"The ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is re-shaping everything from global economies to product categories, pricing, and stock availability to the consumer behavior. The final report is updated to address the impact of COVID-19 on the Magnesium Raw Materials market.
Trusted Business Insights is tracking mining/oil and gas, transportation, employment services, travel arrangements, and the leisure and hospitality sector closely as they are likely to be the hardest-hit sectors. Utilities, local pharma, diagnostics, consumer goods and durables, agro chem and fertilizers, and telecommunications are the sectors that will be weathering the COVID-19 storm and most likely come out relatively unscathed. Interdependencies of sectors are factored in our research report on the Brucite market."
Brucite was first described in 1824 and named for the discoverer, Archibald Bruce (1777–1818), an American mineralogist. Brucite is the mineral form of magnesium hydroxide, with the chemical formula Mg(OH)2. It is a common alteration of periclase in marble; a low-temperature hydrothermal vein mineral in metamorphosed limestones and chlorite schists. Brucite is an uncommon mineral primarily known to mineral collectors, and specialists studying contact metamorphic and ultramafic rocks. It is environmentally friendly, flame retardant, factors that contribute to its commercial demand. It also represents a potential ore source for magnesium, which in itself, is in great demand.
The present brucite market for flame-retardants is quite small, but it is steadily increasing. Brucite has the advantage of not containing CO2, hence, none is released during calcination. Given the demand for minerals and metals, high-grade brucite deposits may become exploration targets of significant interest over the next few years. Brucite is classified either as a magnesium metal ore or as an industrial mineral.
Brucite is a fibrous mineral that occurs in massive form, as well as tabular crystals and platy, and even as rosettes at times. Depending on the color, the stone may be translucent with a pearly luster. The color spectrum of these minerals includes grey, blue, white, colorless, a brighter blue-green, pale green, red, pink, orangey-red, and bright yellow. Some colors are quite uncommon and are even said to be rare. These color variations are caused by the addition of various minerals that color the stones, such as manganese and iron. It is often found alongside or mixed with other well-known minerals such as aragonite, calcite, talc, magnesite, chrysotile, serpentine, and dolomite. Brucite has been found in several locations, including Spain, Turkey, the Czech Republic, South Africa, Thailand, Canada, Russia, the USA, and a newly found bright yellow-hued mineral discovery from Pakistan.
As an industrial mineral, brucite can be used in dead-burned magnesia and caustic production. This mineral also has multiple industrial uses, such as a fire and smoke retardant, a functional filler in plastic compounds, in carpet backing, as well as electric wire insulation. Brucite is also used in wastewater treatment. For example, it has been decided that these crucial minerals will be used as a neutralizing reactant in Britannia Mine’s effluent treatment systems. Other uses include dietary magnesium supplements, agricultural feed, specialty cement preparations as a chemical addition to portland cement, and in odor control.
Segmentation of the global brucite market is achieved under the following – grade-type, end-use, and region. Based on grade-type, the market is further categorized into food grade and technical grade. In terms of end-use, the market is segmented into flame retardant, pharmaceuticals, electric wire insulation, and other end-uses. The global brucite market is segmented region-wise into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America, and the MEA respectively.
Among the grade-type segments, the technical-grade segment is expected to account for the majority revenue shares of the global market and is projected to register the highest CAGR over the forecast period. Among the end-use segments, the flame retardant segment is expected to index a relatively higher CAGR in the foreseeable future.
Segmentation of the Global Brucite Market based on grade-type, end-use, and region
Segmentation of the Global Brucite Market: Based on Grade Type
- Food Grade
- Technical Grade
Segmentation of the Global Brucite Market: Based on End-Use
- Flame Retardant
- Electric Wire Insulation
- Other End Uses (environmental protection, pulp, and paper, water treatment)
Segmentation of the Global Brucite Market: Based on Regions
- North America
- Asia Pacific
- South America
- Middle East & Africa
Drivers for the Global Brucite Market
There is a strong demand for brucite from several end-use sectors, for preventing accidents and fire casualties. Several countries are shifting towards fossil fuel-based power plants, resulting in a greater demand of brucite for desulphurization application purposes. This inorganic compound is also a vital component in antacids and laxatives. Generally produced as a liquid suspension, syrups, chewable tablets, and capsules in various flavors, brucite is also used in antiperspirant underarm deodorants. Brucite is a naturally-sourced mineral that is integral for the optimum functioning of the human body, as such, this factor is resulting in the overall growth of the global brucite market.
