The cautious optimism surrounding silicon carbide (SiC) as it joined the global economy in its tenuous 2010 rebound was it seems, well-advised. While some markets and regions (such as photovoltaic cells and China, respectively) have shown signs of promising growth for the ultra-hard solid phase mineral, others have weakened significantly, with demand dropping off or even becoming obsolete.
With a global production of just 1.5m tonnes in 2010 (Research and Markets: China Silicon Carbide Industry Report, 2010-2011), it is a fistful of producers that account for silicon carbide production, with approximately 70% of production coming out of China.
Elsewhere, producers prospects and plans contrast quite drastically depending on region: some, such as India-based Carborundum Universal Ltd, are earmarking significant expansion plans, while others, such as South Africas Sublime Technologies Pty Ltd, are lamenting poor demand, insufficient to meet the companys capacity. Overcapacity Geordie Osler, CEO of Sublime Technologies...