Global Refractories Market is estimated to be worth USD 39,784.63 Million by 2030 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 4.80% between 2023 to 2030
The global Refractories Market plays a crucial role in various industries by providing essential materials that withstand high temperatures and harsh operating conditions. Refractories are non-metallic, heat-resistant materials that are used to line high-temperature process equipment, such as furnaces, kilns, and reactors. These materials are designed to endure extreme temperatures, corrosion, and abrasion, making them integral to the functioning of industries like steel, cement, glass, petrochemicals, and more.
Refractories are essential for industries that involve processes operating at elevated temperatures, where traditional materials would fail. They serve as a protective barrier, preventing the surrounding structure from succumbing to the extreme conditions within the equipment. The primary function of refractories is to retain their strength, shape, and integrity at high temperatures, ensuring the longevity and efficiency of industrial processes.
One of the key benefits of refractories lies in their ability to contribute to energy efficiency. By withstanding high temperatures, refractories help industries achieve optimal operating conditions, thereby enhancing the overall energy efficiency of processes. This not only reduces energy consumption but also minimizes environmental impact by lowering greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, refractories play a vital role in ensuring product quality by maintaining consistent and controlled temperatures during manufacturing processes. This is particularly crucial in industries like steel production, where precise temperature control is essential for the desired material properties.
The global Refractories Market has witnessed significant growth due to the expansion of industries dependent on high-temperature processes. As emerging economies continue to industrialize and modernize, the demand for refractories is expected to rise, driving market growth. Furthermore, ongoing technological advancements in refractory materials, such as the development of advanced ceramics and innovative manufacturing techniques, are contributing to the market's evolution.
Refractories Market Analysis by Form
The Bricks & Shaped segment of the refractories market comprises pre-formed materials like bricks and blocks. In 2021, the segment was valued at $16,797.25 million, and it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.60% from 2023 to 2030, reaching $25,147.38 million by 2030 The shaped bricks are specially made for particular kilns and furnaces and are generally machine-pressed. Furthermore, owing to its high use in metal and non-metal industries, the brick and shaped segment is likely to hold a significant market share. These materials are crucial for lining high-temperature industrial equipment, providing insulation and protection against extreme conditions in processes such as steelmaking, cement production, and glass manufacturing. Bricks are molded and fired to form specific shapes, optimizing their performance in diverse applications.
The Monolithics & Unshaped segment encompasses materials like castables and plastic refractories. Valued at $9,332.27 million in 2021, this segment is projected to grow at a CAGR of 5.14% and reach $14,637.25 million by 2030. The market value trend for Monolithics & Unshaped refractories displays a notable incline. The CAGR of 5.14% indicates a faster growth rate compared to the Bricks & Shaped segment, highlighting the increasing significance of these materials in various industrial applications. Monolithic and unshaped refractories constitute a vital segment within the global refractories market, offering versatile solutions for various high-temperature applications across industries. Unlike traditional refractory bricks and shapes, monolithic refractories are characterized by their unformed, single-piece nature. They are composed of granular materials, binders, and additives, allowing for easy installation and customization to suit complex shapes and linings. Monolithic refractories encompass a range of products, including castable, gunning mixes, ramming mixes, and plastics, providing flexibility in application and design for industries such as steel, cement, petrochemicals, and more.
Hence, Bricks & Shaped still holds the dominant position in the global refractories market. However, the gap is narrowing as the Monolithics & Unshaped segment experiences faster growth due to its advantages in installation, customization, and environmental impact. This trend, coupled with increasing demand in industries like glass and cement, indicates that Monolithics & Unshaped could potentially challenge the dominance of Bricks & Shaped in the future.
Refractories Market Analysis by Product
In 2021, clay segment is expected to dominate the market because of the cheaper price range of products and their durability and thermal resistance. Further, the easy availability of raw materials also helps to boost its demand in the forecast year. Clay products have long been fundamental components in the global refractories market, contributing to the construction of linings for high-temperature industrial processes. These products are derived from natural clay minerals and are widely utilized for their ability to withstand extreme temperatures, thermal shock, and corrosive environments. Clay refractories are a key category within the broader refractories market, providing essential solutions for industries such as steel, cement, glass, and non-ferrous metals.
