BEIJING – Increasing demand in end-user markets is a key factor driving the growth of the Chinese flame retardant chemicals market, says Frost & Sullivan. China’s economy is booming and the effects of this are spilling over into many of its key industries, including those of chemicals and plastics. Plastics additives – in particular, flame retardant chemicals – are benefiting from this boom and witnessing increasing demand from a wide range of end-user markets, the research firm reports.
 
Frost’s report, China Flame Retardant Chemicals Market, reveals the total unit shipment of the market was around 529,500 tons in 2005 and estimates this to reach 810,100 tons in 2012.
 
“China has increasingly become the global production base for electronic products and a key region for consumption of plastics,” notes industry analyst Dan Xu. “The increase in demand for electric and electronic equipment, as well as ongoing development of the building and construction and automotive industries, spell good news for the growth of the Chinese flame-retardant chemicals market.”
 
Halogenated products have traditionally dominated the market and accounted for almost 90% share in unit terms, says Frost. Of these, chlorinated and brominated flame retardants continue to experience significant demand because of their superior performance, especially with regard to achieving high fire safety standards in low concentrations.
 
However, concerns have recently surfaced about the environment friendliness of halogenated products, leading to the introduction of numerous directives such as RoHS and WEEE.
 
“The fear that halogen compounds are not environment-friendly has contributed to the decline in demand for brominated flame retardants,” says Xu. “Under regulatory pressure to phase out the use of these chemicals, some end users are opting to use non-brominated flame retardants instead.”
 
There has also been a spurt in research activity in the attempt to minimize brominated products or replace them entirely with more environmentally safe products such as mineral or phosphate flame retardants. Chemical manufacturers could also consider developing more eco-friendly brominated flame retardants, likely to be attractive to OEMs, says Frost.
 
For the moment, however, halogenated products are likely to retain their dominant position as there is no known alternative that can match their performance benefits, efficiency, and cost effectiveness. Even though phosphate flame retardants, especially non-halogenated ones, are considered more environment friendly, they are not as cost effective because of less flame retardancy and the need for a higher loading level, the research firm suggests.
 
This has hindered their uptake and application in the Chinese market. Current market trends continue to favor chlorinated and brominated flame retardants, with many consumers preferring the addition of these flame retardants in a variety of applications, frost concludes.
EL SEGUNDO, CANokia increased its mobile phone unit shipments in the third quarter by more than the total second-quarter shipments of Fujitsu, Ningbo Bird, TCL-Alcatel, Panasonic, Pantech & Curitel, and UTStarcom combined – and more than the collective increases in shipments from the other four top mobile-handset suppliers in the third quarter.

Nokia’s global mobile-handset shipments rose by a stunning 10.9 million units compared to the second quarter, says iSuppli Corp. The sales leader increased its shipments to 111.7 million units, up 10.8% sequentially. This gave the company a global market share of 39.5%, up from 37.9% in the second quarter.

“The company’s shipments of ‘convergence’ mobile phones that integrate multimedia and smart-phone features grew by 53.8%” year-over-year, said Tina Teng, analyst, wireless communications, for iSuppli.

The disappointment in Nokia’s third-quarter results came in its its performance in the Americas , where it a shipment decline of 12.7% in Latin America and 1.7% in North America vs. last year.

Worldwide mobile phone shipments amounted to 283 million units, up 6.4% sequentially and 15.4% compared to the third quarter in 2006, according to iSuppli.

High first-time sales of phones in emerging markets and high replacement rates in Europe were the major factor driving the growth.

The Top-5 mobile handset suppliers benefited from the healthy growth, with all of these companies increasing their shipments during the third quarter compared to the second.

Combined shipments for these companies rose 9.6% sequentially.

While Nokia’s unit shipment gain was impressive, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. of South Korea actually posted a slightly larger increase on a percentage basis, helping the company to maintain the second rank in the industry.

Samsung’s global mobile-handset shipments rose to 42.6 million units, up 13.9% sequentially. Compared to the same quarter last year, Samsung’s shipments rose by 38.8%, the highest rate of all the Top-5 mobile-handset makers.

