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Limestone Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

Limestone Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

  • September 2021
  • 178 pages
  • ID: 6155628
  • Format: PDF
  • Mordor Intelligence LLP

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The limestone market was valued at 780,622.95 kilo metric tons in 2020, and it is expected to register a CAGR of 3.50% during the forecast period, 2021-2026.

The COVID-19 outbreak negatively affected the economic growth in various countries. Countries such as China witnessed impacts in the first quarter of 2020, while other countries witnessed major effects from the second quarter of 2020. With the rising number of COVID-19 cases, the construction industry was immensely impacted globally due to the difficulties with material supply chain disruption, labor shortages, and city-wise shutdown of construction sites. Moreover, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, steel production also declined during 2020, as the manufacturers reduced their operations in European countries. Such factors have impacted the market for limestone in applications, such as steel production and construction.

Key Highlights
Over the medium term, increasing demand from the construction industry, along with rising steel production in the global market, is proving to be the key driver for the global market. The construction industry uses limestone for walls and floors in buildings.
On the flip side, the negative economic effects of COVID-19 and the CO2 emission factor from agricultural liming are expected to hinder the growth of the market studied.
The Asia-Pacific region is expected to dominate the market, and it is also likely to witness the highest CAGR during the forecast period.

Key Market Trends

Steel Manufacturing and Other Industries to Dominate the Market

Limestone is used as a slag former in iron and steel manufacturing. Limestone, with low silica and alumina, is preferred for use in steel manufacturing, as these elements will need additional flux to neutralize them. Furthermore, additional heat is required to keep the additional slag in a fluid state.
The two key steel production routes, namely the integrated steelmaking route and the electric arc furnace route, require around 270 kg limestone and 88 kg limestone, respectively, for manufacturing 1000 kg of crude steel.
Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon, in which the carbon content is up to 2%. Steel finds diversified applications, ranging from the fabrication of needles and usage in construction to the production of tools and oil tankers.
Steel serves as the most important alloy, finding diversified applications in numerous industries. Some of the crucial industries that use steel are building and construction, electrical equipment, household appliances, mechanical equipment, metal products automotive, and other transportation.
According to the World Steel Association, the global crude steel production decreased to 1,878 million ton in 2020, which increased very slightly compared to 1,874 million tons in 2019. Steel is used in various end-user industries such as numerous end-user industries, such as building and construction, automotive, electronics, aerospace and defense, etc.
Moreover, in the period January to July 2021, the global crude steel production reached 1,165.3 million tons (~1.17 billion tons) which increased by 12.3% compared to the same period last year.
Owing to all the abovementioned factors, the market is projected to grow in the coming years post COVID-19 recovery.

India to Drive the Asia-Pacific Market Growth

India is a growing economy and holds great potential for future market opportunities. The country witnessed a decline in its GDP growth to around 5% in 2019, from 7.1% in 2018. The stagnation caused in the industrial output, greenfield investment, and flattened demand have led to a decline in the growth rate in the country. However, according to data released by the National Statistical Office, India’s GDP contracted by 7.3 % in 2020, owing to the lockdown imposed by the Government of India to curb the COVID-19 pandemic. GDP shrank by 24.4 % in the April-June 2020 quarter, followed by a 7.4% drop in Q2. With a 0.5% increase from September to December, it returned to positive territory.
The construction industry in the country witnessed a growth of around 7.1% in 2019. For the majority of 2020, India’s construction sector was dealing with a labor shortage and raw material supply chain problems, which caused India’s construction industry to decline by 12.4% in 2020. The Union Budget 2021-2022 of India has provided a significant boost to the country’s troubled construction industry, with a budgeted capital investment of USD 75.8 billion, a 34.5% increase over last year’s budget. The construction industry is predicted to rebound by 14.5 % in 2021, with the government focusing on infrastructure to support economic growth.
The residential construction industry is going through major structural changes, with increasing construction of residential societies and high-rise building construction, rather than independent houses and bungalows. To support the UDAN scheme, the government has also planned to develop 100 more airports across the country by 2025, which is likely to further boost construction activities over the next five years.
India is the world’s second-largest producer of steel. The steel production in the country has been increasing at a rapid pace owing to the soaring demand from the automotive and infrastructure sectors in the country, along with governmental initiatives (such as the National Steel Policy), which is supporting the growth of steel production in India.
In 2020, India’s steel consumption was 88.5 million metric ton (MT). After falling 13.7 % in 2020, India’s steel demand is predicted to rise 19.8% in 2021, the highest rate among the top ten consuming countries, according to the World Steel Association (WSA).
Additionally, the production of steel in the country is expected to double by 2031, while a growth rate of about 1.8% was recorded in 2019. Such targets of the country are expected to increase the demand for limestone from the steel industry in the future.
Therefore, considering such market trends, the limestone market is likely to hold huge growth opportunities in India over the forecast period, once the country revives its operations, which have currently been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Competitive Landscape

The limestone market is partially consolidated. In terms of market share, few of the major players currently dominate the market. Key players in the limestone market include Imerys, CARMEUSE, Graymont Limited, Mineral Technologies Inc., and Lhoist Group, among others.

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