Bismuth Market 2017–2027
Bismuth is a brittle and white crystalline compound with slight pink color and is widely used across alloys, fire extinguishers, cosmetics, and ammunition. It has a low melting point which makes them ideal for manufacturing alloys as they can be used to mold in any shapes. Pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, industrial pigments, metallurgical additives, and fusible alloys are some of the major application of bismuth. It is also used in the chemicals, metallurgical, cosmetics, and paints & coatings, and electronics as it is least toxic heavy metals. Commercially it is available in the form of pellets, needle, ingots, and powder. Moreover, it can be used in place of leads across various range of applications.
The global bismuth market is projected to reach around US$ 500 million by the end of 2027, in terms of revenue, growing at CAGR of 6.2% during the forecast period (2019 to 2027).
Growing application of bismuth from the automotive industry in rust protection coatings, pearlescent coating, brake linings, and clutch pads are expected to foster the market growth of bismuth. According to the Coherent Market Insights, the global automotive market is currently growing at a 4-5% growth rate. The global automotive production was estimated to be approximately 80 Million units in 2015, and is projected to cross 100 Million units by 2017. Therefore, increasing automotive sales around the globe are anticipated to fuel the demand for bismuth, thus accelerating market growth.
Growing production of tungsten as bismuth is also extracted from the tungsten ores and is also obtained as a by-product after lead processing is expected to fuel the market growth of bismuth. According to the Coherent Market Insights, around 80% of the global refined bismuth production is estimated to be from lead refining and the lead market size is oversized in terms of volume as compared to bismuth market volume, so a small increase in the global lead production results in a substantial rise in bismuth production. This the factor is expected to fuel the market growth of bismuth.
Regionally, Latin America dominated the global bismuth market in 2018, reporting 45% market share in terms of revenue, followed by Europe and North America, respectively.
Figure 1. Global Bismuth Market, Revenue Share (%), By Region, 2018
Limitation on use of bismuth in the pharmaceutical industry due to the wide availability of cost-effective alternatives such as magnesia, alumina, and antibiotics. Moreover, low availability and high prices of bismuth are some of the other factors that are restricting the use of bismuth in the pharmaceutical industry. Therefore, restriction on the use of bismuth in the pharmaceutical industry is expected to hinder the market growth of bismuth over the forecast period.
Strict government policies pertaining to environmental concern are leading to the shutdown of bismuth smelting across various regions. Moreover, consumption of bismuth can leads to kidney and liver damages and sometimes large doses can lead to fatal. Furthermore, it may also lead to skin reactions, anemia, a black line on gums, and other discomforts. Such side-effects associated with the usage of bismuth is projected to restrict the market growth of bismuth over the forecast timeframe.
Growing usage of bismuth in the battery system is expected to offer lucrative growth opportunities over the forecast period. For instance, in January 2018, a team at University of Kentucky have patented a liquid metal battery using tin and bismuth electrodes, with molten zinc chloride, for grid-scale energy storage. Moreover, LMB batteries have the ability to support small-scale power grids linked to wind and solar power particularly. They are made up of relatively simply from commodity metals and so don’t rely on economies of scale to reduce costs.
Increasing usage of bismuth as a thermoelectric material across cooling and power generation system is anticipated to provide potential growth opportunity to the market of bismuth. Bismuth telluride is basically used as a thermoelectric product as it is topological insulator and have thickness-dependent physical properties. Therefore, the emerging application of bismuth across the power generation and refrigeration system is estimated to accelerate the market growth of bismuth.
Figure 2. Global Bismuth Market – Opportunity Analysis
Growing usage of bismuth in advanced electronic products as it is highly diamagnetic naturally occurring material with a low melting point is gaining traction in the market. Bismuth is broadly used in advanced electronic products such as wearable technology and foldable computer screens. Bismuth ferrite nanoparticles have emerged as a promising material in such applications. Therefore, growing usage of bismuth products in the manufacturing of the advanced electronic product is propelling the market growth of bismuth.
An increasing number of new entrants venturing with high production capacity of bismuth in the market is projected to foster the market growth of bismuth over the forecast timeframe. According to the Coherent Market Insights, Fortune Mineral Inc. is a Canada-based the company under the development stage. Company is focusing on its NICO gold – cobalt – bismuth – copper project. Company is estimated to start its bismuth production by the end of 2017, with a capacity of 1,750 tons per year.
Figure 3. Global Bismuth Market, Revenue Share (%), By Derivative, in 2018
On the basis of derivative, in 2018, oxides accounted the largest market share of 30% in terms of revenue, followed by metals and bismuth salicylates, respectively.
Key players operating in the global bismuth market are Hunan Jinwang Bismuth Industry Co. Ltd., Hunan Shizhuyuan Nonferrous Metals Co., Ltd., Hunan Huaxin Rare & Precious Metals Technologies Co., Ltd., Hunan YuTeng Nonferrous Metals Co., Ltd., Nui Phao Mining Company Ltd., Met-Mex Peñoles, S.A. de C.V., and 5N Plus Inc.