Non-clay refractories represent a diverse category of materials within the global refractories market, offering a broad range of alternatives to traditional clay-based products. Unlike clay refractories, these materials are typically composed of minerals other than clay, such as alumina, silica, magnesia, zirconia, and chromite. Non-clay refractories play a crucial role in high-temperature applications across industries, providing thermal insulation, resistance to corrosion, and durability in environments with extreme conditions.
Non-clay refractories find diverse applications in industries where high-temperature processes are integral to production. In the steel industry, alumina and magnesia refractories are commonly used to line furnaces, ladles, and tarnishes, providing protection against extreme temperatures and corrosive slags. The glass industry utilizes silica refractories in the construction of furnaces and tanks, benefiting from their resistance to thermal shock. In the cement industry, magnesia and alumina refractories are employed in kiln linings, enduring the harsh conditions of cement production.
Refractories Market Analysis by Alkalinity
In 2021, acidic & neutral refractories is expected to dominate the market due to their resistance to high temperature and acidic slag conditions along with widespread applicability which help to boost its demand in the forecast year. Acidic and neutral alkalinity are critical characteristics in the realm of refractories, determining the suitability of these materials for specific industrial applications. Refractories are often exposed to environments with varying chemical compositions, and the choice between acidic or neutral alkalinity is crucial for ensuring optimal performance and durability. The distinction lies in the type of refractory material used and its ability to resist chemical reactions in different conditions.
Acidic refractories are designed to withstand acidic environments and are composed of materials that resist the corrosive effects of acidic compounds. Common acidic refractory materials include silica (silicon dioxide) and fire clay. These materials are suitable for applications where the refractory lining is exposed to acids, such as in the chemical industry. Acidic refractories exhibit excellent resistance to acidic slags and gases, making them ideal for environments where corrosion is a significant concern.
Basic alkalinity is a fundamental characteristic in the design and selection of refractories, representing materials that are specifically formulated to resist the corrosive effects of basic or alkaline environments. Refractories with basic alkalinity play a crucial role in industries where materials processed generate alkaline slags or where exposure to alkaline conditions is a common occurrence. These materials are essential for applications such as steelmaking, where the production of steel involves the use of basic refractories to withstand the chemical composition of steel slags.
Basic alkalinity refractories find primary applications in industries where basic or alkaline conditions are prevalent. The steel industry is a significant consumer of these refractories, as they are used to line converters, electric arc furnaces, and other equipment where exposure to basic slags is common. In the non-ferrous metals industry, basic alkalinity refractories are utilized in processes involving the extraction and refining of metals such as aluminum and copper. Additionally, they find applications in industries where materials with alkaline compositions are processed, such as certain segments of the chemical and cement industries.
Refractories Market Analysis by End-Use Industry
Iron and Steel Industry is the highest revenue generator in market. The iron and steel industry accounted for the largest share in the global refractories market This is because this is the world's largest user of refractory materials, accounting for almost two-thirds of the total consumption. The applications of refractories in iron and steel industry are in internal lining of furnaces for making iron and steel, for heating steel before other procedures, and to hold and transport metal. Thus, growing steel and iron industry around the world is driving growth of the segment.
According to World Refractories Association, 70% of the refractories are sold to the steel industry and the rest 30% of the share is covered by other end users like power generation, cement, glass, petrochemical, chemical, and paper & pulp. The symbiotic relationship between the refractories and steel industries is pivotal for the growth and resilience of the iron and steel sector. As technological advancements continue and cross-industry collaborations become more prevalent, the combined efforts of these sectors contribute to a sustainable and dynamic future for iron and steel production on a global scale.
According to the World Steel Association, the production of crude steel for 63 countries in the month of February 2023 was 142.4 million metric tons (Mt). It indicates the demand prospect prevailing worldwide, which is instrumental in driving steel production activities. The top steel-producing countries in the month of February 2023 included China (80.1 Mt), India (10 Mt), Japan (6.9 Mt), the United States (6 Mt), and various others. In September 2022, Essar announced its plans to invest USD 4 billion in building and commissioning a four-mtpa steel complex in Saudi Arabia by 2025. In the European Union, a mild steel demand recovery continues while improving economic sentiment and investment conditions. However, uncertainties in the political landscape related to the refugee crisis and Brexit are some of the risks to the financial situation. The demand for steel in the region is anticipated to grow slowly over the forecast period.
