According to Specialty Silicas, demand will be boosted by evolving market trends, such as increased usage of specialty silicas in tires, and also by pent-up demand in the housing and construction industry.
Specialty silicas include precipitated, fumed, gel, colloidal (or sol), and fused types. Demand for a specific silica product is closely tied to the outlook for the key industries in which it is used. For example, strong growth in building and construction spending is expected in the forecast period; as a result, silica gel, which finds application in a variety of coatings and paints, will see its most significant gains in that market. The outlook for precipitated silica, on the other hand, is tied strongly to the tire industry. Precipitated silica is finding greater use as a filler and reinforcement agent in tires, as it offers improved fuel economy over conventional tires.
Precipitated silica to remain largest segment
Precipitated silica will remain the largest product segment in both volume and value terms. Precipitated silica is also expected to be the fastest growing specialty silica product through 2019, boosted by robust gains in the large tire rubber sector, as well as in coatings and inks. Overall market value will benefit from the ongoing development of more expensive and higher-performance precipitated silicas, such as highly dispersible grades for tire reinforcement.
Rubber to be fastest growing market
Freedonia projects that rubber will expand at the most rapid pace through 2019, further strengthening its position as the leading outlet for specialty silicas. Though advances in US rubber consumption will slow as domestic production of motor vehicles and other manufactured goods posts weak growth, in the tire rubber segment precipitated silica will find higher use and increased loadings in low rolling-resistance tires. Demand for these tires will be promoted by efforts on the part of vehicle manufacturers to improve fuel efficiency in order to comply with increasingly stringent governmental regulations, as well as to satisfy consumer demand for improved gas mileage. The nontire rubber segment is forecast to rise at a more moderate pace than that during the 2009-2014 period.
Specialty Silicas analyzes the $1.7 billion US specialty silica industry. It presents historical demand data (2004, 2009 and 2014) and forecasts (2019 and 2024) by product (e.g., precipitated silica, fumed silica, silica gel, silica sol, fused silica) and market (e.g., rubber, cosmetics and toiletries, chemicals, coatings and inks, electrical and electronic equipment, plastics, food and beverages, agriculture and animal health, metals and refractories, paper and textiles). The study also considers market environment factors, details industry structure, evaluates company market share, and profiles 29 industry players, including PPG Industries, Evonik Industries, and Cabot.
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