The global fiber optic preform market size is expected to reach USD 8.66 billion in 2025, registering a CAGR of 19.6% from 2019 to 2025, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc. Benefits associated with optical communication have encouraged intensive R&D into the fiber optics technology, which in turn has resulted in several innovations enabling the application of optical fibers in a myriad of industries other than telecommunications. These industries include healthcare, railway, defense and aerospace, and oil and gas. This factor is anticipated to bode well for the overall market growth in near future.

Growing adoption of optical fibers has resulted in a looming shortage of optical fiber preform. This, in turn, has culminated in a shortage of fiber, thereby triggering the price of telecom fiber. For example, telecom fiber price increased by more than 10% to 20% during 2017. The situation has prompted manufacturers of optical fiber preform to increase their production capacity. Several companies went on to announce projects to expand their existing preform facilities and to invest in new preform facilities at the beginning of 2017.

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Several such capacity expansion projects are already underway in U.S., China, and India. Capacity expansion projects undertaken by prominent manufacturers, such as Corning Incorporated and Yangtze Optical Fibre and Cable Joint Stock Limited Company, are expected to help reduce the supply gap. These projects are expected to add up to 3,000 tons of preform capacity capable of supporting up to 55 to 90 million km of new fiber capacity.

China happens to be one of the largest consumers in the fiber optic preform market. In July 2018, government of China announced the continuation of anti-dumping duties on fiber optic preform originating in U.S. and Japan for a further 5-year period. The move is aimed at protecting the Chinese fiber optic preform companies and at encouraging the local manufacturers to invest more into R&D and production expansion.

Further key findings from the report suggest:

  • More than 50% of optical fiber used for telecommunication applications is manufactured using VAD method
  • Multi-mode fiber accounted for the largest market share in 2018. However, plastic optical fiber segment is expected to expand at the highest CAGR from 2019 to 2025
  • China happens to be the world’s largest fiber optic preform producer accounting for over 50% of global production
  • Manufacturers invest aggressively in R&D initiatives. For instance, in October 2017, Rosendahl Nextrom opened a new preform R&D center in Vantaa, Finland. The facility would develop new technologies that can potentially augment the production performance
  • The key players operating in the fiber optic prefrom market include Yangtze Optical Fibre and Cable Joint Stock Limited Company, Corning Incorporated. Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. HENGTONG GROUP CO., LTD., and Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., Ltd, among others.