Top Refractories Market Trends And Growth Opportunities In The Modern Era

Top refractories market trends and growth opportunities in the modern era
With rising demand from large scale projects in the infrastructure and cement sectors, the demand for refractories has seen considerable growth over the years.
Though there was a slight reduction in the demand for refractories the demand for steel in the refractories market is expected to witness substantial growth in the coming years. Also, with urbanization and increased infrastructure projects, glass industries, and cement industries, the market has seen exponential growth. The market for refineries has increased with expansion in the size of non-mining sectors and enhancement in the output from mineral processing.

What are refractories?

Refractories are materials that are ceramic and can withstand high degree temperatures. Because of their heat resistant properties over metals, they are used in industries to line the hot surfaces. They are also resistant to corrosion and can even withstand physical wear. Because of this property, they are used in the refining of gasoline and petrochemical product manufacturing.
There are generally two categories of refractories. One is the specialty or monolithic refractories that are unshaped and have unformed composition. The second category includes ceramic fibers resembling residential insulation and can insulate at high temperatures. Because of their varied shapes and sizes, they can be used on floors, walls, boilers, and ladles. A combination of various non-metallic minerals are used in the production of refractories such as alumina, fireclays, dolomite, bauxite, silicon carbide, chromite, and zirconia. They are generally used in the protection of processing equipment in space shuttles. They are also used in boilers and furnaces in industries.

Global Market size of refractories

As the steel demand dominates the global market, the refractors market size has also increased after a brief period in the reduction of demand for refractories. However, with the developing demand for steel in India, the refractories market will certainly grow further. This is going to help increase the demand for refractories in Asia despite low demand for steel in China.

Market share on the basis of raw materials

Fire clays, alumina, mullite, magnesia, chromite, and dolomite come under the category of non-clay based or clay-based or neutral refractories which are also called mineral processing refractories. The use of clay refractories is primarily in blast furnaces which are used for manufacturing of steel by low-temperature zones. They are also used in smelters which are used for processing of aluminum.

Market share of refractories manufacturers

Top players in the market by which the supply is fragmented are Vesuvius, RHI, Magnesita, Kurosaki, Imerys and Shinagawa. They account for a total combined market share of 18 percent. New technology has been carried out by various Chinese refractories manufacturers. They might lead to competition due to low rates of cost per ton of refractories despite some performance issues. The major suppliers are still ahead of new entrants because of their expertise in the field and years of data and research.

Global refractories market trends

The refractories market trends indicate that the market will grow at CAGR of 3.5% and will reach the annual quantity levels of 51.5 MMT in the coming year. The future demand, however, is facing cost pressures which result in a reduction in consumption of specific refractories. But the significant growth and expansion in the infrastructure sector around the world has impacted the global refractories market in a positive direction and has seen exponential growth in the demand for steel and glass industries.

Drivers and constraints of global refractories market

Drivers of the refractories market include:
Demand in infrastructure: The demand for infrastructure is rapidly increasing in developing countries which have increased the demand for refractories for processing of cement.
 Non-mining sectors: 40 percent demand for refractories is dependent on this sector, and the growth will increase by up to 6 percent in the coming years.
 Mineral processing output: The demand is also driven by increased processing of steel and non-ferrous output. Also, the demand has increased with a rise in commodity prices, steel, aluminum, etc.
The reduction in consumption of refractories is the major constraint in the growth of the refractories market. With the development of refractories that are thermally resistant and price pressures, the consumption of refractories can reduce from 15-20 Kg per ton steel production to 5 Kg per ton steel production.
The top 15 players have just 20 percent share in the global market which also works as a constraint in the rise of the market even if the market size is nearing the levels of 45 MMT. The price is expected to normalize due to marginal variations in revenue of these players. But the suppliers still have stable research facilities which keep them ahead in the competition compared to new players.
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