The demand for refractories is increasing due to an increase in demand for various industries like the automotive industry, energy and chemical industry, and others. The rise in demand for iron and steel in the automotive industry due to the surge in EVs is adding to the growth of the refractories market. According to the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d’ Automobile (OCIA), in 2021 quoted approx. 80.15 million vehicles were produced around the world, witnessing a growth rate of 3% compared to approx. 77 million vehicles in 2020, thereby enhancing the consumption of refractories for the manufacturing of vehicle body parts.
The Non-ferrous metals industry is a significant end-user in the global refractories market, relying on refractory materials to withstand extreme temperatures and harsh conditions involved in the production and processing of metals such as aluminum, copper, zinc, and nickel. Non-ferrous metals are essential components in various industries, including automotive, aerospace, electronics, and construction. The non-ferrous metals end-user segment of the refractories market encompasses a diverse range of applications where specialized refractories are crucial for maintaining the integrity of high-temperature processes.
Refractories play a critical role in different stages of non-ferrous metals production. In aluminum smelting, for example, refractories line the reduction cells where alumina is electrolytically reduced to produce molten aluminum. In copper production, refractories are used in the smelting furnaces and converters, while in zinc production, they line roasting and smelting furnaces. The unique properties of refractories, including thermal insulation, resistance to corrosion, and durability, make them essential for ensuring the efficiency and longevity of equipment in non-ferrous metals processing.
The glass industry is a significant end-user in the global refractories market, relying on refractory materials to withstand the extreme temperatures and harsh conditions involved in the production of glass. Refractories play a critical role in various glass manufacturing processes, from the melting of raw materials in furnaces to the shaping and forming of the final glass products. The specific demands of the glass industry require refractories with properties such as high-temperature resistance, thermal insulation, and resistance to chemical corrosion.
Refractories find diverse applications in different stages of glass manufacturing. Furnace linings, where raw materials like silica, soda ash, and limestone are melted at high temperatures, require refractories that can withstand continuous exposure to extreme heat. Refractory linings in glass tanks and forehearths are essential for maintaining the molten glass at the desired temperature and preventing heat loss. The ability of refractories to resist the corrosive effects of glass melts and provide thermal insulation contributes to the efficiency and longevity of equipment in the glass industry.
The cement industry is a key end-user in the global refractories market, relying on refractory materials to withstand the extreme conditions of cement manufacturing. Refractories play a vital role in various stages of the cement production process, including the calcination of raw materials, clinker formation, and the operation of cement kilns. The harsh operating environments, characterized by high temperatures, abrasion, and corrosive conditions, necessitate the use of high-performance refractories to line kilns, preheaters, and other equipment critical to the production of cement.
Refractories are essential in cement manufacturing for several critical applications. In cement kilns, refractories line the interior walls to withstand the intense heat generated during the calcination process, where raw materials are transformed into clinker. Preheaters, cyclones, and other high-temperature areas of the cement plant also utilize refractory linings to resist abrasion, thermal shock, and chemical corrosion. The durability and thermal insulating properties of refractories contribute to the efficiency and longevity of equipment in the cement industry.
Refractories also find application in waste incineration facilities, where the combustion of waste materials requires materials capable of withstanding extremely high temperatures. The linings of incineration furnaces and reactors must endure thermal shock and aggressive chemical environments. Refractories used in incineration facilities are chosen for their ability to provide thermal insulation, resist corrosion from acidic by-products, and maintain structural integrity under harsh conditions.
The refractories market in these diverse end-use industries is influenced by dynamic factors such as advancements in technology, changes in energy consumption patterns, and evolving environmental regulations. Ongoing trends include the development of refractories with improved thermal efficiency, longer service life, and reduced environmental impact. Innovation in formulations, incorporating advanced ceramics and sustainable manufacturing practices, aligns with the broader trend of industries seeking energy-efficient and environmentally friendly solutions.
