This study analyzes the world refractory industry. It presents historical demand data for the years 2001, 2006 and 2011 with forecasts for 2016 and 2021 by market (e.g., iron and steel, other metals, nonmetallic minerals), form, material, world region and for 23 countries. The study also considers market environment factors, details industry structure, evaluates company market share and profiles industry competitors.
World demand to rise 3.4% per annum through 2016
Global refractory demand is projected to grow at a 3.4 percent annual rate through 2016 to 46.3 million metric tons, an improvement over the 2006-2011 period. Product sales will climb 5.3 percent per year in value terms to $46.5 billion in 2016, not as strong as gains registered in recent years because of a moderation in raw material costs and refractory prices.
There are three main factors that impact the world refractory market total: output levels in major end use markets, the manufacturing methods used in these industries, and the nature of the refractory products utilized. Increases in refractory demand through 2016 will be stimulated by an acceleration in construction and other fixed investment activity as economic conditions continue to improve, leading to stepped up output of steel, aluminum, cement, and other goods made using refractories. A pickup in personal consumption expenditures will also result in higher demand for everything from glass containers to motor vehicles, contributing to growth in refractory sales as industry production levels rise.
Increased use of refractories in chemicals manufacturing, incinerators, and a variety of other small volume markets will also help bolster overall product sales. However, the manufacturing methods utilized in key end use industries will continue to become more efficient, refractory technologies will improve further, and demand for longer lasting, higher end refractories will climb. This will lead to reduced intensity of usage and limit global market advances.
Global iron & steel market to dominate refractory sales
The iron and steel market will continue to dominate refractory sales worldwide, accounting for almost three-fifths of all 2016 product demand in volume terms. Gains will come primarily from a pickup in global steel output. The market for refractories used in nonferrous metals production will climb at about the same pace for similar reasons.
China to account for 72% of volume gains worldwide
Refractory sales will expand most quickly in developing areas, reflecting an ongoing shift in metals and other heavy industry production to countries with low cost structures. The Asia/Pacific region, in particular, will post the largest tonnage increases, followed by the Africa/Mideast region, Central and South America, and Eastern Europe. China alone will account for 72 percent of all refractory volume gains between 2011 and 2016, due both to additional growth in its huge steel, cement, and other heavy manufacturing industries, and the use of less sophisticated production methods in steelmaking and other important markets than those used in economically advanced nations.
The volume of refractories consumed will also rise in the US, Western Europe, and Japan following an extended period of decline, as economic conditions grow stronger in these areas and output of ferrous metals and other refractory-using products rebounds. Output gains in these areas are more likely to result in higher refractory demand because the manufacturing techniques utilized are already so efficient that it will be much more difficult to reduce refractory consumption on a per unit output basis than in less developed countries. Due to their greater use of more costly, high quality products, the US, Western Europe, and Japan will account for a somewhat larger share of the world refractory market total in dollar terms (19 percent in 2016) than they will in tonnage (14 percent).
Company Profiles for 50 global industry players such as Krosaki Harima, Magnesita Refratarios, RHI, Saint-Gobain, Shinagawa Refractories and Vesuvius
This study analyzes global supply of and demand for refractory products. Historical data (2001, 2006, and 2011) and forecasts for the years 2016 and 2021 are provided for total refractory shipments, net exports, and demand on a country-by-country basis, valued in millions of current US dollars, including inflation. Historical and projected refractory demand is also shown in metric tons, broken out by form (bricks and shapes, and monolithic and other), material (clay and nonclay), and market (iron and steel, nonferrous metals, nonmetallic minerals, and other).
In addition, major manufacturers of refractory products and refractory raw materials are identified and profiled, and the key industry competitive variables are discussed. The entire report is framed within the refractory industry’s economic, technological, and market environments. Therefore, environmental variables affecting refractory supply/demand patterns (especially steel production) are emphasized.
The term “demand” actually refers to “apparent consumption” and is defined as shipments (also referred to variously as “production,” “output,” or “supply”) from a nation’s indigenous refractory production facilities plus imports minus exports. It is used interchangeably with the terms “market,” “sales,” and “consumption.” World refractory market share data by company presented in the “Industry Structure” section are estimated based on consultation with multiple sources. Tabular details may not always add to totals due to rounding.
Data on world refractory supply and demand are derived from differing sources and developed from statistical relationships. As a result, variations are commonplace in this type of international reporting, and consequently, statistics presented in this study are historically consistent but may differ from other sources. Variances may occur because of definitional differences, undistributed exports, inventory accumulation, and goods-in-transit. To reduce the impact of such discrepancies, global refractory imports and exports have been assumed to balance in any given year.