Mr. Shambhu Nath Jha, Research Head – Chemicals and Materials at Fact.MR discusses latest trends shaping Europe’s fumed silica marketplace
Fumed silica market is expected to grow at a modest pace in the coming years on the back of a steady stream of demand from end-user industries such as paints & coatings, adhesives & sealants, unsaturated polyester resins as well as healthcare & personal care. Also, increasing demand for water-based coatings and paints in construction and industrial applications continues to present lucrative revenue stream for fumed silica market.
North America continues to present a lucrative market for fumed silica wherein the presence of important manufacturers and expansion of production capacities accommodate a bulk of the demand. China with its second most lucrative market for paints and coatings continues to present significant demand for fumed silica.
In Europe, prominent manufacturers of fumed silica are engaged in the expansion of production capacities to accommodate regional demand and further leverage possibilities in the export market. With an extensive and sophisticated network of regulations and trade activities, Europe has a dynamic fumed silica industry wherein manufacturers are actively engaged in solidifying their global position in the market.
What are manufacturers doing to consolidate their position in the Europe fumed silica market?
Evonik, the fumed silica industry giant is headquartered in Essen, Germany. The region also has the presence of other leading players Wacker Chemie AG and Cabot Corporation. As Europe presents a unique landscape of chemical sector with zeal for innovation and sustainability. In a bid to accommodate the increasing demand for fumed silica in the region, leading players are engaged in expansion activities. For instance, Evonik has invested a hefty amount for the expansion of its fumed silica production capacity at Antwerp, Belgium wherein the production will become operational from 2019 summer. Wacker Chemie AG, headquartered in Munich is making efforts to expand global silicon capacity, for which it recently opened a production site in South Korea and planning production capacity enhancement in Zhangjiagang, China; Burghausen, Germany and Adrian, Mich.
Where in Europe the demand for fumed silica is concentrated?
Germany portrays significant demand for fumed silica and accounts for over one fourth of the regional consumption. The thriving auto industry and realigning construction sector in the country present significant demand for silicon rubber, paint & coatings, adhesives & sealants and unsaturated polyester resins. The UK, France, Italy and Spain follow suit Germany in terms of fumed silica consumption in Europe.
What is the application scope of fumes silica market in the region?
Europe with its strong automotive industry and mature construction market presents significant demand for industrial paints and coatings, adhesives, sealants and resins. For the manufacturing of silicone rubber and paints & coatings, demand for specialty silica such as fumed silica remains high in the region. Over half the demand for fumed silica is concentrated in the application of silicone rubber and paints & coatings.
What will be the impact of Brexit on the future growth trajectory of fumed silica market?
The proposal of Brexit has spurred a number of questions for the UK and non-UK EU members wherein the prospects made in the deal have met with intense scrutiny and pessimism from all directions. Major concerns related to the UK’s departure are economy, industry labor, trade tariffs and regulatory standards. While major chemical formulations and materials are traded between EU member states and the UK as well as cross member state boundaries, changes in the regulatory framework in the UK can lead to different trade tariffs post-Brexit.
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