Refractories – Global Strategic Business Report 2016
Despite the slowdown of the Chinese economy, the country will play a vital role as a large consumer of refractories supported by the continued use of conventional less sophisticated production technologies in steel and other manufacturing sectors that consume higher level of refractories. This is in stark contrast to developed markets such as the USA, Japan and Europe where more efficient and advanced production technologies are employed. Although the iron and steel industries remain chief consumers of refractories, the coming years are forecast to witness an upsurge in demand for refractories in non-ferrous and non-metallic mineral products production. Growth prospects are especially high for monolithic castables and preformed shapes that feature high performance and flexibility.
Also, poised to benefit are zircon/zirconia, silicon-carbide extra-high alumina, and other more specialized refractory materials that offer strong performance in specific applications. As stated by the new market research report on refractories, led by China, Asia-Pacific represents the largest and the fastest growing market worldwide with a CAGR of 3,6 % over the analysis period. The slowdown in Chinese GDP growth and weak steel consumption in the county will continue to challenge refractories demand in the near term.
However, over the long-term, increased government spending on infrastructure development to sustain the economy’s transition from export oriented growth to domestic consumption based growth will spur opportunities for growth. By form, demand for monolithics and other forms of refractories is projected to grow at a faster rate than bricks and shaped refractory. High performance and flexibility aspects are expected to confer significant growth prospects for monolithic castables and preformed shapes.
Summary of findings: market demand migrates towards monolithic refractories away from shaped refractories; projected increase in cement production to spur demand for refractories; non-ferrous applications to spearhead growth in the refractories market, recovery in housing and renovation activity and a parallel increase in ceramic tiles demand to drive consumption of refractory materials; increase in waste generation, focus on waste management techniques and a robust waste incinerator market to benefit demand for refractory materials.