Amherst, Massachusetts -- The global market for precipitated silica will grow by 4.7 percent a year from 1.3 million tonnes last year to 2.1 million tonnes in 2015, according to a new report by Notch Consulting Group.
The report, World Markets for Precipitated Silica 2006, forecast market value for the chemicals, including sodium aluminium silicates, to reach about $2500 million (â‚¬1950 million) in 2015, equivalent to $1.22 per kilogram.
The chemicals industry consultancy predicted that rising demand from the tyre industry would be a major driver behind overall growth for precipitated silica, continuing a trend of the past decade.
This growth, Notch said, would primarily be driven by greater demand for highly dispersible silica (HDS) in fuel efficient tyres, winter tyres and high performance tyres.
''Growth will benefit from greater demand in the OE passenger tyre sectors of the US and Japan and in the replacement market overall,'' the consultancy said.
According to Notch, 31 percent of total demand for precipitated silica in 2005 came from the tyre sector, 27 percent from non-tyre rubber, 11 percent from dentifrice, 11 percent from the combined food, agricultural feed, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals sector, seven percent from paints, five percent from plastics and four percent from paints, coatings and inks.
The consultancy said the global precipitated silica industry was dominated by five leading suppliers - Degussa of Germany, Rhodia of France, US-based PPG Industries and Huber Engineered Materials and Tokuyama/OSC Group, a joint venture between Tokuyama of Japan and OSC Group of Taiwan.
Together, these five companies controlled more than 75 percent of world capacity.
World Markets for Precipitated Silica 2006 is 292 pages and can be purchased from the Notch Consulting Group website for $4950 (â‚¬3861).