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Published: October 2010
China is the largest producer and consumer of DMF. The four largest importers of DMF were Japan, India, Taiwan and the Republic of Korea, together accounting for 63% of world imports in 2009. China and the Republic of Korea are the largest exporters, accounting for 53% and 27%, respectively, of world exports in 2009.
Most DMF is consumed as a solvent in chemical production. Global capacity utilization declined to nearly 55% in 2009 from 58% in 2007 as a result of a much faster pace of capacity expansions. Between 2007 and 2009, world capacity for DMF grew at an average annual rate of just over 6%, surpassing world consumption, which grew at an average annual rate of 1.7% during the same period. Increased Asian consumption, mainly in China, was balanced by declining demand in most other world regions because of the global recession.
The following pie chart shows world consumption of DMF:
China is the largest consumer of DMF because of a large synthetic/artificial leather (polyurethane based) market—an application that is comparatively miniscule in most other regions. Consumption in electronics, mainly in the manufacture of printed circuit boards, is a large market in Asia, especially Taiwan, the Republic of Korea and Japan.
Consumption of DMF in synthetic/artificial leather, particularly in China, is expected to result in significant increases in world consumption, in terms of volume and annual growth rates. Unlike most other markets, demand for DMF in Asia, mainly China, is forecast to exhibit moderate to significant growth in most applications. The shift in world production of synthetic/artificial leather and acrylic fibers to China will result in negative growth for these two applications in many regions.
The DMF market is at continued high risk for consolidation. Production facilities in the Americas, Europe and Asia are at risk for shutdowns.