San Jose, California (PRWEB) October 09, 2012
Follow us on LinkedIn – Technological advancements leading to the development of durable and long lasting refractories have eroded growth rates in the refractories market. New and improved products and installation/repair practices are the focus of research and development activities in the arena. Repair, instead of tear out and replacement of refractory lining, has acquired acceptance as an important method of cost reduction. Lighter, thinner, and stronger refractory materials are increasingly preferred to save energy in the kilns and optimize the ratio of ware-refractory material to fire. Increased preference for stronger and lighter refractory materials and increasing use of non-metallic and metal mineral products are expected to be major driver in the near term. Other factors such as installation/repair practices as well as advanced and new products are expected to propel demand for refractories over the next couple of years. Technological advancements are improving the efficiency of steel production processes, thereby lowering the unit consumption of refractory materials in steel production.
Refractory materials are ceramic, corrosive, and non-metallic products that tolerate extreme temperatures, physical wear, and corrosion released by chemical agents. Refractories are classified on the basis of product-form into Bricks & Shapes, Crucibles, Monolithics/Specialties and Preformed Refractory Shapes, and on the basis of the material used into Clay and Non-Clay Refractories. While refractories find application in a vast number of industrial processes, the primary end-use verticals are Iron & Steel, Cement, Ceramics, and Glass manufacturing. Although bricks & shapes account for the majority of the volume and value generation, in various refractory forms, demand for monolithics is expected to be relatively higher, as the application of monolithics extends interval between brick relinings, thereby providing an economic advantage. Growth prospects are high for monolithic castables and preformed shapes that feature high performance and flexibility than other refractory forms. Refractories production is evolving from a commodity product to an engineered material, uniquely designed for each customer. Fast emerging e-commerce applications are paving the way for this trend as purchasing goes global in an evolving virtual single market.
The global financial crisis negatively impacted refractories demand and production in several countries, albeit for a short period. The iron and steel industry, the major consumer for refractories, was heavily impacted by the worldwide recession, with a significant decline in production and consumption thereby leading to contraction in capacity utilization. Worldwide demand for refractories bounced back in 2010 and 2011, and is forecast to increase annually at a substantial rate over the next few years, powered by demand from China, the largest market. While the slowdown in GDP growth and thereby steel consumption in China is expected to continue choking demand for refractories in the near term, volumes are expected to rise on the back of large scale infrastructure development. The Indian market is expected to witness average growth because of gains from fixed investment expenditures.
The iron & steel industry, the chief consumer of refractories, bounced back strongly from recession lows in 2010, and continued on the upward path through 2011. The pronounced impact of the Eurocrisis, the outbreak of the Jasmine Revolution/Arab Spring in the Middle East marred the recovery of the iron & steel industry, leading to a slowdown in demand for refractories output in mid-2011. As a result, the healthy trend for steel refractory products, witnessed in early 2011, failed to hold good through the rest of the year. Despite the continuing financial turmoil and economy-rating downgrade, the US steel market fared better than that of Europe. On the other hand, the deceleration of the GDP growth depressed consumption of iron and steel consumption in China. However, a revival in Government infrastructure spending is expected to revitalize the sector, translating into a healthy demand for ferrous refractory products in the near term. However, the overhanging mood of fiscal uncertainty is expected to further hinder the recuperation of European refractories.
Although the iron and steel industries remain the chief consumers of refractories, an upsurge in the use of refractories in nonferrous and non-metallic mineral products production is expected to widen the market’s prospects. Performance of the refractory industry largely hinges upon the performance of the iron & steel industry, which are the largest end-user of the products. Any slowdown or decline in iron & steel sector are ultimately reflected in industry performance. Additionally, demand for refractories to produce nonferrous metals is expected to increase, reflecting the higher output of aluminum and other materials. The nonmetallic mineral products market is expected to gain due to the growing production of cement, ceramics, as well as other minerals, and in turn would increase demand for refractories. The aerospace, paper, chemicals and petroleum markets are expected to gain from the rise in end-user production.
As stated by the new market research report on Refractories, Asia-Pacific, spurred by intense activity in Chinese and Indian steel industries, represents the largest global market. Among the various refractories forms, Bricks & Shapes represent the largest segment, while the Monolithics & Others segment is projected to surge at relatively faster CAGR of 8.8% over the analysis period. In terms of the type of materials used, Clay Refractories represent the largest and fastest growing segment with a projected CAGR of 6.7% over the analysis period. The Iron & Steel Industry is the largest end-use segment for refractories, while Ceramics & Glass, the fastest growing segment, is slated to register 9.7% CAGR over the analysis period.
Refractories manufacturing is a highly fragmented business characterized by predominance of the regional companies, and some pure players. Key global market participants profiled in the report include Acera Technology, ANH Refractories Company, Chosun Refractories Co. Ltd., Cookson Group PLC, Vesuvius Group S.A./N.V., Imerys SA, Krosaki Harima Group, Magnesita Refratários S.A., Magnezit Group, MINTEQ International Inc., Morgan Crucible Company Plc, Refratechnik Group, RHI AG, Saint Gobain Ceramics & Plastics Inc., SEEIF Ceramic AS, and Shinagawa Refractories Co. Ltd.
The research report titled “Refractories: A Global Strategic Business Report” announced by Global Industry Analysts Inc., offers an in-depth analysis of the refractories industry, discussing global and regional trends, challenges and opportunities, and key industry events. The report provides annual demand estimates and projections for the years 2010 through 2018 in volume (in thousand metric tons) and value (in US$ million) terms for major geographic markets, namely US, Canada, Japan, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Latin America. Analytics are further broken down into product segments by form (Bricks & Shapes and Monolithics & Others) and by material (Clay Refractories and Non-Clay Refractories), and key end-use segments (Iron & Steel, Cement, Ceramics & Glass and Others). The study also provides historic data for an insight into market evolution over the period 2004 through 2009.
For more details about this comprehensive market research report, please visit –
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