Global Market Outlook on Precipitated Silica

  • The current installed capacity of precipitated silica is more than sufficient to meet the downstream demand. Most of the major players have been adding capacities in the recent years to cater to the rising need from the end-use segments

Solvay, the leading manufacturer of precipitated silica, started its 80,000 MTPA HDS project in Gunsan, South Korea in April 2015, followed by an 85,000 MTPA HDS project in Poland in July 2015silica price forecast

  • Evonik increased its precipitated silica capacity by 30 percent between 2010 and 2014 to cater to the surge in downstream demand. The capacity at its US Chester, Pennsylvania facility increased by around 20,000 MTPA in 2015. It also expanded its specialty silicas (includes precipitated silica – SIPERNAT and CARPLEX) facility in Ako, Japan by around 50 percent in 2015. Evonik is also planning to build a HDS plant in Americana, Brazil, which is expected to come online in 2016 (capacity has not been disclosed). This is a landmark project, as this is the first HDS plant in South America
  • PPG Industries (not into oral care) is also planning to increase its precipitated silica production capacity at its Delfzijl, Netherlands manufacturing plant by more than 15,000 tons per year and its Lake Charles, Louisiana plant by more than 10,000 MTPA

Precipitated Silica: Demand by Downstream Applications 

  • The precipitated silica market is poised to grow at a CAGR of 5.8 percent up to 2019, predominantly driven by the rubber and tire industry, which together constitute to more than 60 percent of the downstream demand
  • The use of precipitated silica in tire treads is expected to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emission by 45 million MTPA in the US alone. The use of precipitated silica is projected to grow at a CAGR of 12 percent in the next few years
  • The rising need for eco-friendly alternatives in the automotive industry will fuel the adoption of “Green Tires” in North America and the Asia Pacific region. New tire labelling regulations in the EU, Japan, Brazil, and South Korea are also expected to propel precipitated silica demand
  • Demand from other rubber applications (non-tire) in manufacturing conveyor and transmission belts, rice rollers, PVC sheets, shoe soles is also expected to be on the higher side
  • The next major driver is expected to be the toothpaste market, as increasing awareness about oral hygiene is expected to fuel the demand from this industry
  • Other downstream applications include its use as anti-caking and free flowing in agrochemical and other industrial applications

Sodium Silicate: Global Market Analysis

  • The sodium silicate market is expected to be in balance for the forecasted period, with capacity sufficient to meet the various downstream industries, including as a raw material for precipitated silica
  • The demand for sodium silicate is expected to grow at a CAGR of 2.5 percent for the next few years, owing to the saturation of certain downstream industries, like paper & pulp, adhesives and detergents in developed regions, like North America and Europe
  • North America and Europe are projected to show low growth rates of 1.1 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively. This is expected to be balanced by the demand for sodium silicate in other downstream industries, like fire proofing, elastomers & binding, and drilling mud. The good run of the auto industry in Europe and North America is also expected to propel the demand for precipitated silica, which is used as a filler in tires
  • Asia Pacific is expected to drive the demand for sodium silicate, with a CAGR of 4.2 percent, owing to rising need from the end-use segments, like construction, electronic, automobiles, consumer goods, and healthcare in India and other South East Asian countries. This is evident as the recent capacity additions have been in China