Specialty Silica Supply & Demand in China being updated


     China has emerged during the past 10-15 years as one of the main leaders in both production and consumption of many materials including precipitated silicas (white carbons), silica gel, colloidal silica, and fumed silica, a business now worth more than US$2.5 billion a year globally.

     In China demand for these materials is still growing strongly due to the end uses including rubber products such as sports shoes, tires, automotive and industrial parts.

     The development of niche end-use markets in the electronics, rubber, and other industries served by specialty silica producers has otherwise helped to sustain overall growth levels in China and overseas.

     In order to sustain the growth and profitability of their specialty silica business units, some producers of these materials have broadened their product offerings through acquisitions and new product development efforts.

     The opportunities for specialization are many. They can be seen in the development of new technologies, such as lapping slurries for chemical mechanical planarization (CMP), to new markets, such as inkjet papers and specialty paper.

     The specialty silicas business continues to expand globally with major players in the specialty silicas business have been extending their reach, building plants in Asia.  A major motivation for this activity has been to serve enduse markets that have migrated to these regions in pursuit of lower manufacturing costs. The shoe industry is a good example of this migration  the demand for precipitated silica,

     which is the main reinforcement in shoe rubber. 

     Asia  is now the leading region for specialty silica consumption, with demand approaching $900 million in 2003. The margins in specialty silicas, however, are under pressure in all products and in most markets. There is rivalry among existing competitors is high across all products. It is increasingly important for silica producers to understand their competitive position. 

     We CNMIA international division and Golden Resources now assist in this activity and hopefully will finish within 4 weeks.