NEW YORK, March 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Recessionary pressures in steel industry in 2019 and sudden deceleration in 2020 will weigh down refractories activity in 2021, however, firm construction sector recovery will limit downward trend finds the new edition of 'Refractories Market Study' by consulting firm Fact.MR. The new edition of the study recalibrates previous estimates for COVID-19 impact, in tune with broader developments in end-use industries.
The downward trend in refractories mimics the developments in macro-industries. World ex-China BF output was down 13% in 9m-20, whereas EU, US, Japan down about 20%. India BF output was down 14%, with Korea and CIS down 6% and 2% y-o-y according to data from World Steel Association.
Steel and Construction Demand Key to Refractories Recovery in 2021
According to Fact.MR's analysis, refractories market recovery in 2021 will be massively influenced by cues in steel demand. There is broader consensus that finished steel demand will recover in 2021, however, lot will depend upon the severity of the 'second wave' and success with vaccination program.
Refractory industry is also hoping for 2021 construction projections to hold ground. Fact.MR's analysts believe that after contraction in 2020, construction sector will bounce back.
Construction sector makes up nearly 50% demand from refractories, and has traditionally impacted refractories market heavily.
"Construction sector outlook remains positive for 2021. Fast-growing Asian countries, which were relatively less impacted by COVID-19 crisis will lead recovery. Construction activity in Latin America is also likely to post gains in 2021," says an Fact.MR analyst.
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Cement Industry Set to Post Gains in 2021
Global cement demand (excluding China) declined by nearly 5% in 2020, which led to further weakness in refractories market.
However, demand for cement is likely to pick up in 2021, with construction sector recovery key to growth. Demand is likely to be stronger in South Asian countries, whereas China will lead global growth.
Cement demand in Latin America will also offset low demand in Western Europe and US, as countries are being severely impacted by the pandemic.
The Foray in Asian Markets
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when many market players were in holding pattern, the refractories market came abuzz with news of American multinational Zampell making a dash in Asian markets.
The company signed a cooperation agreement with India-based Somal Refractories to target the lucrative Asian market. According to Fact.MR's analysis, the foray is not an outlier, and many American and European manufacturers may consider similar expansion plans in the future.
"Asia Pacific is the most lucrative refractories market, with China and India among leading markets. Concerned by waning opportunities in their domestic market, US and European companies have APAC in their strategic planning," says the Fact.MR analyst.
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China supplies bulk of the refractory raw materials – both for domestic production, as well as global exports. The evolving geo-political scenario has led to uncertainty in refractory industry about future supply-demand disruptions.
Fact.MR's analysis on the refractories market includes a detailed competitive landscape section, where strategies of key players have been analyzed. Some of the leading players in the market include Zampell Refractories Inc, Tata Refractories, Vesuvius plc, RHI Magnesita N.V., Krosaki Harima Corporation, Shinagawa Refractories Co., Ltd, Magnezit Group Ltd., Morgan Advanced Materials plc, Refratechnik Holding GmbH, Chosun Refractories Co., Ltd., Minerals Technologies Inc., Resco Products, Inc., and IFGL Refractories Limited.
In Fact.MR's survey with stakeholders across the value chain, most respondents agreed that robotics, automation, and digitalization will be the key focus areas in the future.
A majority of respondents responded in affirmative about the need for sustainability efforts, and ongoing strategic efforts in their organizations. For example, RHI Magnesita, a prominent refractory supplier, received highest rating for addressing climate risk and tackling carbon emissions.
More Insights on Refractories Market
Fact.MR, in its new offering, presents an unbiased analysis of the global refractories market, presenting historical demand data (2015-2019) and forecast statistics for the period of 2020-2030. The study delivers essential insights on the Refractories market on the basis of material (Clay and non-clay), form (bricks, monolithic and others) and end-use (steel, energy & chemicals, non-ferrous metals, cement and glass) across five major regions.
Key Questions Covered in the Report
What will be the impact of construction sector recovery on refractories market?
Will geopolitical scenario influence supply-demand equation in refractories market?
Why foray in Asian markets is likely to be a key strategy?
Will Latin America offset weakening demand in US and Canada?
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