Major Markets and Competitive Positions

Compared to the prior year, the competitive position of WACKER’s five divisions remained virtually unchanged despite the international economic crisis. We generate most of our sales in markets where we rank among the world’s top three suppliers. And we are the global market leader for some products. Key sales markets continue to be Europe, the Americas and Asia – with Asian expansion, particularly in China, being the top priority.

Market Positions of WACKER’s Divisions

Siltronic is the world’s third-largest manufacturer of silicon wafers and other products for the semiconductor industry. The division supplies all major global semiconductor companies, which account for over 80% of its sales.

  download table

WACKER’s Competitive Positions









Number 1


Number 2


Number 3

















Dow Corning







(dispersible polymer


Akzo Elotex
(dispersible polymer powders)/
Celanese (dispersions)


(dispersible polymer powders/dispersions)








In the silicones market, WACKER SILICONES also ranks number 3 – and is the global leader in the masonry protection segment. WACKER holds a leading position in Europe, where we generated €671.3 million of our silicones sales in 2009. The silicones market is characterized by great product diversity. Due to their many useful properties, our silicones have seen demand rise steadily over the years. The largest growth potential lies in Asia, where higher living standards are boosting demand for silicone products. This is why WACKER is investing in Asian market expansion – particularly in China.

WACKER POLYMERS is the world’s largest producer of dispersions and dispersible polymer powders on a vinyl acetate/ethylene basis. Indeed, we are the only company in the market to offer a complete supply chain for dispersions and powders in Europe, the Americas and Asia. Once again, the largest growth potential lies in Asia, where we started up an integrated production site for dispersions and polymer powders (annual capacity: 30,000 metric tons) at Nanjing. Although our main customers are in the construction industry, we also supply the textile, adhesive, paint and surface-coating sectors.

Growth at WACKER POLYSILICON is primarily driven by the solar industry’s increasing demand for polysilicon. Thanks to production capacity expansion, we have solidified our position as the second-largest manufacturer of hyperpure polycrystalline silicon for electronic and solar applications. Production of hyperpure silicon rose by 6,200 metric tons in 2009, reaching 18,100 metric tons.

WACKER FINE CHEMICALS is the global market leader in cyclodextrins and cysteine, as well as polyvinyl acetate solid resins for chewing gum base. In the field of bacterial pharmaceutical protein production, we hold promising market positions, which we intend to expand.

The WACKER Group’s key competitive advantages include our highly integrated material loops at major production sites in Burghausen, Nünchritz and Zhangjiagang. Integrated production consists in using the byproducts from one production stage as starting materials for making other products and recycling the required auxiliaries, such as silanes, in a closed loop. Similarly, waste heat from one production process is utilized in other chemical processes. The result is lower specific production costs compared to open production processes. At the same time, integrated production cuts energy and resource consumption – thereby lowering the environmental impact.

WACKER’s integrated production sites also have other benefits, including outstanding infrastructure, well-trained personnel and a more secure raw-materials supply. Moreover, the Burghausen site’s location on the Alz canal allows it to run its own hydroelectric power plant. This plant and a highly efficient gas-and-steam power plant mean the site can produce some of its power itself. Our Nünchritz site, too, has a captive cogeneration power (CHP) plant and a heat-integration system.