of the leading vendors in the global carbon fiber market are Cytec Industries, Teijin Ltd, Hexcel Corporation, Toray Industries, and Mitsubishi Rayon Co., Ltd, Zoltek Companies Inc., SGL Group – The Carbon Company, and Kureha Corp.
Transparency Market Research estimates that the global carbon fiber market will exhibit a promising 9.9% CAGR from 2014 to 2020, rising from a valuation of US$1.94 bn in 2013 to US$3.73 bn by 2020.
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Well-established End-use Sectors to Help Europe Stay at Top in Global Carbon Fiber Market
In terms of product type, the segment of PAN-based carbon fibers presently accounts for the dominant share of the global carbon fiber market. In 2013, the segment held over 85% of the global carbon fiber market, chiefly owing to the exception structural properties of this variety of carbon fiber. The demand for PAN-based carbon fiber is expected to remain strong across key end-use sectors over the report’s forecast period as well.
In terms of geography, the market for carbon fiber in Europe held the dominant position in the global market in terms of revenue contribution in 2013. The regional market accounted for a sizeable 37% of the overall market in the said year, owing chiefly to the well-established aerospace and automotive industries in the region. With stringent emission-related regulations, the region is expected to retain its dominant stance in the global market over the forecast period as well.
Weight-reduction Properties of Carbon Fiber to Continue to Boost Demand
Impressive structural strength, combined with a significant reduction in weight of the components manufactured from carbon fiber are the key factors contributing to the increased global demand for carbon fiber. The market is also massively benefitting from the several initiatives, undertaken by government bodies as well as OEMs, to reduce the weight of vehicles to bring down their fuel consumption levels and, in turn, improve their environment-friendliness quotient. In the next few years, carbon fiber is expected to emerge as a key material for manufacturing a number of components and structures in premium as well as economical automobiles, driving the global carbon fiber market.
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High Cost could Hinder Growth Prospects to Certain Extent
The market is also expected to benefit from the material’s rising consumption across a number of end-use industries including aerospace, construction, wind power, and sports goods. With rising applications across a number of high-growth potential industries, and the consistently reducing costs, the overall global consumption of carbon fiber is expected to rise at a healthy pace.
Despite massive reductions in cost owing to vast research and development efforts and the massive rise in the number of producers, the costs of carbon fiber still remain relatively higher than a number of industrial fibers. Owing to this factor, the uptake of the material is hindered across several potential end-use applications and small-scale industries, especially across cost-sensitive markets. This could hamper the overall growth of the global carbon fiber market to a certain extent in the next few years.
For the study, the global carbon fiber market has been segmented as follows:
Key segments of the global carbon fiber market
Others (including rayon-based, etc.)
By End User
Aerospace and Defense
Others (including marine, etc.)