The absence of the clear domination of a single player has led to a fragmented competitive scenario within the global market for silica flour, finds Transparency Market Research (TMR) in a recent study. In 2014, the top three players, namely, U.S. Silica Holdings Inc., Premier Silica LLC, and SCR-Sibelco N.V, accounted for a share of 32.1% in this fragmented market.
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Over the coming years, the competition among participants is likely to be further reduced by the limited scope of differentiation. However, the leading manufacturers are focusing aggressively on establishing dedicated distribution channels across the world in order to deter the threat of a declined market share. Along with this, producers are also trying to enter into direct selling of silica flour in order to understand the needs of end users and, consequently, increase the sales.
Rising Application of Fiberglass Impels Demand for Silica Flour
Silica flour finds widespread applications the production of fiberglass. “The recent rise in various industries, such as building and construction, consumer goods, transportation, and wind turbines, has increased the industrial application of fiberglass, which, in turn, has fueled the demand for silica flour significantly and will continue to do so over the forthcoming years,” says an analyst at TMR.
Along with this, the demand for silica flour has also been impelled by the ongoing expansion in the foundry (metal casting) industry. Due to its purity, consistent sizes and shapes of particles, chemically inert nature, and compatibility with chemical binders, silica flour is widely utilized in steel foundries in order to obtain the required tensile strength, high resistance to metal penetration, and improved temperature sustainability in cores.
Health and Environmental Threats of Silica Flour to Hamper its Demand
Although the market looks thriving at large; a number of factors are expected to slow down the demand for silica flour, obstructing the market’s growth trajectory. The main one among them is the health and environmental threats associated with silica flour. The presence of microparticles in silica flour makes it considerably injurious for workers, who are continuously exposed to it, increasing the risk of diseases such as silicosis, bronchitis, and tuberculosis.
Nonetheless, the growing application of silica flour in high temperature cementing is likely to create lucrative opportunities for silica flour producers over the next few years.
Asia Pacific to Report Strongest Demand for Silica Flour
According to the report, the opportunity in the global silica flour market was worth US$338.1 mn in 2014. Rising at a CAGR of 7.0% between 2015 and 2023, it is expected to increase to US$618.0 mn by 2023. In terms of volume, the market is likely to expand at a CAGR of 6.10% during the forecast period.
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Asia Pacific led the demand for silica flour in 2014 with a share of more than 46%. Driven by the soaring demand for fiberglass in the construction and the transportation industries, the region is likely to continue its leading streak in the coming years. The Middle East and Africa is also expected to witness a steady increase in the demand for silica flour over the next few years. Fiberglass, among all the application areas, will continue to report the strongest demand for silica flour in the near future.
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