Future Market Insights delivers key insights on the global Hydrofluoric Acid market in its latest report titled ‘Hydrofluoric Acid market: Global Industry Analysis 2013-2017 and Opportunity Assessment, 2018-2028.’ The long-term outlook on the global Hydrofluoric Acid market remains positive, with market value expected to increase at a CAGR of 2.9% during the forecast period (2018-2028). On the basis of grade, the global Hydrofluoric Acid market is dominated by the anhydrous grade which is majorly being used for the manufacture of fluorochemicals which accounts for more than 60% of the overall demand for hydrofluoric acid. The aqueous grade or the dilute form of hydrofluoric acid is being for applications such as steel pickling and metal processing industry, rust remover and other such applications and accounts for a relatively smaller share. The use of Hydrofluoric Acid as a intermediate for the manufacture of fluorochemicals is by far considered as relatively larger application segment accounting for a share of ~65% in the overall demand. Other applications such as metal processing, steel pickling, metal surface treatment amongst others is projected to expand significantly over the forecast period. Hydrofluoric acid is also being used widely in the glass etching process to provide finish and shine to the glass surface and to improve the fuel efficiency in the alkylation process in the petrochemical industry.
Global sales of Hydrofluoric Acid is estimated to be valued at US$ 4, 313.2 Mn by the end of 2018, witnessing a Y-o-Y growth of 2.6% over the year 2017. China is estimated to account for a value share of ~47% in the global Hydrofluoric Acid market by 2018 end and it is anticipated to show significant demand for Hydrofluoric Acid from the fluorochemicals manufacturing industry
Hydrofluoric acid is also referred to as hydrogen fluoride (HF). It is a weak acid and also a highly toxic and corrosive substance. It is manufactured majorly by two processes: Fluorspar and Fluorosilicic acid. More than 90% of the hydrogen fluoride is produced using fluorspar whereas fluorosilicic acid based HF accounts for a relatively smaller share (~5-8%)
Hydrofluoric acid is majorly used as an intermediate or starting material for the manufacturing of a number of a fluorochemicals used as refrigerants and air conditioning agents. It can be used in the anhydrous form — anhydrous hydrofluoric acid (AHF) — or in the dilute form — aqueous hydrofluoric acid. The dilution ratio can vary as per the requirements. Two most popularly used aqueous grades — 40-50% and 70-80% — are used across a number of applications
Hydrofluoric Acid is used as an intermediate or starting material for the production of a number of fluorochemicals. It is widely used raw material and fluorine source for the manufacture of fluorocarbons such as HCFC’s, HFC’s and HFO’s which are being used in the air conditioning and refrigeration equipment. However, the use of such chemicals have been stringently regulated by government and environmental protection organisations such as US EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) due to the high global warming potential and ozone depletion caused due to the use of such chemicals thus may hamper the market growth. Fluoropolymers such as PTFE is increasingly being manufactured through hydrofluoric acid thus its growing use in the cable wire, cookware and other applications is projected to create traction in the long run
Another major application of hydrofluoric acid is in the manufacture of aluminium fluoride which is predominantly used as a raw material for the manufacture of aluminium. There has been increase in use of aluminium over the past few years across major end use industries such as automotive, packaging and other applications. Therefore the rise in demand will lead to the growth of hydrofluoric acid.
However, the global hydrofluoric acid market is projected to face numerous challenges such as: the raw material majorly used for hydrofluoric acid production is fluorspar which is being unevenly distributed with more than 50% of the reserves in China. In order to benefit the local manufacturers, China has restricted the supply of fluorspar to other regions thus creating significant impact on the profitability and margins of manufacturers.
- On the basis of grade, the anhydrous grade is projected to retain its dominance throughout the forecast period holding a share of ~65% by the end 2018.
- On the basis of application, the use of Hydrofluoric Acid as starting material or intermediate for the manufacture of fluorochemicals or fluorocarbons is projected to hold major share throughout the forecast period. The rise in demand of such chemicals from the refrigeration and air conditioning systems is projected to fuel the market growth.
- There are a number of other application areas for hydrofluoric acid including steel pickling and metal treatment to remove layer and stains from the surface and provide shine and finish to the surface of material. Other industries such as glass etching, uranium fuel production, petroleum catalyst, pharmaceuticals, herbicides and other niche applications are also projected to drive the demand for hydrofluoric acid over the coming decade
From a regional perspective, China is projected to lead the global market both in terms of production and consumption of hydrofluoric acid. The country has an added advantage of ease of raw material procurement and hence the manufacturers are able to offer the products at relatively cheaper prices. The growth of end use industries and the increase in demand for fluorochemicals from the refrigeration and air conditioning systems is projected to create significant opportunities in the market. India is also projected to expand at relatively higher growth rate over the forecast period. Western Europe is considered as a relatively mature market with sluggish growth owing to the stringent regulations for the use of fluorochemicals. North America imports major raw material, fluorspar from Mexico is expected to witness moderate growth rate. Latin America and MEA are projected to hold significant share in terms of production, however, the consumption of hydrofluoric acid is projected to exhibit low volume and high growth.
The report highlights some of the top companies operating in the global Hydrofluoric Acidmarket such as Honeywell International Inc., Navin Fluorine International Limited, Stella Chemifa Corporation, Mexichem S.A.B. de C.V., Merck KGaA, Tanfac Industries Ltd., Solvay S.A., Fubao Group, SINOCHEM GROUP, Jiangxi Chinafluorine Chemical Co., Ltd., Gulf Fluor, Lanxess AG, Buss ChemTech AG, Gujrat Fluorochemicals Limited, SRF Limited amongst others