On account of the subsequent rise in fire casualties, stringent fire safety regulations have been imposed in government and commercial infrastructures on a global scale. Due to its low cost-price characteristic, numerous industries are leveraging brucite as a flame retardant. Additionally, the compound offers superior properties over conventional aluminum trihydrate such as greater thermal stability at controlled dispersion and higher temperatures. Usage of flame retardants has been growing owing to flourishing global end-use industries such as paints & coatings, as well as the plastics industry.
Tateho Chemicals recently, have developed the ECOMAG® magnesium hydroxide flame retardant by making full use of crystal-control technology and composite technology. Plastic products are prevented from burning easily by the use of various flame retardants, due to the demand for plastic products with flame resistance. However, because environmental concerns such as dioxin contamination have received news coverage, the use of harmful flame retardants is being restricted. Hence, Tateho offers the ECOMAG® Z-10 non-toxic and highly flame-retardant filler that meets the demands of the times.
This, in turn, is raising concerns regarding the effects of these extracts on human health. Brominated flame retardant chemicals are banned in Asia, Europe, and North America due to neurodevelopmental toxicity, and its corresponding effects on the thyroid gland. Although the adoption of brucite in flame retardant applications contributes a meager sum to global market value, the benefits of low corrosiveness and toxicity will increase the usage of brucite as an alternative additive.
Owing to its self-buffering nature, brucite is considered ideal for wastewater treatment equipment owing to its alkalinity in water. Moreover, the chemical is innately safe to handle. Obstacles, with respect to scaling, are commonplace in various wastewater treatment plants across the globe. Increasing focus on maintaining high-quality water standards is accenting to an increase in investments towards wastewater treatment processes among several industries in the immediate future, including chemical plants, power plants, and municipal waste treatment centers. Brucite, coupled with its economic advantages, offer technical superiority over its alternatives. The usage of brucite in wastewater treatment plants accounts for about a quarter of the total market value.
Rapid industrialization, especially in emerging economies, is boosting the revenue growth of the global brucite market. Its exceptional properties such as high thermal conductivity, low electrical conductivity, etc., is increasing its applicability in refrigeration components, thermocouple tubes, brake linings, cement, and heating elements. Growth in the ceramics, nonferrous metal, and chemical industries, coupled with the increase in the production of glass is also expected to positively influence the global brucite market.
Restraints for the Global Brucite Market
- Excessive consumption of magnesium may cause diarrhea and other side effects, such as vomiting and cramping. As such, the consumption of magnesium hydroxide is restricted. This factor is expected to hinder the market growth of the brucite industry. Moreover, a high level of magnesium hydroxide in the blood leads to irregular heart rate, weakening of muscles, difficulty in breathing, as well as mood swings. Side-effects such as these are expected to negatively impact market growth.
- The enforcement of stringent regulations by respective governments on the usage of magnesium hydroxide in the food industry, as a result of side effects such as allergic reactions, skin rashes, itching, and loss of appetite in humans, is another factor that is restraining the brucite market.
- The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is adversely affecting industries all over the world, and the brucite market is no exception. Citing an exponential rise in confirmed cases of COVID-19, governments in several countries have enacted nationwide lockdowns and social distancing regulations to break the trajectory of the virus. As a consequence, market players are shutting down production/manufacturing operations, either totally or partially, in the short term, due to the scarcity of raw materials and workforce labor. However, the global brucite market is slated for fast recovery post the containment of this crisis, as various end-use industries will be looking to resume business operations as quickly as possible. There is expected to be an anticipated surge in the demand for flame retardant applications in various industries.
Opportunities for the Global Brucite Market
- Caustic soda has been the standard component as a cellulose protector and alkali in the mechanical bleaching process, and as a bleaching agent in the pulp and paper industry. Alternatively, industries are turning to brucite, due to greater alkalinity and its cost-effectiveness in pulp and paper bleaching. Although the pulp and paper industry is witnessing a slight decline in the developed markets due to the replacement of paper by digital media, there has been steady industry growth in the developing markets, fueled by booming packaging regional sectors. This factor will work in favor of brucite manufacturers. Various industry players are entering into collaborations and expanding to manufacture brucite as per the specific needs of the pulp and paper industries.
