According to Ken Research Analysis, the global refractories market was valued at ~US$ 15 billion in 2017. Furthermore, owing to the growing demand for refractories in the iron and steel industry, it is estimated to be ~US$ 25 billion by 2022 and is expected to reach a market size of ~US$ 35 billion by 2028 growing with a CAGR of 5%.
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The refractories market is majorly driven by factors such as global urbanization, industrialization, increasing demand for automotive industries, and a rise in demand for iron and steel in the construction industry.
- The growth of the construction industry was in full swing before the COVID-19 pandemic hit its development. Despite a slowdown faced for a period of nearly six to eight months, the industry has revived quite positively. It is expected that India’s construction industry to grow at ~6% CAGR from 2019-2028. Apart from India, China, the Philippines, and several other Middle Eastern countries are expected to showcase more than an 8% growth rate. For the Philippines, the construction industry accounts for nearly 17% of the country’s GDP. The use of automation, and advanced construction techniques have been contributing to its growth along with a high demand for iron and steel.
- According to the Global Construction Perspective and Oxford Economics, the global construction market will grow by ~85% to US$ 15.55 trillion worldwide by 2030, with three countries China, India, and the US accounting for 57% of the global growth, thus propelling the growth of refractories. The below chart depicts the comparison of the global construction market in 2020 and 2030.
Growing environmental concerns, handling and storage challenge, and raw material price fluctuation are some of the factors restraining the growth of the Refractories Market.
- The restriction on the use of refractories due to the growing environmental concern is restraining the refractory market to grow. Manufacturing of refractories is carbon intensive process including steps like mining, baking, and curing refractory material. These lead to the emission of organic particulate matter, and harmful gases like sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxides, fluorides, and various other organic compounds.
- In Europe, projects such as ReStaR (Review and Improvement of Testing Standards for Refractory Products), have been implemented to ensure the reliability and precision of the refractory testing standards in the region. Such environmental regulations and restrictions on the use of refractory materials act as restraining factors for the growth of the refractory market.
The pandemic heavily affected the refractories’ global manufacturing and supply chain.
- The refractory products are important for all high-temperature processes in the making of metals, cement, glass, and ceramics. The lockdown in various countries led to supply chain disruption, hindering the market’s growth rate. The initial spread of the virus led to the shutdown of iron, steel, cement, and glass manufacturing plants. The reduction of these materials led to the shortage of refractories production, as the construction in various countries stopped. The manufacturing and construction industry also witnessed a shortage of employees, thus slowing down the production of cement and glass companies resulting in the decline of refractories products.
- According to a report published by the National Bureau of Statistics China 2020, large-scale manufacturing witnessed a 20% decline in production in March 2020, while profit declined by 66% as compared to March 2019.
Key Trends by Market Segment
By Product Type: Clay Refractories segment held the largest market share in 2021 of the Global Refractories Market, owing to its low cost compared to the non-clay segment.
- Fireclays bricks and insulation products are generally made up of clay material and are used by iron and steel products manufacturers. Furthermore, raw materials required for manufacturing refractory clay are easily available, which is an added advantage for the growth of the clay refractory segment.
- Many clay products and refractory manufacturing companies are using robotics and automation to improve plant efficiency and productivity. For, instance according to Boston Consulting Group (BCG), 1.2 million industrial robots are expected to be deployed by 2025, thus indicating a rise in automation and robotics technology hence increasing the productivity of clay products.
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By Form: The Bricks and Shaped segment held the largest market share in 2021 of the Global Refractories Market.
- Bricks are used to form an insulation layer inside ovens and kilns and are replaced periodically to meet the insulation ratings set by the customer. It is required in the metal and non-metal industries. This is one of the major factors for the brick and shaped segment to dominate the global refractories market by form.
- Furthermore, iron and steel manufacturing, cement manufacturing, and glass production prefer shaped refractories for thermal insulation purposes in incinerators, furnaces, and reactors. Steel is utilized more in vehicle production as compared to glass, hence an increase in brick and shaped segments.
- According to a joint report by the International Organisation of Motor Vehicles and World Steel Association 2021, steel-based products account for 60% of the vehicle’s body structure. In comparison, glass accounts for more than 6% of the vehicle’s body weight, hence indicating an increase in demand for brick and shaped segments.
By Alkalinity: The basic segment held the largest market share in 2021 of the Global Refractories Market.
- The basic refractory material contains magnesia, dolomite, and limestone and is stable to alkaline material but reacts to acid.
- The most commonly used basic refractory brick is magnesite brick. As it is resistant to alkaline slag and iron slag, therefore, is applied to the converter lining and furnace bottom.
