Published July 2016
Cyclopentadiene and its dimer, dicyclopentadiene (DCPD), are obtained as by-products of the steam cracking of hydrocarbons. Production and consumption had been concentrated in the United States, Western Europe, and Japan, but the rise of Chinese demand in traditional dicyclopentadiene markets has made China the second-largest consumer. Especially in Asia, the growth of the construction, automotive, and electronics industries has increased the consumption of dicyclopentadiene. Growth in DCPD consumption for hydrocarbon resins will launch Singapore and Taiwan as major Asian consumers.
The following pie chart shows world consumption of dicyclopentadiene:
The majority of DCPD end-use applications are for well-established markets. In 2015, the largest global DCPD markets were unsaturated polyester resins, hydrocarbon (petroleum) resins, and EPDM elastomers (mostly as ethylidene norbornene), accounting for 38%, 34%, and 12%, respectively. Other more specialized DCPD markets include poly-DCPD, COC/COP (cyclo-olefin copolymers or cyclo-olefin polymers), flame retardants, pesticides, antioxidants, and flavors/fragrances (some of these markets consume higher-purity DCPD).
Important factors influencing the global DCPD market are the following: (1) the shift of global production centers to China and Other Asia; (2) the effect of changing feedstocks for ethylene production, especially in the United States; (3) changing trade flows (especially shipments from China and Taiwan to North America and Europe); and (4) the dramatic Asian growth for hydrocarbon resins.
The United States, China, Japan, and Western Europe are the largest consuming regions. Global consumption is forecast to grow at an average annual rate of more than 6% during 2015–20; most end-use markets are expected to grow at GDP levels. Strong drivers for market growth are the hydrocarbon resin expansions in China, Singapore, and Taiwan and continued steady growth in unsaturated polyester resins, but the global market driver will be consumption for hydrocarbon resins, primarily in Singapore, Taiwan, and China. Growth in this market is expected to average nearly 12% per year during 2015–20. These hydrocarbon resins are widely consumed in hot-melt adhesives used for diapers and other nonwovens, packaging, and woodworking. World DCPD consumption will grow fastest in Singapore and Taiwan, with estimated average annual growth rates of 134% (from a very small base) and 60%, respectively, during 2015–20.
Chinese growth in the consumption of DCPD will remain steady at an average annual rate of about 6.5% during 2015–20. Of the other major consuming countries/regions, the United States will experience the greatest increase at about 2.5% annually. During 2015–20, Western European and Japanese demand will increase at average annual rates of about 1–2%, respectively.