This boosted Samsung’s market share to 15.1%, up from 14.1% in the second quarter, 2.2 points over No. 3 Motorola.

“Samsung’s strong performance was due to impressive increases in shipments in the European and Americas regions,” Teng said. “The company’s shipments in Europe and the Americas rose by 28.1% and 26.6% respectively in the third quarter. This more than offset the 6% sequential decline in shipments in Asia during the same period.”

Based on iSuppli’s preliminary estimate of Motorola’s share, the company shipped 36.5 million mobile handsets, up 2.8% sequentially. This lagged the handset market’s overall shipment growth rate of 6.4%, but kept Motorola’s market share fairly steady at around 13%. However, on a year-to-year basis, Motorola’s shipments plunged by 32.7%, making it the only company not to post an increase on an annual basis in the third quarter.

In the second quarter Motorola lost its longtime No. 2 ranking to Samsung. The company struggled to achieve an operating profit in the first and second quarters, says iSuppli. However, “with its new product line coming out during the holiday season, Motorola should be able to achieve continued growth in shipment volume during the fourth quarter,” Teng said.

LG was the clear leader in terms of volume-shipment percentage growth, with its sales rising by 14.7% sequentially, says the research firm.
 
However, all the growth was driven by emerging markets such as the Middle East, Latin America, India and China, as was reflected in its average selling price.  Slow sales in North America and Europe resulted in LG’s mobile-handset ASP falling to $124, down 18.6% from the second quarter.

Despite a revenue decline of 7.9% (measured in won), LG still managed to maintain its operating profit at 8.4%.
 
SAN JOSE, CA – Three-month bookings at North American-based manufacturers of semiconductor equipment in September fell about 10% sequentially and 25% year-over-year, according to SEMI. Read more ...
SCOTSDALE, AZ – Research firm IC Insights today upped its 2007 forecast for IC unit shipments to 10%, some two points higher than the firm’s earlier estimate.
 
If correct, the market would continue its streak of double-digit increases in IC shipments, which dates to 2002.
 
Moreover, the firm believes there is a good chance unit demand will continue to increase at least 10% annually over the next five to 10 years as new and evolving applications in communications and consumer electronics continue to incorporate large quantities of ICs.
 
The continuing development of emerging markets is also contributing to demand, the researcher adds.
 
Strong shipments of DRAM (49%), NAND flash memory (38%), interface (60%), data conversion (58%), and automotive-related analog ICs (32%) are driving overall demand and keeping IC shipments at a high level, according to IC Insights.
 
Future market growth will be largely influenced by changes in device average selling prices. Strong annual IC unit shipment growth rates are good news for IC suppliers. However, continued pressure on IC average selling prices may cause a prolonged period of "profitless prosperity" for IC suppliers, IC Insights says.
FRAMINGHAM, MA – Worldwide PC shipments grew by 15.5% in the third quarter, according to IDC.
Read more ...
WELLESLEY, MA – The world market for mobile telematics was worth some $37.5 billion in 2006, a figure expected to reach $52 billion in 2012, a CAGR of 3.5% over the next five years, according to BCC Research.

The market includes applications of automotive, intelligent transportation systems (road installations and operations centers), aircraft, railroads, construction, agriculture and maritime technologies. Of these sectors, automotive accounts for the largest share of the market and is expected to reach more than $48 billion in 2012, at a 3.6% CAGR, says BCC. Growth in automotive telematics will be driven by government-mandated use of safety equipment.

Intelligent transport systems (road installations) currently have the second largest share of the market at $649 million, projected to reach more than $1.8 billion by 2012, a CAGR of 17.9%, according to BCC. However, intelligent transport systems (operations centers), now worth $375 million, will be worth $2 billion by 2012, a CAGR of 31.7%. The increasing sale of public roadways to private owners will speed the introduction of intelligent transport systems, with a corresponding rise in the need for mobile telematics components.

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