- The refractory brick is another growing application of magnesia in the steel industry. The brick is impregnated with carbon to offer excellent corrosion resistance properties, The demand for products like this is propelling revenue growth of brucite industry. Moreover, magnesia-based sprayable and castables are broadly used as a basic refractory lining for steel transfer applications. Therefore, the rising demand for magnesium hydroxide from the steel industry in the form of refractory bricks is expected to boost the brucite market growth over the forecast timeframe.
- Rising usage of magnesia powder as a filling for electrical heating materials is propelling market growth. Fused magnesia has an excellent combination of thermal conductivity and electrical resistance, and it forms a layer between the element and the outer sheath. Moreover, magnesia is also used as mineral insulation across cable applications. The aforementioned application of magnesia is expected to augment the revenue growth of the global brucite market.
- Technological innovations such as the use of large diameter magnesium hydroxide, which is significantly low in ionic impurities, as an improved solution for insulation performance is expected to present market players operating in the global brucite market with new opportunities for revenue growth.
- Respective governments are contemplating to increase the production of magnesium for use in high-temperature automotive applications across the globe. Also, increasing investments towards brucite manufacturing is expected to present lucrative opportunities for newer market entrants, as well as existing players. The identification and further penetration of untapped markets are expected to increase the market presence of companies in this industry on a global scale.
Global Trends in the Brucite Market
- An emerging trend that has a direct impact on the dynamics of the brucite industry is the increasing demand for an ultrafine grade of magnesium hydroxide. The smaller the particle size of the magnesium hydroxide flame retardant, the better the effect. As the particle size of the magnesium hydroxide powder decreases, its specific surface area increases, and the surface properties change, which helps to improve the mechanical properties of the product. Therefore, when compared with other products, ultra-fine granularity is more conducive to improving the market competitiveness of enterprises.
- MagShield UF magnesium hydroxide is a chemically precipitated grade of magnesium hydroxide with a median particle size of 1.0 micron and is produced from magnesium-rich brine and dolomitic lime. It is designed for critical, non-halogen flame retardant applications such as select wire and cable insulation and other thin section applications.
- Recent trends have shown that companies are strengthening their position in the market through mergers & acquisitions of other businesses with core competencies in the magnesium hydroxide manufacturing sectors. This approach is beneficial as it allows companies to improve their research & development efforts, and to magnify their customer bases by expanding sales and distribution networks.
- Magnesium Producers NEDMAG and TIMAB MAGNESIUM have announced a strategic partnership for the development and commercialization of Magnesium Hydroxide in Marine Gas Scrubber Systems.
- Nabaltec Ag, established its first fully own subsidiary, Nabaltec Asia Pacific K.K. in Tokyo, Japan to be engaged in marketing and sales of its entire product folio in the Asia market.
- Growing investments towards the storage and production of magnesium hydroxide by manufacturers are projected to foster positive market growth over the forecast timeframe.
- Exempli Gratia, Nedmag Industries in Veendam, The Netherlands, expanded its magnesium hydroxide storage capacity. With the expansion of the magnesium hydroxide storage capacity, Nedmag forecast to meet the increasing demand for its magnesium hydroxide, especially from the pulp and paper industry.
Global Brucite Revenue (US$ Mn) Comparison by Grade Type (2014 Vs 2020)
In 2020, the technical grade segment is estimated to account for US$ 398.7 Mn, and account for a revenue share of 74%
The food-grade segment is estimated to account for a 26% revenue share in 2020 and is expected to register a CAGR of 4.0% during the forecast period.
Global Brucite Revenue (US$ Mn) Comparison by End-Use (2014 Vs 2020)
|Electric Wire Insulation
The use of brucite in the flame retardant segment is estimated to contribute 37% revenue share in 2020 and is expected to register at a CAGR of over 6.0% during the forecast period
Similarly, the use of brucite in the pharmaceuticals segment is projected to be valued at US$161.2 Mn, with a revenue share of 30.0% in 2030, and register a CAGR of over 5.3% from 2021 to 2030
Global Brucite Revenue (US$ Mn) Comparison by Region (2014 Vs 2020)
In 2020, region-wise Asia-Pacific is the leader with 33% of global market revenue, followed closely by Europe and North America with 29% and 24% respectively. While South America and Middle East Africa amount to 13% of the global pie.
The following Brucite manufacturers are analyzed in this global report: