Nitric acid is fuming, colorless, and highly corrosive liquid that is widely used across various Industries. It is highly toxic in nature and cause severe burn injury. They are primarily used in the production of fertilizers such as nitro-phosphate, ammonium nitrate, and ammonium phosphate.
The Nitric Acid market in Australia is estimated to account for US$ 843.4 Mn in terms of value and 2152.8 Thousand Tons in terms of volume by the end of 2018
Growing demand of nitric acid for the production of ammonium nitrate, which is widely used as explosives in the mining industry is primarily fueling the market growth of nitric acid.
Growing demand for fertilizers in the agriculture industry coupled with expanding chemical industry is further expected to boost the market growth of the nitric acid. Moreover, increasing mining exploration activities is also expected to augment the market growth of nitric acid
Western Australian region dominated the global Nitric Acid market in 2018, accounting for 33.1% share in terms of volume, followed by New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria
Figure 1. Australia Nitric Acid Volume Market Share (%), By Region, 2018
Increasing focus of government towards the production of substitute of ammonium nitrate explosives in mining industry is expected to hamper the market growth of nitric acid.
Environmental concern associated with the use of ammonium nitrate as it releases various toxic gases upon explosion which can cause serious health and environmental issues is further projected to curb the market growth of nitric acid.
Increasing usage of nitric acid in the metal refining process of separating precious metal from metalliferous materials by dissolving metalliferous materials using hydrolysis process in nitric acid solution is expected to offer as an immense growth opportunity to the market growth.
Rising replacing of chlorine with nitric acid across various countries in precious metal refining process as chlorine is highly toxic in nature is another major factor to boost the market growth of nitric acid. For instance, According to the World Gold Council, around 3,924 ton of gold was refined in 2014 around the globe. Australia accounts for over 15% share in world economic gold sources and is the second-largest producer of gold, accounting for nearly 10% of overall global gold output.
Figure 2. Australia Nitric Acid Market - Opportunity Analysis
Market Trends/ Key Takeaways
Increasing focus of manufacturer on expanding the existing production facilities of the ammonium nitrates in order to cater to rising demand for ammonium nitrate from mining industry is one of the major trend that has been observed in the market. For instance, CBSP Limited is an Australia-based manufacture of ammonium nitrate. In 2014, the company completed the commissioning of ammonium nitrate facility (260 kilotons). The associated nitric acid production capacity was 210 kilotons.
Figure 3. Nitric Acid Market - Value Chain Analysis
Explosives application was valued at US$ 810.4 in 2018 and is forecast to reach a value of US$ 1609.2 by 2027 at a CAGR of 8.0 % between 2019 and 2027. Nitric Acid manufacturers also have integrated production facility for ammonium nitrate (AN) and explosive products in Australia.
Figure 4. Australia Nitric Acid Volume Market Share (%), By End-use, 2018
Nitric Acid is one of the important raw material for the production of ammonium nitrate (AN) as well as calcium ammonium nitrate which is further used in the manufacturing of fertilizers. Nitric acid is also used in manufacturing nitrobenzene, which is further used in production of explosives. Other major applications of nitric acid include adipic acid, nitrochlorobenzenes and toluene diisocyanate (TDI) which is further used in the chemical industry for uranium processing, metal treatment and precursors for many chemical compounds.
Other compounds manufactured from nitric acid include potassium nitrates and nitro phosphates that are further used in manufacturing phosphate fertilizers. Nitric Acid is available in two major forms Fuming (90% of above concentration) and Non-Fuming (Below 90%). In terms of Grades, Nitric acid is mostly available in industrial grade for chemical industries. Specialty grades are used are generally used for laboratory and pharmaceutical purpose.
Australian Nitric Acid production is dominated by three main manufacturers, namely – Orica Limited, Intec Pivot Limited and Wesfarmers Chemicals, Energy & Fertilizers. The players have integrated manufacturing units for manufacturing Ammonium nitrate from nitric acid which is further utilized for manufacturing explosives. Westfarmers Chemicals, Energy and Fertilizers expanded its nitric acid production capacity by 260 kilo tons for manufacturing Ammonium Nitrate to be used in fertilizers and explosive industry in 2014.
The companies in Australia are also involved in development of new explosive products from Ammonium Nitrate. For instance, in 2015, Incitec Pivot Ltd introduced a new explosion emulsion named as – TITAN 9000 for reducing the blast fumes and minimize the air pollution caused due to mining activities.
Ammonium nitrate (AN) is also used in manufacturing explosives and blasting agents but the governments around the world have imposed statuary regulations on the use of ammonium nitrate as an explosive.
Rising demand of Nitric Acid for fertilizers industry across the globe is expected to drive ammonium thiosulphate market growth over the forecast period. For instance, according to the FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization (U.S.), the Australia demand for fertilizer nutrients including sulfur, nitrogen, potash, and phosphates raised to 200,552 Kilo tons in 2018 from 197,190 Kilo tons in 2017.
Key features of the study:
“*” marked represents similar segmentation in other categories in the respective section.