Refractories Market Analysis by Region
The North America market is expected to grow significantly during the forecast period. Increasing demand from end-use industries in North America is driving the regional market growth. The growth of the refractories market in North America is attributed to the increasing demand for refractories in the iron and steel industry. The region has a significant presence of iron and steel manufacturers, which are driving the demand for refractories. Additionally, the increasing construction activities and infrastructure development in the region are also contributing to the growth of the refractories market. Furthermore, the increasing use of non-ferrous metals, such as aluminum and copper, is also driving the demand for refractories in the region. The automotive industry in North America is also expanding, which is further contributing to the growth of the refractories market. Moreover, the U.S. Refractories market held the largest market share, and the Canada Refractories market was the fastest growing. market in the North American region.
United States: The undisputed leader in the North American refractories market. This dominance is driven by several factors: Large and diverse industrial base: The US has a strong and diversified industrial base, including steel, cement, petrochemicals, and glass, all of which require refractories for high-temperature applications. Advanced technology and R&D: US companies are at the forefront of refractories technology and invest heavily in research and development, leading to the production of high-performance and innovative materials. Abundant raw material resources: The US has significant reserves of raw materials like magnesite and silica, which are crucial for refractories production. Mature market with established infrastructure: The US refractories market is mature and well-developed, with a strong network of manufacturers, distributors, and service providers. In 2022, the United States produced 88 million tons of steel and 29 million metric tons of pig iron. The country is one of the top five crude steel producers, producing between 70 and 97 million metric tons from 2020 to 2022.
Canada ranks second in the North American market. Its position is driven by: Strong steel and construction industries: Canada's well-established steel and construction sectors create a steady demand for refractories. Growing environmental awareness: Canadian companies are increasingly adopting environmentally friendly refractories to meet regulatory requirements and sustainability goals. Close proximity to the US market: Canada benefits from its proximity to the large US market, facilitating trade and collaboration.
The European Union (EU) is the second largest steel producer in the world, after China. In 2022, the EU produced 7.2% of the world's crude steel. The EU's steel industry is a leader in environmental sustainability and innovation. It employs around 310,000 people. 2021: The EU produced 10% of the world's crude steel, which was around 1.96 billion metric tons. 2022: The EU produced 7.2% of the world's crude steel. Average: The EU produces around 170 million tonnes of crude steel per year. On the other hand, the increasing adoption of end products in several applications such as construction, automotive and others will further create numerous opportunities that will lead to the growth of the refractories market. Additionally, the spread of the global pandemic COVID-19 has left an adverse impact on the economic growth of the developed and developing countries across the European region and the same has left an impact on the growth of the refractory materials market across the region. Due to the complete nationwide lockdown in the European countries, a significant downfall has witnessed in the production and sales of refractories markets.
Germany is expected to dominate the market due to increase in prevalence for non-metallic minerals industry and growing infrastructure in the country. The country section of the report also provides individual market impacting factors and changes in regulation in the market domestically that impacts the current and future trends of the market.
Germany The undisputed leader in the European refractories market, holding a share of approximately 25%. This dominance is driven by several factors: Strong industrial base: Germany boasts a robust and diverse industrial base, including automotive, steel, and chemical industries, all of which rely heavily on refractories. Advanced technology and innovation: German companies are at the forefront of refractories technology, renowned for their innovative products and commitment to research and development. High-quality raw materials: Germany possesses access to high-quality raw materials like magnesite and bauxite, crucial for refractories production. In all years recorded, Germany was by far the leading crude steel producer, accounting for more than one-quarter of crude steel produced within the European Union.
France ranks second in the European market. France follows closely behind, with a significant share driven by its strong presence in the cement and glass industries. France's strength lies in its cement and glass industries, which are major consumers of refractories. French manufacturers have a long history in these sectors, developing specialized products to meet their specific needs. Moreover, France's focus on quality and innovation has earned it a reputation for producing some of the most advanced refractories in the world. Strong Industrial Base: France boasts a robust industrial base across various sectors, including cement, glass, and ceramics. These industries are major consumers of refractories, contributing significantly to France's market share. Technological Innovation: French manufacturers have a long history of technological innovation in the refractories industry. This allows them to offer high-quality, advanced products that meet the specific needs of different industries. Government Support: The French government provides various forms of support to the refractories industry, including financial assistance, research funding, and access to raw materials. This support contributes to the industry's growth and competitiveness.
