The value of refrigerant sales is on course to reach almost $16 billion (£10.6 billion) over the next five years, analysts are predicting.
Refrigerant consumption reached $10.5 billion (£7 billion) — equivalent to 1,207 thousand MT — last year. By 2018 it is expected to rise to $15.7 billion courtesy of a CAGR of 7%.
Among all the geographies, Asia-Pacific accounted for the largest portion of refrigerant demand in 2012, totalling just around half of the world market, according to a report from US firm MarketsandMarkets.
The company said the increase in the region’s demand was mainly due to demand for cooling products primarily driven by increasing middle-class populations in China and India.
Demand for HCFC was high during 2003 to 2009, but the Montreal Protocol, which demands the phase-out of HCFC, has significantly reduced its growth prospects.
This in turn, is driving the HFC market as a substitute to HCFC. However, use of HFCs is beginning to come under strict regulations, especially in Western Europe, the firm said.
Refrigerants are used across a whole variety of industrial sectors, not just foodservice. The report said there is a shift in consumer preferences towards natural refrigerants. It claims the most commonly-used natural refrigerants are ammonia, carbon dioxide, propane and isobutane.
Since fluorocarbons have high GWP, the demand for natural is increasing tremendously, it added.