BUDAPEST (ICIS)--European carbon fibre demand growth of 10-20% is expected in 2017, according to upstream acrylonitrile (ACN) sources on Monday.
Players were speaking on the sidelines of the 50th annual European Petrochemical Association (EPCA) meeting in Budapest.
One ACN producer said it was expecting a big expansion of carbon fibre demand in 2020 because of changes to emissions legislation.
New emissions legislation on European automobiles comes into force from 2020, which may drive further plastic market growth.
The high cost of carbon fibre relative to alternatives such as other plastics or aluminium has been a barrier to growth in the automotive industry, despite carbon fibre having more attractive lightweighting properties.
Nevertheless, an ACN producer said the industry was introducing innovative solution such as knitting carbon fibre rather than weaving it to reduce cost.
“There’s a lot of developments in 2016… if it keeps growing it will be an important sector [for ACN],” the producer added.The automotive industry is a major global consumer of petrochemicals which contributes more than a third of the raw material costs of an average vehicle. ICIS tracks the movement of petrochemical raw material costs in auto production both globally and regionally with the weighted ICIS Basket of Automotive Petrochemicals (IBAP).
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