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Global Zirconium Industry

Global Zirconium Industry

  • January 2021
  • 310 pages
  • ID: 90562
  • Format: PDF
  • Global Industry Analysts


Table of Contents


Timely market intelligence is paramount in these uncertain times!

We launched an impact survey to update this project with timely insights during 2020. Update frequency will depend upon evolving market conditions and executive opinions. Our participants are executives driving strategy, marketing, sales and product management at competitive companies worldwide. All updates during the rest of the year are complimentary to clients!

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- Mines Have Always Been Hotspots for Infectious Diseases. COVID-19 Disrupts Operations & Upends Mining Business Fundamentals. Zirconium Consumption Nosedives by -14.9%
- The global market for Zirconium is expected to slump by -14.9% in the year 2020 and thereafter recover and grow to reach 1.1 million metric tons by the year 2027, trailing a post COVID-19 CAGR of 3.1% over the analysis period 2020 through 2027. Amid ongoing rampage of COVID-19 pandemic, it requires very little speculation to measure the pandemic’s impact on discrete and process industries. The impact on manufacturers will mean crunch on capital resources; workforce layoffs/reduction and loss in productivity; supply chain disruptions; difficulties with funding; and increase in cybersecurity risks and fraud. Unlike IT services where work is being carried out remotely via internet and cloud platforms, for the manufacturing industry, plant activities and production cannot be carried remotely and therefore remains worst affected. The slower economic activity means reduced demand for industrial and consumer goods and lower manufacturing orders. Plant closures both full and partial are expected to continue into the coming months. Manufacturers, especially automotive producers with complex supply chains will be hard hit as transportation, trade and movement of goods continue to remain crippled. Social distancing norms are being strictly implemented with manufacturers under pressure to reduce worker density in factories. This will require proactive investments in automation technologies such as collaborative robotics, 3D manufacturing, autonomous materials movement, and industrial internet of things (IIoT).
- However, access to financial resources and maintaining cash-flow liquidity will remain key challenges during this period. Several vectors of manufacturing have been severely impacted except for production of critical public healthcare products such as drugs, gowns, masks, gloves, hand sanitizers, ventilators and other hospital ICU equipment. With the commercial aerospace industry collapsing under the travel bans and restrictions, aircraft manufacturing is set to receive the worst ever setback sending knock-on effects across the upstream supply chain. Without government intervention and financial support, several low cost airline companies in developed and developing countries are expected to file for bankruptcies, directly impacting fleet expansion plans and new aircraft procurements. With consumers not seen as likely to spend on automobiles anytime soon, automobile demand and production will decline impacting profitability and revenues of manufacturers including job shops handling activities under a contractual basis. With reduced manufacturing, demand for raw materials in the manufacturing supply chain is also impacted. The mining industry has been negatively impacted, feeling the knock-on effects of a slumping manufacturing industry and a devastated global economy. Mineral commodity prices worldwide in 1st quarter 2020 declined for most metals with the exception of gold which increased 12.8% during the period. For the same period, prices of zinc, steel, copper, aluminium, lead, nickel and iron ore plummeted by 19.2% 18.1%, 17.2%, 16.8%, 15.5%, 14.8%, and 8.7% respectively. Several mines have and still remain closed as mines represent infection hotspots given poor ventilation in mines and close proximity living conditions of workers in camps.
- Zirconium is ranked 18th among the most abundant elements found in the earth’s crust. The metal has an atomic weight of 91.22, boiling point at 4377°C (about 7911°F), and melting point of about 1852°C (about 3362°F). Zirconium alloyed with zinc turns magnetic at temperatures below 35 K. Zirconium in reactor-form does not contain hafnium. Zirconium and Zirconium r-alloys feature exceptionally high affinity for hydrogen, and are able to withstand up to 0.7% atomic percent 64 wppm in solid solution at 300 degree C. Zirconium offers superior welding properties in comparison to some of the more common materials of construction including steel alloys and aluminum alloys. A low coefficient of thermal expansion is the main reason for the metal’s low distortion during welding. Zirconium mill products are found in four principal grades: 702, 704, 705, and 706. They are formed, bent and punched on standard shop equipment with a few modifications and special techniques. Grades 702 (unalloyed) and 704 (Zr-Sn-Cr-Fe alloy) sheet and strip are bendable on conventional press-brake or roll forming equipment to a 5t bend radius at room temperature and to 3t at 200° C. Grades 705 and 701 (Zr-Cb alloys) are bent to a 3t and 2.5t radius respectively at room temperature and to about 1.5t at 200° C. In the post COVID-19 period, stable growth is predicted driven by increasing consumption of ceramic tiles and other ceramics, which represent the largest end-use application for Zirconium. Zirconium based ceramics are not only capable of withstanding attack from molten metal, organic solvents, acids as well as alkalis but also remain high temperature resistant for longer period under severe mechanical stress. Other factors expected to benefit the market prospects include increasing urbanization and the resulting demand for Zirconium-based sophisticated products such as high quality ceramic tiles, sanitary ware, table ware, and eco-friendly walls and windows, among others; emerging application as a strong and reliable material for dental and orthopedic implants; and steady demand for Zirconium metal, zirconia, and Zirconium-based chemicals and metals in various industries. Further, maturing long term contracts, increasing popularity of zircon flour, emergence of innovative applications, as well as vertical integration in the Zirconium market are some of the on-going trends in the market.

Select Competitors (Total 67 Featured) -
  • Allegheny Technologies, Inc.
  • ASM Inc
  • Astron Ltd.
  • Foskor Zirconia (PTY) Limited
  • Iluka Resources Limited
  • Imerys Fused Minerals Murg GmbH
  • Kenmare Resources plc
  • Luxfer Holdings plc
  • Oxkem Limited
  • Richards Bay Minerals
  • The Chemours Company
  • TiZir Limited
  • Tosoh Corporation
  • Tronox Limited
  • Zhejiang Jinkun Zirconium Industry Co., Ltd.
  • Zircomet Limited

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