According to Transparency Market Research, there will be a continuous increase in the demand for titanium dioxide from the lightweight vehicle segment as long as polycarbonate remains an important component in automotive production.
Polycarbonate, a kind of thermoplastic, is one of the most commonly used substitutes for metal and glass-based automotive parts in lightweight materials. However, this thermoplastic is prone to damage as it has no inherent characteristics like other metals that could protect itself from bacteria, viruses, and other elements that can make its surface vulnerable to scratch.
Lightweight material producers use titanium dioxide for coating polycarbonate to make it more durable. Thus, the rising demand for lightweight vehicles coupled with increasing demand for polycarbonate has been a major factor in driving demand for titanium dioxide.
In a report issued by MarketsandMarkets, the global polycarbonate market valued at $12.1 billion in 2012 is expected to reach $18.3 billion by 2018 at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (OTCPK:CAGR) of 7.1 percent.
The Asia-Pacific region, which is expected to have the highest market revenue by 2018 followed by the Western European region, accounts for over 61 percent of the entire global market revenue in 2012. The Western European market is expected to grow at a rate of 5.6 percent in revenue and 3.5 percent in consumption from 2013 to 2018.
China is the leading country in the consumption of polycarbonate in Asia, as many of the leading multinational manufacturers in the world are from the country. The country's local industry accounts for a market share of 68.3 percent in 2014.
The European polycarbonate market, on the other hand, is estimated to reach $1.9 million by 2019. The key players in the region are Germany and the Netherlands.
On the global titanium dioxide market
The growing demand from the lightweight vehicles and polycarbonate market will be supported by the increasing production from the titanium supply segment. In 2017, several titanium dioxide miners are expected to join the global stage. Among which is budding mining firm White Mountain Titanium Corporation (OTCQB:WMTM), a Chile-based company that owns a 17,041-ha property capable of producing up to 112 million tonnes of rutile ore.
Titanium dioxide is also an essential mineral in various industries such as photovoltaic, paints and coatings, ammunition, engineering, cosmetics, and food. It is commonly obtained from anatase, ilmenite, and rutile ore.
The mineral has a high refractive index, excellent chemical compatibility, thermal stability, and resistance to UV rays, unique qualities that make it an ideal material for various industry applications. Today, it is still manufactured, marketed, and sold based on specific end-use applications.
The global titanium dioxide market will grow at a CAGR of 4.02 percent from 2014 to 2019.