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US demand to rise 3.8% annually through 2019
Demand for abrasives in the US is forecast to rise 3.8 percent per year through 2019 to $6.9 billion. Gains will decelerate from those seen over the 2009- 2014 period, when abrasives demand grew quickly as a result of recovery from an unusually low, recession-impacted 2009 base. Solid growth in durable goods manufacturing will support increased abrasives consumption through 2019. In addition, rising market share for higherpriced goods such as superabrasives will strengthen demand in value terms.
Key durable goods market to track industry growth
Durable goods manufacturing represents the largest market for abrasive products, accounting for three fourths of the total in 2014. Demand for abrasives in the durable goods market is expected to advance in line with the overall average rate through 2019. The strongest outlooks for abrasives in durable goods manufacturing are expected in markets such as furniture and wood products, machinery, and nonmetallic mineral products, all of which are expected to see solid gains in manufacturing output through 2019. Cleaning and maintenance applications, which represent the second largest source of abrasives demand after durable goods, are expected to grow at a more modest pace, reflecting the maturity of abrasives use in many typical cleaning activities. Construction applications are expected to be the single fastest growing market for abrasives, benefiting from rapid gains in construction spending, but this market will remain a small portion of the total.
Bonded abrasives to register fastest gains
Nonmetallic abrasives accounted for the vast majority of abrasive products in 2014. Within nonmetallic abrasives, coated products are the largest category, followed by bonded abrasives and loose abrasive grains and powders. Bonded abrasives will post the fastest gains through 2019, in part due to the fact that this is the category containing the highest concentration of superabrasive materials, which are expected to expand their market share. Greater consumption of superabrasives (e.g., manufactured diamond) will also benefit coated abrasives and loose abrasives to some degree. Metallic abrasives will post slightly below average growth, reflecting the relative maturity and lack of emerging technology for products in this category. Competition from alternative materials such as polyester nonwoven pads will also curb consumption of metallic abrasive products.
Silicas, superabrasives among top growing materials
Demand for abrasive raw materials will advance slightly slower than demand for abrasives through 2019, reflecting the prevalence of low-cost foreign imports that will restrict price growth for many abrasive materials. Among the fastest growing abrasive raw materials will be specialty silicas, which are seeing increased use in the chemical mechanical planarization (CMP) process for semiconductor manufacturing, as well as in whitening toothpastes. Superabrasives, which include manufactured diamond and cubic boron nitride (CBN), will also see fast growth. The hardness of these materials allows them to offer super performance characteristics, but their use has historically been restricted by high prices. Improving production processes are expected to make these products less expensive, thereby benefiting demand for these materials in abrasive applications.
However, these expected price declines will limit the pace of growth in value terms, even as volume demand grows.
This upcoming industry study, Abrasives presents historical demand data (2004, 2009 and 2014) plus forecasts (2019 and 2024) by raw material, product and market. The study also considers market environment factors, details industry structure, evaluates company market share, and profiles US industry players.
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