With large-scale deployment of gigabit network, global demand for optical fiber and cable grows significantly. Staying at the peak of the pyramid of the optical fiber and cable industry, the optical fiber preform industry has witnessed rapid development, with global demand reaching 11,017 tons in 2015, up 21.6 percent from a year ago, and expected to attain 21,000 tons in 2020.

China is the world’s largest consumer of optical fiber preform, needing 6167 tons in 2015, 56.0 percent of the world’s total, followed by the United States (12.7 percent) and Japan (8.2 percent).

Promoted by the implementation of Broadband China, Internet and Full Fiber-optic Network strategies, the Chinese optical fiber preform market demand will maintain a growth rate of around 16.8 percent during 2016–2020, hitting 13,600 tons in 2020 (64.7 percent of global demand).

The Chinese optical fiber preform market is still plagued by supply shortage with a narrowing gap from 1949 tons in 2010 to 567 tons in 2015. As local production capacity in China is continuously boosted, optical fiber preform is expected to be completely self-sufficient from 2017 onward.

Global and Chinese optical fiber preform markets are highly concentrated. In 2015, top five suppliers (YOFC, Corning, Pysmian, Shin-Etsu Chemical, and Hengtong Optic-electric) held a combined global share of 61.3 percent (by output). Chinese YOFC shared the most 16.4 percent, followed by US Corning.

Attracted by good development prospects in the Chinese optical communication market, global companies have scaled up their investment in China to expand capacity. In 2016, several major Chinese enterprises have been aggressive in building new plants to raise optical fiber preform and optical fiber drawing tower capacities.

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