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Polymerization catalysts to grow 5.5% yearly.

The U.S. market for polymerization catalysts is forecast to grow 5.5% per year to $1.1 billion in 2009, according to a study by the Freedonia Group. Advancing from a relatively weak base, demand will be driven by increased polymer production and expanded use of more sophisticated catalysts. Growth will be particularly strong in organometallic materials (Ziegler/Natta and single-site catalysts) used to produce high volume polyolefins, while chemical based reaction initiators trail overall gains.

Higher activity, higher value polymerization catalysts will continue to increase their presence in the market, according to the study. Metallocene and other single site catalysts yield resins which have improved performance characteristics. In particular, the use of single-site catalysts is expanding in the production of polypropylene and high density polyethylene, although the bulk of demand will remain in LLDPE.

Ziegler/Natta types to remain dominant Ziegler/Natta catalysts, the workhorse products of the industry, will continue to be the dominant catalysts in use, due to their cost effectiveness, established technology base and the ongoing development of improved products. This will allow Ziegler/Natta materials to remain competitive, even in the face of competition from new single-site catalysts.

The demand for reaction initiators (chemical catalysts such as organic peroxides and amines) will register below-average gains through 2009. This will derive from comparatively weak growth in production for several polymers, such as low density polyethylene and polystyrene. Also, price competition is expected to hold down overall value gains.

Demand for Ziegler/Natta polymerization catalysts is projected to increase 5.2% annually to $565 million in 2009. In volume terms, consumption is forecast to expand 4.4% per year to over 41 million pounds. Polymerization catalyst demand was $848 million in 2004, according to the Freedonia study. Ziegler/Natta catalysts accounted for 52%. Chromium accounted for 7%, single-site 4%, urethane 6%, reaction initiators 20% and other catalysts were at 10%.
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Title Annotation:Market Focus
Publication:Rubber World
Date:Aug 1, 2005
Words:314
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