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Market Size and Trends

The refractories market is estimated to be valued at US$ 34.13 Bn in 2024 and is expected to reach US$ 44.72 Bn by 2031, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.9% from 2024 to 2031.

Refractories Market Key Factors

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Refractories are heat-resistant materials that are widely used in various industries such as iron and steel, cement, non-ferrous metals, glass, and others to line furnaces, reactors, and kilns. The market is expected to witness robust growth over the forecast period. This can be attributed to increasing steel production driven by infrastructure development projects across the globe. Additionally, rising energy demand along with expansion of the power and cement industries will also augment the adoption of refractories. However, volatility in raw material prices may hamper the revenue generation of refractories manufacturers to a certain extent.

Rising steel production globally

The refractories market is highly dependent on the production and consumption of steel worldwide. Steel is one of the most widely used engineered materials with applications across various end-use industries such as construction, automotive, machinery, etc. Refractory materials have widespread applications in steel production as linings for furnaces, reactors, and ladles used in steel making. They protect the steel making equipment from deterioration at high temperatures and absorption of impurities in molten steel.

Continued economic growth in developing countries is expected to fuel higher the demand for steel to support the growing infrastructure and construction sectors. Countries like China and India are anticipated to spearhead the global steel demand given their huge population and long term urbanization and industrialization goals. Both nations have outlined ambitious targets for infrastructure development which will directly translate to higher steel consumption. Additionally, other Asian countries and regions including Southeast Asia are witnessing a construction boom which bodes well for sustained steel demand.

In the western world as well, steady recovery in construction activity along with capacity additions in the automotive industry are positive indicators. The need for modernization and replacement of aging infrastructure in developed economies presents new avenues. Advanced economies are also focusing on renewable energy generation which utilizes steel. The overall momentum in steel consuming industries underscores robust demand outlook for refractories into the foreseeable future. Major steel makers have lined up large brownfield and greenfield expansion projects that require a steady refractory supply.

Growing demand from non-ferrous metal industries

Apart from steel, refractory materials are critical to several other high temperature metal manufacturing processes. Non-ferrous metals like aluminum, copper, zinc, nickel and titanium have wide end-use applications ranging from transportation, packaging to machinery. Their production typically involves complex metallurgical reactions at high temperatures well above 1,000 degrees Celsius. Under such harsh operating conditions, refractory linings are indispensable to shield the core processing equipment.

Aluminum production has been on an upward growth path supported by the exponential increase in its usage across different sectors over the last decade. Stringent environmental regulations are also inducing shift towards aluminum from other metals. On the other hand, consumption of copper continues to be driven by electrical industry, construction, and consumer electronics.

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