The Asia Pacific region is the largest market for refractories. This region is expected to continue to dominate the global refractories market. The Asia Pacific region is dominating the market share of global refractories market owing to the strong presence of numerous end-use industries. According to the World Steel Association, Asia Pacific produces more than 60% of global steel, with China accounting for over half of that. This is the most important component in ensuring Asia Pacific's supremacy in the global marketplace. The existence of significant cement and non-ferrous metal industries in the region also contributes to the region's dominance. However, North America region is anticipated to grow over the next few years owing to the increasing demand from the different industry applications, particularly the iron and steel and glass industries. In addition, the growing demand for the product for use in the aerospace industry is likely to propel the market in the region forward.
The demand for Refractory products in the Asia Pacific region is high due to factors such as:
- Fast-growing consumption of refractories in power generation.
- Non-ferrous metal
- Paper & pulp
The Latin American refractories market is expected to grow steadily. The Latin American refractories market is a diverse and growing sector, driven by a number of factors including Strong industrial growth: The region's manufacturing and infrastructure industries are experiencing significant expansion, creating demand for refractory materials used in furnaces, kilns, and other high-temperature processes. Increasing awareness of environmental regulations: As environmental regulations become more stringent, there is a growing demand for refractories that are energy-efficient and have lower emissions. Investment in infrastructure: Governments across Latin America are investing heavily in infrastructure projects, creating opportunities for the refractories industry to supply materials for construction and maintenance of roads, bridges, and other structures. Largest market in Latin America: Brazil accounts for the largest share of the Latin American refractories market, driven by its strong industrial base and ongoing infrastructure development projects. Key industries: The steel, cement, and petrochemical industries are the major drivers of demand for refractories in Brazil. Domestic production: Brazil has a well-established refractories manufacturing industry, with several major domestic players. However, there is also a significant amount of import of refractories, particularly high-tech materials. Future outlook: The Brazilian refractories market is expected to grow at a steady pace, driven by continued industrial expansion and infrastructure investment.
The Middle East and Africa (MEA) refractories market is a rapidly growing market driven by several factors, including Expanding construction and infrastructure projects: The MEA region is experiencing a construction boom, with major investments in infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, airports, and buildings. This has led to increased demand for refractories, which are used in the construction of kilns, furnaces, and other high-temperature equipment. Growing iron and steel industry: The iron and steel industry is a major consumer of refractories, and the MEA region is home to a number of growing steel producers.
Saudi Arabia is the largest refractories market in the MEA region,. This is due to a number of factors, including the country's large and growing steel industry, significant infrastructure development projects, and increasing environmental regulations. The demand for refractories in Saudi Arabia is expected to continue to grow in the coming years, driven by government initiatives to diversify the economy and reduce dependence on oil. South Africa: South Africa is the second largest refractories market in the MEA region. The South African refractories market is driven by the country's mining and steel industries, which are major consumers of refractories. The demand for refractories in South Africa is expected to grow in the coming years, driven by increasing investment in infrastructure projects and the expansion of the mining industry. Rest of MEA: The rest of the MEA region, including countries like the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Egypt, The demand for refractories in these countries is expected to grow in the coming years, driven by infrastructure development projects, increasing urbanization, and the growth of the manufacturing industry. Increased demand for high-performance refractories: As environmental regulations become stricter, there is a growing demand for high-performance refractories that can withstand higher temperatures and longer operating times.
Refractories Market Driver, Restraint, Challenge and Opportunities Analysis
Growing Demand from Construction and Infrastructure Development:
One of the key drivers propelling the global refractories market is the increasing demand from the construction and infrastructure sector. The construction industry, particularly in emerging economies, drives the consumption of refractories for applications such as cement production and various high-temperature processes. As urbanization and infrastructure projects continue to expand globally, the demand for refractories in sectors like housing, commercial buildings, and infrastructure development is on the rise.
Expansion of the Steel Industry:
The growth and expansion of the steel industry represent a significant driver for the global refractories market. Refractories are integral to various stages of steel production, including the lining of blast furnaces, ladles, and converters. The ongoing development and modernization of the steel industry, especially in emerging economies, contribute to the increased consumption of refractories. As steel remains a vital material in construction, automotive manufacturing, and infrastructure projects, the demand for refractories is closely linked to the steel industry's expansion.
