Global Market Outlook on Strontium
Strontium occurs in two forms naturally: Carbonate Strontianite and Celestine. Carbonate is the most desired form of ore for use, however, volume of deposits has made Carbonate Strontianite uneconomical. Celestine, which primarily occurs in sulfate form is abundantly available and is the most economical out of the two.
Strontium Production and Consumption – Market Pattern
Combined production of Carbonate Strontianite and Celestine derivatives has been saturated in the last decade. It has been in the limits of 330,000–370,000 MT, on the back of slow demand growth.
- The US and many other economies have been posing a weakening pattern in demand, where the demand has reduced significantly in the last decade. This is due to the decline in CRT display devices where strontium was extensively used earlier
- Emergence and growth of the electronics sector in China and Asia has led the market shift from Western economies to Asia. With a steady increase in LCD, LED screens demand for Strontium declined. However, there is a steady increase in strontium derivative production base in Asia, especially Asia. This has led to increased regional consumption in APAC
Strontium Carbonate – Market Dynamics
More than 70 percent of the Strontium derivatives market is constituted by Strontium Carbonate. Supply is concentrated primarily in China, Mexico, Spain, and Japan. Few small volume producers are present in countries, like India, Korea, and the US.
Mexico and Spain are by far the most stable sourcing destinations for Strontium Carbonate, owing to two factors: volume available for export and feedstock availability.
- China has increased the Strontium Carbonate and Strontium derivatives capacity in the last decade. China now has more than 45 percent of the global Strontium Carbonate capacity. However, it is dependent on other regions, like Mexico, Spain, and Iran, for feedstock supply, as its domestic reserves output is limited
- Strontium Carbonate produced in China and Asia is predominantly consumed domestically or within Asia, owing to the presence of strong electronic and other industries that consume Strontium Carbonate
- Countries, like Spain, Mexico, produce high volume of Strontium derivatives depending mainly on export demand. For instance, Mexico exports huge volume of Strontium derivatives to the US