Dallas, Texas (PRWEB) November 02, 2012
Global demand for silica sand is forecast to climb 4.4 percent annually through 2016 to 278 million metric tons. Hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) is expected to represent by far the fastest growing market, spurred by a large increase in its use as a well stimulation technique, particularly in the US. The building products Silica Sand market will see the next fastest gains, bolstered principally by rising construction expenditures in the Asia/Pacific region. Consumption will be further stimulated by increases in world glass production and foundry output.
China to remain largest in volume, with the US leading in value terms
The Asia/Pacific region will account for the largest share (56 percent) of additional silica sand demand between 2011 and 2016, driven by increased construction expenditures and foundry output, particularly in China and India. Robust increases in the use of silica sand in glass production will also contribute to sales advances in the region. North America will contribute nearly one-fourth of additional silica sand demand between 2011 and 2016, spurred by gains in the hydraulic fracturing market, as silica sand is expected to remain the dominant proppant material in terms of volume, largely due to its low cost compared to other proppants. China will continue to represent the largest national market for industrial sand, accounting for 34 percent of all global demand in volume terms in 2016. However, the US will remain the most significant silica sand market in value terms, with product demand totaling $2.3 billion in that year. Overall sales gains will be tempered by meager growth in Western Europe, hindered by nominal increases in glass output and minimal fracking activity.
Hydraulic fracturing, glass markets tops in value
Demand for silica sand can be segmented into five major markets: glass, foundries, hydraulic fracturing, building products, and chemicals, as well as other smaller markets. Glass is the largest market, accounting for 37 percent of global silica sand consumption (in volume terms) in 2011. With 32 percent of overall sales,foundries represent the next largest market, followed by hydraulic fracturing, building products, and chemicals, with other applications (such as abrasives and recreation) accounting for the remainder of demand. However, due to the disparity in silica sand prices, the glass and foundry markets are less significant in value terms when compared to the hydraulic fracturing segment. Additionally, in 2016 the glass and hydraulic fracturing markets will be equivalent in terms of market value, and they will account for the majority of the industrial sand market in dollar terms 27 percent share ($2.3 billion) of overall sales.
Profiles industry competitors worldwide such as CEMEX, Fairmount Minerals, Quarzwerke, Sibelco, and US Silica
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Robust growth in rubber applications -- the largest market for specialty silicas-- will drive gains, particularly in the expanding industrial sectors of developing countries such as China and India.
Silica will also register strong gains in demand in the chemicals market as more products employ silica additives to improve performance. Growth in the food and feed market will be restrained by market maturity in developed countries, though demand will still be moderate as more processed food is used in developing countries. The cosmetics and toiletries market for silicas will also see more limited gains, as the usage of silica in toothpaste is becoming increasingly mature. However, increasing personal consumption expenditures in developing countries, especially China, will continue to support growth.
Strong turnaround in rubber industry to benefit specialty silica consumption
A strong turnaround in the world rubber industry, which was hard-hit by the 2008- 2009 economic downturn, will benefit silica demand. Through 2016, the fastest gains in volume terms will be seen for fumed silica, fueled by a rebound in the production of silicone rubber for industrial rubber applications as the economy recovers. Precipitated silica demand will also be bolstered by strong gains in nontire rubber products. A major force impacting market demand in both value and volume terms will be the adoption of “green tires,” which use precipitated silica to lower rolling resistance and improve motor vehicle fuel economy.
Profiles for global competitors such as Cabot, Evonik Industries, PPG, Rhodia (Solvay), Wacker Chemie and WR Grace
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