Technological Advancements and Innovations:
Technological advancements and innovations in refractory materials and manufacturing processes drive market growth. Ongoing research and development efforts focus on enhancing the performance, durability, and sustainability of refractories. Innovations include the development of advanced formulations, incorporation of nanotechnology, and the use of alternative raw materials. These technological advancements enable refractories to meet the evolving needs of various industries, improving efficiency and extending the service life of refractory linings.
Increasing Demand in Emerging Economies:
The rising demand for refractories in emerging economies, particularly in Asia-Pacific and Latin America, contributes significantly to market expansion. Rapid industrialization, infrastructure development, and increased manufacturing activities in these regions drive the need for refractories across multiple industries. The growing presence of steel, cement, and other high-temperature manufacturing sectors in emerging economies amplifies the demand for refractories, making these regions key drivers for the global market.
Environmental and Regulatory Challenges:
One of the significant restraints affecting the global refractories market is the increasing scrutiny of environmental and regulatory standards. The production and application of refractories often involve the use of raw materials that can have environmental impacts. For example, certain refractories may contain materials like chromite or alumina, which can raise environmental concerns. Additionally, regulatory changes related to emissions, waste disposal, and occupational health and safety standards can impact the refractories industry, leading to the need for adaptation and compliance, which may pose challenges for manufacturers.
The production of refractories entails the release of organic particulate matter (PM) and harmful gases, including sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), fluorides, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Various stages of the manufacturing process, such as crushing, grinding, calcining, and drying, contribute to PM emissions, while firing and tar & pitch operations release gases and VOCs, respectively.
Competition from Alternative Materials:
The global refractories market faces competition from alternative materials, including advanced ceramics, composites, and monolithic materials. In certain applications, these alternatives may offer specific advantages such as better thermal shock resistance, reduced weight, or improved performance in corrosive environments. As industries explore and adopt alternative materials, refractory manufacturers encounter the challenge of demonstrating the unique benefits and cost-effectiveness of traditional refractories to maintain market share.
Fluctuating Raw Material Prices:
The refractories market is sensitive to the prices and availability of raw materials such as magnesia, alumina, silica, and chrome. The volatility in the prices of these raw materials can pose challenges for refractory manufacturers in terms of cost management and pricing strategies. Fluctuations in commodity markets, geopolitical factors, and supply chain disruptions can lead to uncertainties in the cost structure, affecting the overall competitiveness of refractories in the market.
Growing Demand in Renewable Energy Sector:
An emerging opportunity for the global refractories market lies in the growing demand within the renewable energy sector. Refractories play a crucial role in high-temperature applications associated with renewable energy technologies such as concentrated solar power, biomass energy, and geothermal power generation. The increasing emphasis on sustainable and clean energy sources presents a significant avenue for refractory manufacturers to provide specialized solutions that can withstand the extreme conditions encountered in these applications.
Increasing Focus on Sustainability:
The global emphasis on sustainability across industries opens doors for refractory manufacturers to offer environmentally friendly solutions. The development of sustainable refractories, using recycled or alternative raw materials and adopting eco-friendly manufacturing processes, aligns with the growing demand for greener practices. As industries seek to reduce their environmental footprint, refractory solutions that contribute to sustainability goals can gain a competitive advantage in the market.
Infrastructure Development in Emerging Economies:
Emerging economies, particularly China and India, represent a significant growth opportunity for the global refractories market due to their rapid urbanization and industrialization. These trends are fueling demand for refractories in various sectors, including Construction: The rapid construction of new buildings, including residential, commercial, and industrial complexes, requires refractories for lining furnaces, kilns, and other high-temperature equipment used in cement and concrete production. For instance, China's infrastructure spending is high compared to other countries. In 2021, China's infrastructure spending was 4.8% of its GDP, which was 10 times higher than the United States. The Chinese government is planning to spend $1.018 trillion on infrastructure projects in 2023. This is a 0.5% increase from 2022. The money will be spent on projects such as: Transport infrastructure, Energy generation, Industrial parks, and others. This investment will significantly drive the demand for refractories in various construction projects. Apart from that, The Indian government is promoting infrastructure development through various initiatives, such as the "Make in India" program, which encourages domestic manufacturing and industrial growth. These initiatives are expected to further fuel demand for refractories in various sectors.