- According to the US Geological Survey, China is the largest producer of magnesite and produced around 19,000 metric tons in 2019. The rising demand for magnesite in the construction industry due to its excellent adhesive, fire resistance, and high bonding strength is escalating the demand for basic refractories in recent times.
By End User Segment: The Iron and Steel segment held the largest market share in 2021 of the Global Refractories market.
- It is a major end-user of refractories, which accounts for almost 60% of the refractory market. Refractories can withstand high temperatures, without affecting their physical properties. The increasing demand for infrastructure development in emerging economies is likely to drive the market for iron and steel.
- The global steel production reached 1950 metric tonnes in 2021 as compared to 1879 million tons in 2020, according to the World Steel Association. This is indicating the growing demand for the iron and steel segment.
By Geography: Asia Pacific is expected to account for the largest share among all regions within the Global Refractories Market, during the forecasted period 2022-2028.
- The rapid increase in consumption of refractories in power generation, cement and glass industry, and iron and steel manufacturing is expected to increase demand for Refractories in Asia Pacific Region.
- China has the largest economy in the Asia-Pacific region in terms of GDP, and the building and construction industry witnessed rapid growth in 2021. It is the world’s largest construction market accounting for 20% of all investments. The Shanghai Plan, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) in May 2020 is planning to invest approx. US$ 38 billion for the next three years, resulting in a positive outlook for refractories.
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According to Ken Research Study, it is estimated that the global refractories market is highly fragmented amongst the global, regional, and country niche players. It is estimated that the market comprises nearly ~500 players across four major regions. Although the global players hold a 10% share in terms of the number of competitors, these players dominate the revenue share by holding ~40% of market revenue. Some of the major players in the market include RHI Magnesita, Vesuvius PLC, Shinagawa Refractories Co., Ltd., Krosaki Harima Corporation, Saint Gobain SA, IMERYS, Chosun Refractories, Puyang Refractories Group Co., Ltd., IFGL Refractories Ltd., Refratechnik, Resco Products, Morgan Advanced Materials and among others.
Recent Developments Related to Major Players
- In June 2021, IMERYS, a French multinational company with a specialization in the production and processing of industrial minerals started production at its new Vishakhapatnam refractory plant. The IMERYS Group invested INR 350 crores in creating the facility to cater to domestic customers. The new plant supplies the refractory as well as the construction market with calcium aluminate binders.
- In March 2021, the Refratechnik Group, operator of refractory and mineral business, and Höganäs Borgestad Group, a refractory company in the Nordic region entered a strategic agreement for the supply of refractory products.
- In June 2020, Vesuvius, a global leader in molten metal flow engineering and technology serving the steel and foundry industries under its brand Foseco, launched its new product—KALPUR. It is a Direct Pouring Application on an Automatic High-Pressure Green Sand Moulding Line.
- In June 2020, Morgan Advanced Materials, a global manufacturer of specialist products, using carbon, advanced ceramics, and composites acquired Carbo San Luis, a manufacturer of refractory material. This is likely to help Morgan Advanced Materials in expanding its network in Peru, Chile, and Argentina.
The Global Refractories Market is primarily driven by the growing demand for refractories in the iron and steel industry. The market size is estimated to be US$ 25 billion by 2022 and is expected to reach a market size of US$ 35 billion by 2028 growing with a CAGR of 5%. The refractory market is growing due to the rise in industrialization and urbanization. Asia Pacific is the dominating region, owing to the rapid increase in consumption of refractories.
Note: This is an upcoming/planned report, so the figures quoted here for a market size estimate, forecast, growth, segment share, and competitive landscape are based on initial findings and might vary slightly in the actual report. Also, any required customizations can be covered to the best feasible extent for Pre-booking clients and report delivered within a maximum of two working weeks.
Ken Research has recently published report titled, Global Refractories Market Size, Segments, Outlook, and Revenue Forecast 2022-2028 that segments the market into by Product Type, By End User and Region. The revenue used to size and forecast the market for each segment is US$ billion.
By Product Type
- Non-Clay Refractories
- Magnesite Brick
- Zirconia Brick
- Silica Brick
- Chromite Brick
- Other Product Types (Carbides, Silicates)
- Clay Refractories
- High Alumina
- Bricks & Shaped
- Monolithic & Unshaped
By End User
- Iron & Steel
- Energy & Chemicals
- Non-Ferrous Metals
- Other End User (Paper & Pulp, Lime Production)
- North America
- Asia Pacific
- South Korea
- Latin America
- Middle East