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The manufacture of glass and ceramic: must-read reports and analysis

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Global Glass & Ceramic Manufacturing Industry Analysis


Glass and ceramics are used in a variety of key industries, including building construction and energy. Materials made of glass and ceramics are also necessary for the automotive industry and packaging of everyday products, with the benefit that glass containers are readily recyclable. 


Though the glass market has traditionally been a fragmented one, it is beginning to see a greater degree of cohesion. Glass is necessary for the manufacture of products such as vehicles, fiber optic wire light bulbs, boats and CDs. It is also widely used in the renewable energy sector, for example for solar energy mirrors and cells, and insulation fiberglass.



Key Market Segments


According to Koncept Analytics, the global container glass market will grow at 8% a year from 2011 to 2014. Market growth is being driven by government initiatives to encourage recycling of glass containers. The industry is highly competitive and lead by companies such as Vetropack, Saint-Gobain and Owens-Illinois.


Low emissivity glass, used for insulation to optimize energy efficiency, is used in doors, windows and sunrooms. It accounts for about 40% of the insulating glass market, and is used in commercial and private residential properties.


Within the overall ceramics industry, leading segments include medical ceramics and advanced ceramics. Medical ceramics are used in implantable electronic devices and implant applications, such as artificial joints and drug delivery devices. Two leading ceramics in this segment are zirconia and alumina. According to Industry Experts, the global medical ceramics market is worth almost $10.5 billion, with a forecast annual growth of 3.5% in the ten-year period ending 2017 by which time it should grow to over $13 billion.


The advanced and nanoscale ceramic powdersmarket was worth over $3 billion in 2010, according to BCC Research. Consumption is forecast to rise to almost $3.5 billion in 2011 and nearly $5.5 billion in 2016, representing annual growth of about 10% over that five-year period. Ceramic powders account for the largest market segment, or 83% in 2010 reaching sales of $2.5 billion, and are expected to increase to $4 billion by 2016 at annual growth of almost 8.5%.


 Top 5 Ceramic Products Exporters *In US$ Bn - 2010



Regional Market Share


The EU and the US are the most prominent regional players in the global container glass industry, with market value growing in both regions thanks to recent economic recovery. Developing countries, such as India, are also gaining ground in the container glass segment of the glass manufacturing industry, and may grow to challenge leaders in developed countries.


China is a leading player in glass manufacturing for solar market purposes, with close to 45 glass manufacturers in operation. The market is driven by segments such as photovoltaic glass and ultra clear glass. China is the number-one ultra clear rolled glass manufacturer in the world, with capacity exceeding 600,000 tons in 2009, according to a report from analysts at private firm Research in China.


China also holds a dominant market position in the ceramic industry, with annual growth of almost 19% in the five year period ending 2010, according to Research in China. China represents 70% of global ceramic output, representing some $236 billion in ceramic output value. The country’s ceramic industry is expected to see sales worth over $101 billion and revenue of $6.6 billion in 2011, remaining the leading exporter worldwide.


The US advanced ceramics market is expected to grow at 6% annually to a value of over $14 billion in 2015, according to research from Freedonia. Growth is driven by economic recovery, greater demand for electrical equipment and motor vehicles, and the need for environmental solutions involving ceramic membranes and filters. Electric components are the leading segment of this market, representing 25% of advanced ceramics demand.


  EU 27 Total Production of Bottles, Flacons, Jars for Food and Beverages  (2005 - 2010)



Market Trends


With an increasing number of consumers opting for environmentally friendly options, the glass container industry will be driven by demand for recyclable products. Meanwhile, the market segment of advanced and nanoscale ceramic powders will continue to show 10% annual growth through 2016. Government legislation favoring green energy will also drive demand for solar energy mirrors and cells.



Leading Industry Associations




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Parent industry:  Chemical and Material

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