According to a new report published by Allied Market Research, titled, "Silicon Metal Market by Product type and Application: Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2020-2027,"
The global silicon metal market size was valued at $6.3 billion in 2019, and is projected to reach $8.9 billion by 2027, registering a CAGR of 5.5% from 2020 to 2027.
Silicon metal is a grey metallically lustrous metal that is used as an additive or a feedstock in the production of various materials. A major portion of silicon metal is currently used in the production of aluminum alloys. Silicon improves the hardness and strength of aluminum; it also reduces the weight of the alloy. Silicon metal is found in various compositions in steel, it increases strength and hardness of steel along with enhancing its magnetic properties. Through various chemical processes, silicon metal can be converted to silicone, a type of polymer that has numerous end-use applications. Other applications of silicon metal incudes the production of microchips, solar panels, battery materials, and ceramics.
The global silicon metal growth is driven by various factors, among which the demand for aluminum alloys stands out. The demand for aluminum alloys is expected to increase from the transport industry and the construction industry. However, the solar industry represents a major opportunity for the growth of the global silicon metal market. Silicon is a primary component in solar cells.
The global silicon metal market is segmented on the basis of the product type and application.
On the basis of the product type, the global silicon metal market is divided into metallurgical and chemical grade silicon metal. The metallurgical grade of silicon metal is majorly used in the automotive and construction industries.
On the basis of application, the aluminum alloy segment held the largest silicon metal market share in 2019. Silicon metal is added to aluminum to alter the structural characteristics of aluminum. Alloy made from silicon and aluminum is called as Silumin and is used in the automotive industry to produce light-weight vehicle components, which were traditionally made from steel or cast iron.
Asia-Pacific accounted for the highest market share in 2019 in the global silicon metal market. In Asia-Pacific, China is the leader in the smelting industry and uses silicon metal in its steel & aluminum alloy production. Further, the presence of well-established automotive and semiconductor industry in India, Japan, and China are some of the underlying factors responsible for the highest Silicon Metal Market share.
The global silicon metal market is consolidated with very few players that includes Anyang Wanhua Metal Material Co. Ltd., Dow Inc., Elkem ASA, Ferroglobe PLC, Henan ALOY New Material Co. Ltd., Hoshine Silicon Industry Co. Ltd., Liasa, Mississippi Silicon LLC, Shin-Etsu Chemical Co. Ltd., and United Company RUSAL.
Key findings of the study
- By region, Asia-Pacific is projected to grow at the highest CAGR of nearly 6.4%, in terms of revenue, during the forecast period.
- By product type, the metallurgical grade silicon metal segment held the largest market share in 2019. This grade of silicon metal is majorly used in the production of steel and aluminum.
- By application, the aluminum alloy segment held the largest market share in 2019. Silumin, the alloy of aluminum and silicon metal, has found a position in the transport and infrastructure sectors that is hard to replace.
Impact Of Covid-19 On The Global Silicon Metal Market
- The abrupt shutdown of operations in major economies severely impacted economic growth, thus, changing consumer spending patterns.
- The COVID-19 led to shortage of workforce in the mining industry, which led to a deficit of supply of quartz- the primary raw material for silicon metal production
- On the demand side, as a containment measure, the global manufacturing sector that included the automotive and infrastructure market had to be shut down for longer period, which lowered the demand for metals and alloys.
- Similar to the manufacturing sector, the global construction activities faced delays in execution due to non-availability of workforce and resources. This reduced the demand for aluminum alloy-based structural supports.
- China, the epicenter of the pandemic had to shut down its electronic OEMs and contract manufacturing, and focus on essential products. In Asia-Pacific, China is the largest producer and consumer of silicon metal. Hence, the disruption caused by COVID-19 plummeted the silicon metal production.
- The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the electronics industry and the entire supply chain, creating shortage of raw material supply.
- Silicone, a major application area of silicon metal, also faced similar demand & supply issues due to the pandemic.