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Published: July 2010
Bisphenol A is used primarily in the production of polycarbonate resins and epoxy resins. Capacity expansions have taken place mostly in Asia (excluding Japan) in order to meet increasing polycarbonate demand. Several bisphenol A capacity expansions are planned in the region that are largely tied to polycarbonate projects.
The global economic recession that began in late 2008 and continued through 2009 significantly affected bisphenol A demand. Polycarbonate and epoxy resin demand, closely tied to the overall health of the economy, declined in 2008 and decreased significantly in 2009 in the developed regions.
The following pie chart shows world consumption of bisphenol A:
Historically a major driver in the consumption of bisphenol A in the United States, the production of polycarbonate in North America has slowed. The majority of bisphenol A and polycarbonate resin investments in new production facilities—or expansions to existing plants—have taken place or are planned in Asia. The supply situation for bisphenol A will be affected to a great extent by the polycarbonate market.
Bisphenol A consumption for epoxy resins used in epoxy surface coatings, bonding and adhesives, electrical/electronic laminates and composites (where the use of resin-based high performance composites in the aircraft/aerospace industry is significantly increasing) will grow at an average annual rate of 5.5% during 2009–2014, as the industry tries to recover volume lost during the recessionary years. Bisphenol A consumption for epoxy resins production will experience the fastest growth in Asia (excluding Japan).
The overall health of the world economy will continue to play a major role in the future demand for bisphenol A, as its derivatives’ major end-use markets include automotive, construction and electrical/electronic applications.