Examples of Infrastructure Projects Utilizing Refractories: High-Speed Rail Networks: Both China and India are investing heavily in high-speed railway networks, requiring refractories for lining tunnels and bridges. Renewable Energy Projects: The growing focus on renewable energy in both countries creates a demand for refractories in solar power plants and wind turbines. For instance, China is the world's largest producer of solar energy. In 2023, China is expected to install more than 300 gigawatts of solar and wind capacity. China plans to build 97 gigawatts of large-scale solar and wind projects in sparsely-populated regions like Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang.
Recycling of refractory materials:
Referring to recycled materials derived from used refractories, termed refractory grogs, presents a promising avenue within the industry. Two distinct categories of refractories exist: high-quality and low-quality. The feasibility of using recycled refractories hinges on the original refractory's quality, with 100% utilization achievable for high-quality recycled refractories, while only 0-30% of those from low-quality refractories find application. The escalating costs of raw materials and freight, coupled with environmental concerns, have heightened the impetus for companies to explore sustainable alternatives in refractory applications.
Several factors have catalyzed the shift towards refractory recycling. From 2008 to 2010, the global refractory industry experienced a period of volatility, during which specific raw materials became scarce due to high demand and limited supply. Increasing pressure on companies to embrace environmental responsibility and reduce carbon footprints has been a driving force. Stringent regulations, including higher taxes on landfill sites and emissions, as well as proposed tax incentives, aim to incentivize companies to enhance their waste recycling endeavors. The economic downturn in the early part of 2009 adversely affected refractory sales, compelling manufacturers to strategize cost reduction to maintain market share. Consequently, refractory recycling emerges as a viable means for manufacturers to trim production costs, presenting lucrative opportunities for the growth of the refractories market.
Volatility in Raw Material Prices:
The refractories market is highly sensitive to the prices and availability of raw materials such as magnesia, alumina, silica, and chrome. The volatility in commodity markets, geopolitical factors, and supply chain disruptions can lead to uncertainties in the cost structure. Fluctuating raw material prices pose challenges for refractory manufacturers in terms of managing production costs, maintaining competitiveness, and implementing effective pricing strategies.
Recent News in industry: Investments & Expansions, New Product Launches, Mergers & Acquisitions and Agreements, Joint Ventures, and Partnerships
- June 2023 – INTOCAST AG announced to acquire EXUS Refractories S.p.A, an Italy-based company named to upgrade a modern technological advancement in its production facility. This acquisition will help the company to strengthen its portfolio of refractory products
- April 2023 – RHI Magnesita announced to acquire the U.S., India, and Europe operations of seven refractories, specialist suppliers of non-basic monolithic refractories with recorded revenue of USD 110 million and PBT of USD 12 million in 2022 with a market portfolio for various end-use applications across the global market. This acquisition will aim to bring innovative product categories and technological advancement to deliver a step change in consumer offerings.
- January 2023: RHI Magnesita GmbH announced the completion of its acquisition of Dalmia Bharat Refractories Limited's (DBRL) Indian refractory business is expected to add almost 300,000 tons of capacity annually to the existing production footprint in India, enhancing the company's business in the studied market.
- December 2022: Shinagawa Refractories Co. Ltd (Shinagawa) acquired the Brazilian refractory business and alumina-based wear-resistant ceramics business from Compagnie de Saint-Gobain S.A. (Saint-Gobain) in the United States. This acquisition was expected to help the company to enhance its product portfolio in the coming years.
- April 2022: Saint-Gobain acquired Monofrax, based in New York, and a manufacturer of fused cast refractories. This strategic move was expected to strengthen the company's position in the American market.
Refractories Market Segmentation
- Bricks & Shaped
- Monolithics & Unshaped
By End-Use Industry
- Iron & Steel
- Non-Ferrous Metals
Key Companies Profiled in the Report Refractories Market
- RHI Magnesita
- POSCO Future M Co., Ltd
- KAEFER SE & Co. KG
- Beijing Lier High-Temperature Materials Co
- HarbisonWalker International
- Intocast Group
- Alsey Refractories Co
- Magnezit Group
- Rest of Europe
- Rest of South America
Middle East and Africa
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
- Rest Of MEA