Annual Report 2021

Share this page

Creating tomorrow’s solutions

Sector-Specific Conditions

In 2022, economic trends in the industries relevant to our business will remain under the cloud of the coronavirus pandemic. Varying rates of vaccination and infection could lead to uneven trends, across both regions and market segments. A further hurdle is posed by risks from persistent material shortages in numerous industries. In our opinion, however, the sectors that are important for us will perform well.

WACKER’s Key Customer Sectors




Trend in 2021


Trend in 2022
















Energy and electrical










Chemical Industry Upturn to Continue in 2022

After the chemical industry’s robust growth in 2021, the upswing should continue in 2022. The German Chemical Industry Association (VCI) anticipates that production in Germany’s chemical and pharmaceutical industry will increase by 2 percent, with sales up 5 percent.

Given the uncertainties surrounding the pandemic, risks for WACKER’s chemical divisions remain. But the strength of our broad product portfolio has already proved itself in the present crisis. Our assumption is that WACKER will continue to grow across all its core markets in 2022. That applies in particular to pharmaceutical and medical applications and to label manufacturing, where we are benefiting from the burgeoning mail-order sector. We supply high-purity silanes and acids to the electronics industry. Demand will grow strongly here, spurred by expansion of the 5G mobile network and by autonomous driving.

What is more, the long-term trends have not changed and will accelerate in some cases. We see medium-term growth opportunities in all regions due to innovations arising from today’s megatrends, such as the ongoing digital transformation. Rising affluence in emerging economies is likely to bolster our sales in countries such as China and India, and across Southeast Asia. WACKER’s portfolio has many high-value products that appeal to new customer groups, spurring stronger demand from our industrial customers. Moreover, part of our product portfolio is used in highly automated, industrial manufacturing processes. In these areas, WACKER is generating above-average growth, including in advanced economies.

Construction Industry to Continue Growing

According to market research institute B+L Marktdaten GmbH, global construction volume will expand over the medium term. On average, it is expected to rise by 2.8 percent annually through 2024. Construction expenditure is likely to grow somewhat faster in Asia and North America than in other regions.

WACKER POLYMERS, too, expects to see an upward trend in 2022, driven by renovation, energy efficiency and sustainability. Numerous government programs around the world, such as the European Green Deal and China’s plan to achieve climate neutrality by 2060, should create additional momentum for the construction industry in the coming years.

At WACKER SILICONES, the percentage of value-added specialty products is expected to increase further in many segments. Growth prospects are bright for hybrid polymers, which are used to formulate high-performance adhesives and sealants. The same goes for silane-based cement additives, which not only offer energy-savings during the production process and an improved shelf life, but also enhance the quality and durability of concrete. Another area gaining traction is the development of novel building additives to better cope with changes in raw-material quality and availability. In thermal insulation, we anticipate business growth in areas ranging from household appliances to refrigerated transport boxes, e.g. for carrying vaccines. There are also good opportunities for our “eco” product line, which is based on resource-efficient raw materials.

Construction-Industry Growth Rates by Region, 2022 – 2024


Construction-Industry Growth Rates by Region, 2022–2024 (bar chart)
Source: B+L Marktdaten GmbH, November 2021

Positive Trend in Electrical Engineering and Electronics Sector

The German Electro and Digital Industry Association (ZVEI) forecasts further growth in 2022. It expects global market volumes to expand by about 6 percent. The increase will be driven by both emerging and advanced economies.

WACKER continues to see good growth prospects in the automotive industry, fueled for example by the increasing use of driver-assistance systems, sensors and optical displays. Once the semiconductor crisis is over, our business could benefit from a catch-up phase in automotive sales. Opportunities will also come from the growing significance of electromobility, an area in which there is growing demand for silicone-based components.

Further Increase in Installed Photovoltaic Capacity Likely in 2022

Economic conditions for photovoltaics (PV) will remain dynamic and challenging in 2022. On the one hand, intense competition is creating market uncertainty. On the other, levelized costs for solar power continue to drop, making PV more competitive relative to other energy sources. Solar energy is also an important component in achieving global climate-protection targets, since it significantly reduces specific carbon dioxide emissions compared with fossil fuels. Both the cost effectiveness of PV and the political goal of keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius are opening up new markets. The PV market is expected to continue growing. China will remain the world’s largest and most important market in 2022. Other markets adding large amounts of capacity are the USA, European countries, Japan and India. Highly promising growth regions include Central and South America, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Based on its own market surveys and those of third parties, WACKER expects newly installed PV capacity to be between 180 and 230 gigawatts (GW) in 2022.

Photovoltaic-Market Trend in 2022




Installation of New PV Capacity (MW)








Lower Range


Upper Range
























Rest of Europe



































Other regions














Sources: Germany’s Federal Network Agency, SolarPower Europe (SPE), Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), China National Energy Agency, market studies, WACKER’s own market research

(Table unaudited)

Substance outputs, noise, vibrations, light, heat or radiation emitted into the environment by an industrial plant.
A polymer is a large molecule made up of smaller molecular units (monomers). It contains between 10,000 and 100,000 monomers. Polymers can be long or ball-shaped.
Silanes are used as monomers for the synthesis of siloxanes or sold directly as reagents or raw materials. Typical applications include surface treatment, agents (medically active substances) in pharmaceutical synthesis, and coupling agents for coatings.
General term used to describe compounds of organic molecules and silicon. According to their areas of application, silicones can be classified as fluids, resins or rubber grades. Silicones are characterized by a myriad of outstanding properties. Typical areas of application include construction, the electrical and electronics industries, shipping and transportation, textiles and paper coatings.