Overall nature of the global chromium market’s vendor landscape is highly fragmented and intense on the coattails of the occupancy of several key players worldwide. Degree of rivals among these players varies on the basis of product demand, distribution network, regulatory compliance, and technological innovations. For example, in North America the market is concentrated, whereas in Asia-Pacific excluding Japan the market competition is intense owing to presence of relatively larger number of players.
Major market players are now directing their focus toward product quality differentiation as well as affordable pricing structure. For maintaining their presence in the market, these players are making R&D investments associated with technologies of chromium production. A new report of Transparency Market Research lists key companies underpinning expansion of the global chromium market, which include Xinapse Systems Ltd., Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation, Samancor Chrome, Odisha Mining Corporation, MVC Holdings LLC, Kermas Group Ltd., and International Ferro Metals.
The report slates a run-of-the-mill growth for the global chromium market during the forecast period, 2017 to 2026. Circa US$ 18,000 Mn worth of chromium are envisaged to be sold worldwide by 2026-end.
Soaring demand from stainless steel industry to cater requirements of various end use verticals such as building & construction, manufacturing, and automotive, is expected to prevail as a key demand driver for chromium. This mineral accounts for approximately 20% of the stainless steel composition, and enhances the hardness and oxidation resistance of the metal, thereby preventing corrosion. Augmented demand for stainless will therefore have a positive influence on demand for chromium in the upcoming years.
A key trend influencing demand for chromium is rise in the production of non-met chromite, which further seeks huge adoption in chemical-grade chromite and foundry. Non-met chromite is the by-product obtained during metallurgical-grade chromium production. With the upsurge in demand for metal castings, majority of the metal manufacturing companies are focusing on incorporating foundry product manufacturing processes. This will further proliferate adoption of chromium in the near future.
Carcinogenic properties and price volatility of chromium are likely to endure as major challenges constraining its adoption. Chromium has been associated with severe effects on the human respiratory tract trailing prolonged exposure. Gastrointestinal & neurological issues, wheezing, shortness of breath, and coughing are other common irritations caused by chromium exposure.
Alloyed steel production is forecast to prevail as the fast-expanding application of chromium to account for over 20% revenue share of the market by 2026-end. However, the market revenue share of stainless steel production application of chromium will remain the largest over the forecast period. Revenues from chromium application in non-ferrous alloy production and refractory additives are set to account for roughly similar shares of the market during 2017 to 2026.
Metallurgical grade chromium is expected to dominate the global chromium market, in terms of revenues, during the forecast period. Revenues from metallurgical grade chromium are set to remain remarkably larger than those from refractory & foundry grade and chemical intermediary grade combined. In addition, sales of metallurgical grade and refractory & foundry grade chromium are envisaged to record a parallel rise through 2026.
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Asia-Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ) will continue to spearhead the global chromium market, with an estimated market revenue share of over 40% during 2017 to 2026. In addition, North America and Europe are also expected to gain significant revenue shares of the market through 2026. However, revenues from chromium sales in APEJ will remain significantly larger than those from sales in North America and Europe combined.