Sector-Specific Conditions

We expect economic trends in the sectors relevant to our business to be positive in 2016.

Chemical Industry Expected to Grow Slightly in 2016

For 2016, the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI) predicts that the economic recovery will continue in the eurozone, where output and sales of chemical products will grow slightly. The industry association anticipates that German chemical production and total sales will climb by 1.5 percent, with exports remaining the growth driver in Germany’s chemical sector. According to the VCI, upward momentum will be curbed by the difficult economic environment, especially the situation in China.

WACKER’s chemical divisions envisage growth opportunities primarily in the BRIC countries, in other emerging economies and in the USA. Due to the growing affluence of emerging economies, our sales will continue climbing in such countries as China and India, as well as in Southeast Asia. The WACKER portfolio includes many high-value products that are in demand among new customer groups. WACKER POLYMERS sees good growth potential for polymer-modified dry-mix mortars in Asia, South America and Eastern Europe. WACKER SILICONES expects revenue growth in automotive electronics, cosmetics, personal care, construction and medical technology. The division plans to further increase the share of high-value products in its sales mix compared with standard products.

WACKER’s Key Customer Sectors




Trends in 2015


Trends in 2016








Slight growth


Slight growth



Weak growth


Slight growth

Energy and electrical







Growth, continuing market overcapacity and ongoing consolidation


Growth, continuing market overcapacity and ongoing consolidation



Slight growth


Slight growth

Global Construction Industry to Remain on Growth Trajectory

According to market research institute B+L Marktdaten GmbH, the construction industry will continue expanding over the next few years. On average, construction volume should climb by 2.2 percent annually until 2018. The main growth driver will be North America. B+L expects the USA, in particular, to deliver substantial growth, especially in 2016 and above all in the private-housing sector. Construction volume should increase in Asia, too. Western Europe is expected to post a slight increase in 2016. In South America, on the other hand, the construction market is stagnating. Overall, renovation projects and energy efficiency will continue to provide WACKER with very good opportunities for growth in the years ahead.

At WACKER POLYMERS, we expect construction-sector sales to climb in every region during 2016, with continued growth in such areas as interior paints and dry-mix mortars. WACKER SILICONES plans to further increase the percentage of high-value construction products in its portfolio. Good growth potential is offered by its new silicone resins made of silane-modified organic polymer components (used for wood and insulation impregnation), by high-performance adhesives and sealants formulated with the same components, and by silicone sealants sold under our own brand.

Growth Rate of Global Construction by Region, 2015 to 2018

Growth Rate of Global Construction by Region, 2015 to 2018 (bar chart)Growth Rate of Global Construction by Region, 2015 to 2018 (bar chart)

Source: B+L Marktdaten GmbH

Electrical and Electronics Industries Anticipate Moderate Growth in 2016

The electrical and electronics industries expect global market volumes to expand by 5 percent in 2016. According to estimates by the ZVEI (German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association), this growth will be fueled mainly by Asia and the USA. For Germany’s electrical and electronics sectors, the ZVEI anticipates a slight rise of 3 percent during 2016. WACKER sees good growth prospects for specialty silanes in semiconductors and for silicone products in automotive electronics. Other growth drivers include not only potting compounds and heat-dissipating adhesives and sealants for electronic components, but also encapsulation materials for LED-based vehicle lighting systems. We also expect to generate growth with products for optical applications (LEDs) and screens (displays), areas in which we have launched various innovation projects.

The Photovoltaic Market Will Continue to Grow in 2016 Despite Challenging Conditions

Conditions in the photovoltaic sector will remain challenging in 2016. In particular, market uncertainty will be fueled by the low profitability levels of many solar companies, by production overcapacity and by low prices.

Photovoltaic-Market Trend in 2016

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Installation of New PV Capacity (MW)


Growth in 2016















Sources: PV market in 2015: Germany’s Federal Network Agency, Commissariat Général au Développement Durable, IHS, RTS Corporation, WACKER’s own market research
PV market in 2016: Germany’s Federal Network Agency, Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), IHS, WACKER’s own market research




















Rest of Europe



































Other regions














Substantially lower solar module costs have made photovoltaics even more competitive compared with other energy sources in all regions of the world. In December 2015, 190 countries attending the Paris Climate Conference agreed to measures aimed at keeping global warming well below 2 ° C, ideally at only 1.5 ° C. These two factors – lower costs and this accord – will open up additional new markets for photovoltaics and lead to further growth in the global PV market. In 2016, China will remain the largest and most important market worldwide. According to researchers at IHS, the USA, Japan and India will be among the countries adding large amounts of capacity. Regions with high growth potential include Central and South America, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

WACKER’s own market research indicates that the photovoltaic market will see further growth in 2016, with newly installed photovoltaic (PV) capacity likely to reach between 60 and 70 gigawatts (GW).

Semiconductor-Wafer Demand Likely to Rise in 2016

Market researchers at IHS Technology expect silicon-wafer demand in 2016 to once again increase by 3.3 percent. Compared with the prior year, global sales by surface area sold should increase to over 65 billion cm2.

In recent months, however, growth projections have weakened for the silicon-based semiconductor market. The decisive factor in this context is to what degree price pressure in the segment will continue. That is why IHS Technology is forecasting a decline of 0.8 percent in global semiconductor sales for 2016.