Liquid Crystal Polymer Market Overview
The global liquid crystal polymer market was valued at $1,037.4 million in 2017 and is projected to reach $1,447.9 million by 2023, witnessing a CAGR of 5.7% during the forecast period. The growing demand for consumer electronics products such as smartphones, tablets, personal computers, and smart watches are expected to boost the demand for LCPs during the forecast period.
Based on type, the liquid crystal polymer market is bifurcated into thermotropic and lyotropic. Thermotropic LCPs accounted for a dominant share in the market during the historical period, accounting for more than 85.0% share in terms of value in 2017. Thermotropic is a type of LCP that is formed by heating a polymer above its melting transition point. Thermotropic LCPs are widely used as blend additives and find applications as display materials, information storage materials, and optical couplers. Thermotropic LCPs are highly compatible with the production process of semiconductors, thereby resulting in their dominant share in the market.
Based on industry, the liquid crystal polymer market is classified into semiconductor and electronics, automotive, medical, consumer goods, and others (power generation and heavy engineering). The demand for LCPs in semiconductor and electronics industry remained the highest during the historical period, accounting for more than 60.0% market share in terms of value in 2017. Semiconductor and electronics applications require materials with exceptional electrical as well as conductive properties. These properties are available with LCPs, which make them ideal for use in the applications.
LCP also has additional features such as outstanding strength at extreme temperatures, excellent mechanical property retention, brilliant dielectric strength, and excellent dimensional stability. All these favorable electrical properties have made LCP an optimal electronic substrate and packaging material for high-frequency circuit boards used in consumer electronic products. Growing demand for consumer electronics and smart phones will continue to boost the liquid crystal polymer market as LCPs are widely used in the preparation of semiconductors used in electronic products.
Geographically, the liquid crystal polymer market is categorized into North America, Europe, APAC, LATAM, and MEA. APAC held the largest share in the market during the historical period. The presence of semiconductor manufacturing hubs in countries such as Taiwan, Japan, and China, along with rapidly advancing consumer electronics industry in countries such as India and Vietnam are the prime factors driving the demand for LCPs in the APAC region.
Liquid Crystal Polymer Market Dynamics
The key driver identified in the liquid crystal polymer market is rising demand for consumer electronic devices. Globally, there has been increase in the use of consumer electronic devices. It is due to the growing population and increasing per capita income in emerging nations like China, India, Brazil, and Indonesia. According to Ericsson Mobility Report 2017, the number of consumer electronic users globally is expected to rise up to 670 million by 2022 from 480 million in 2017.
The products like light emitting diode (LED) TVs, smartphones, iPhones, computers, and microwaves are becoming a part of most of the households. LCPs have contributed to the development of these electronic goods, owing to their high electrical and mechanical properties. This has motivated companies like Toray Industries Inc., Kuraray Co. Ltd., Celanese Corporation, and Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd. to boost the LCP production and research in the coming years. Hence, the consumer electronics will contribute to the growth of the liquid crystal polymer market.
Liquid Crystal Polymer Market – Competitive Landscape
Globally, the consolidated liquid crystal polymer market is characterized by market players having large scale operations. Celanese Corporation, Polyplastics Co. Ltd., Solvay SA, Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd., and Toray Industries Inc. are the leading players in the global market. Polyplastics Co. Ltd. is one of the major players in the market with annual production capacity of 15,000 tons of LCPs. The company sells LCPs under the brand name LAPEROS(R) LC.
Celanese is another leading player in the liquid crystal polymer market with annual production capacity exceeding 13,000 tons. The company sells LCPs under the brand name Vectra/Zenite. Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd. is another leading player with the annual LCP production capacity of over 9,200 tons. It sells its LCP products under the brand name Sumikasuper LCP.
Ueno Fine Chemicals Industry Ltd., Kuraray Co. Ltd., Shanghai PRET Composites Co. Ltd., RTP Company, and Polyone Corporation are other key players accounting for a significant share in the liquid crystal polymer market.