Refractories market to grow by nearly 11% to 2017

By Mike O'Driscoll
Published: Friday, 26 July 2013

China remains key player; leading topics to be discussed in Shanghai this September

A new report has forecast that world refractories production will increase from 41.5m tonnes to 46m tonnes by 2017.

China’s influence remains strong both as a major producer and user of refractories, as well as a world supplier of key refractory minerals such as bauxite, magnesia, graphite, fused alumina, and silicon carbide – to be discussed at China’s Industrial Minerals & Markets: New Horizons, New Mindsets, 23-25 September 2013, Shanghai.

Driving the demand for refractories will be the steel industry, which accounts for around 70% of world refractories consumption.

The new market report, published by Materials Technology Publications, also acknowledges the introduction of new higher quality refractories with longer in-service life cycles as steering the future direction of the global refractories industry.

The use of longer-lasting refractories is leading to reductions in consumption per tonne of steel, with the rates varying according to geographic region: North America, Europe and Japan presently consume 8-10kg of refractories per tonne of steel.

China is the world’s largest refractories producer, estimated at 29.5m tpa and valued at $18.9bn. At present, China's specific refractory consumption level is much higher, estimated at about 23kg per tonne of steel.

However, these high specific consumption levels are set to drop considerably over the next five years as the steel industries within these developing countries adopt more sophisticated, higher purity and higher priced refractory minerals and advanced steelmaking practices.

China’s crude steel production for June 2013 was 64.7m tonnes, up by 4.6% compared to June 2012.

The cement industry is another important market for refractories. China's cement output increased by 9.7% year-on-year to 1.1bn tonnes for the first half of 2013.

The status of Chinese refractory minerals supply and the outlook for the Chinese refractories industry are among the topics for discussion at the upcoming IM Roundtable China’s Industrial Minerals & Markets: New Horizons, New Mindsets, 23-25 September 2013, Shanghai – EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT REGISTRATION CLOSES 31 JULY 2013 – registration and details.

Presentations confirmed include:

Evolution and change in Chinese raw material supply for refractories and its influence on future sourcing strategies

Richard Flook, Managing Director, Shinagawa Refractories Pty Ltd, Australia

Sourcing refractory minerals from China to the USA

John Carr, Coastal Consulting & Products Inc., USA & Ben Tangye, Refractories Pipeline, USA

Status and outlook for China’s refractories industry

Liu Jie Hua, Manager, Luoyang Refsource, China

Consolidation of amorphous graphite production in Chenzhou

Kelvin Hu, President, South Graphite Co. Ltd, China

Non-metallurgical bauxite supply and demand in China

Paul Adkins, Managing Director, AZ China Ltd, China

Tabular alumina: its rapid development and application in China

Jack Gao, Managing Director, Refmin Co. Ltd, China

Meeting demand for the brown fused alumina market

Bosai Minerals Group Co. Ltd, China

China’s magnesia industry outlook

Christopher Zhao, Assistant Director, Liaoning Special Resource Protection Office, China

The IM Roundtable will be followed by an optional field trip on 26-27 September 2013 visiting tabular alumina and refractories producer Zhejiang Zili Corp. at Shangyu, Zhejiang and a tour of the ancient city of Shaoxing – places are limited so please book early.

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