Global Zirconium Market to Benefit from Strong Chinese Demand and Resurgence of Nuclear Energy Sector, According to New Report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc.

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GIA announces the release of a comprehensive global report on Zirconium markets. The global market for Zirconium is forecast to reach 2.6 million metric tons by the year 2017. Spurt in the global nuclear energy sector will lead to high demand for Zirconium and simultaneous increase in production capacities worldwide. In addition, burgeoning demand from Asia-Pacific including China, and growing ceramic tile production activity across the world represent key growth factors.

Zirconium: A Global Strategic Business Report

Follow us on LinkedIn – Zirconium oxide or zirconia is used in high-end, high-value, low-volume applications. Zirconium oxide is used in various industrial and consumer applications such as cosmetics, waterproof clothing, optical fibers and medical products. Due to comparatively lower supply of the material in relation to other zirconium chemicals, Zirconium oxide commands higher prices and profit margins. France-based Saint-Gobain is one of the leading producers of zirconia. Consumption of materials such as fused zirconia and zircon flour increased due to a rapid rise in China’s ceramic tile manufacturing capacity. Asian countries of China, India, and Korea are the primary growth markets for stabilized zirconia.

The United States continues to be the largest producer and consumer of fused zirconia, while Japan is the second largest consumer. In recent years, global zirconium market faced several challenges that hampered the market growth to a noticeable extent. The global economic turmoil that flattened the worldwide industrial sector during 2008 and 2009 severely impacted zirconium market, especially during 2009. The crisis led to oversupply of the mineral, despite significant production cuts implemented by the producers. However, the market is expected to recover quickly and post a robust growth in ensuing years, on back of sharp rise in demand for the mineral in Asia-Pacific region, the largest consumer of zirconium in the world. In addition, exploration of new mine reserves is likely to encourage the increased consumption across the end-use sectors.

The demand for zirconium is forecast to rise in the coming years due to worldwide nuclear energy resurgence. As the demand is expected to rise, several countries are working on improving their production capacity of zirconium. For instance, over 40 nuclear plants are being constructed in 12 nations, another 100 plus plants are in planning stage and more than 260 plants are being proposed for construction. However, the technology that is required for zirconium production is available to only few companies. Further, huge capital investments and longer completion time for these projects hinder entry of several players. As new reactors are being built at an accelerated speed due to expected power shortage in several countries, zirconium industry needs to enhance its production targeted towards nuclear energy sector.

Ceramics including tableware, sanitary ware and tiles represent the largest end-use market for zirconium. Zircon is used as an opacifier for ceramic articles including sanitary ware, floor and wall tiles, and tableware. Refractory and foundry sectors represent the next leading markets for zirconium. Consumption in the foundry industry displayed modest demand growth. Zircon is used as a glass component in television and computer monitor faceplates due to its radiation absorbing characteristics. Ceramics continues to retain supremacy as the largest consumer while use in the TV glass sector will be tempered due to increasing preference for new display methods such as liquid crystal displays/thin film transistors as against CRT. Opportunities will also arise out of development of advanced materials. Zircon refractory bricks are increasingly being replaced with fused zirconia based products.

Asia Pacific, buoyed by tremendous demand from China, represents the world’s largest and the fastest growing regional market, as stated by the new market research report on Zirconium. Asia-Pacific is projected to expand at a robust double-digit pace of 15.3% over the analysis period. The ‘China’ Factor has emerged as a key demand determinant in the global market, and strong demand particularly from the Chinese tile market resulted in a severe shortage of the material and dramatic price inflation. Spurred by a booming construction industry, the country’s production and consumption of ceramic ware is expected to outpace that of Europe, traditionally the largest producer due to the presence of ceramic hubs such as Italy, Spain and Turkey.

World zirconium mineral concentrates market is dominated by Australia and South Africa. The two countries hold huge reserves of the mineral. Australia leads the world in terms of production of zircon concentrates. Iluka Resources, based in the country, is the worldwide leader in the production of Zircon. South Africa is one of the world’s leading sources of hydrocarbon fuels and hard minerals. The country occupies a leading position in terms of concentration of world reserves of zirconium.

Leading players profiled in the report include Alkane Resources Ltd., Allegheny Technologies Inc., Astron Advanced Materials Ltd., Astron Ltd., Australian Zircon NL, Bemax Resources Limited, E.I DuPont de Nemours and Company, Exxaro Resources Ltd., Foskor Ltd., Iluka Resources Limited, Luxfer Group, Namakwa Sands Ltd., Neo Material Technologies Inc., Richards Bay Minerals, Rio Tinto Plc, Sino Dragon New Energy Holdings Limited, Tosoh Corp., and Wah Chang.

The research report titled “Zirconium: A Global Strategic Business Report” announced by Global Industry Analysts Inc., provides a comprehensive review of the zirconium market, impact of recession on the markets, current market trends, competitive scenario, key growth drivers, product overview, recent product introductions, recent industry activity, and profiles of major/niche global as well as regional market participants. The report provides annual sales estimates and projections for the years 2009 through 2017 for the following geographic markets – US, Canada, Japan, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Rest of World. Key end-use segments analyzed include Ceramics, Refractories, Foundries, TV Glass, and Other Applications. Also, a historic review (2003-2008) is provided for additional perspective.

For more details about this comprehensive market research report, please visit –

About Global Industry Analysts, Inc.
Global Industry Analysts, Inc., (GIA) is a leading publisher of off-the-shelf market research. Founded in 1987, the company currently employs over 800 people worldwide. Annually, GIA publishes more than 1300 full-scale research reports and analyzes 40,000+ market and technology trends while monitoring more than 126,000 Companies worldwide. Serving over 9500 clients in 27 countries, GIA is recognized today, as one of the world's largest and reputed market research firms.

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Global Industry Analysts, Inc.
Telephone: 408-528-9966
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