Fluoride Action Network

Recovery in end-use sectors drives demand for fluorspar, according to new report

Source: Press Release: Global Industry Analysts, Inc. | August 5th, 2014
Industry type: Chemical Industry

Fluorspar or fluorite, a common name for calcium fluorite, is an extremely important mineral used in a plethora of industrial applications. Being the major source of element fluorine, fluorspar has been classified as critical raw material by the European Commission and as a strategic mineral by the United States. Acidspar or Acid grade fluorspar is used in manufacturing hydrofluoric acid that is in turn used as feedstock for manufacturing fluorine containing compounds including fluoropolymers and fluorocarbons. Metspar or metallurgical grade fluorspar is used in the production of steel, while a small proportion is used in the production of enamels and opaque glasses. Acidspar is used in a range of applications including production of fluorocarbons, in refrigeration, air conditioning, as a precursor to fluoropolymers and elastomers; and as an important catalyst for use in petroleum alkylation.

Fluorochemical production is a major application of fluorspar. Rising demand for fluorochemicals from various end-use industries is projected to drive demand for fluorspar. Fluorocarbons are primarily used as refrigerants in household air-conditioning, industrial refrigeration equipment, and as blowing agents. Global economic recovery and subsequent rise in the production of automobile, mobile phones, pharmaceuticals and steel and aluminum manufacturing, are helping spur demand for fluorochemicals. Refrigeration is an important end-use market for fluorochemicals. With pressure mounting to phase out ozone-depleting refrigerants, a rapid transition to eco-friendly refrigerant alternatives is underway, and demand for HFC blends and hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs) is expected to gain in the near future.

China ranks as both the production hub and as the leading consumer of fluorspar worldwide. Fluorspar production in other parts of the world declined sharply over the years due to decreased consumption of fluorspar among fluorochemical manufacturers based in developed economies and also due to tough competition from low-cost Chinese producers. Despite the fact that China dominates global fluorspar production, the country houses only 10% of global fluorspar reserves. With China fast running out of fluorite reserves, there is a growing focus on exploration and mining of fluorspar in countries with huge known reserves such as Mongolia, South Africa and Mexico.

As stated by the new market research report on Fluorspar, Asia-Pacific represents the largest and the fastest growing market worldwide with a CAGR of 6.6% over the analysis period. Increased manufacturing activities, easy access to cheap labor and close proximity to end customers are factors driving growth in the region. Application wise, Hydrofluoric Acid Production represents the largest as well as the fastest growing end-use market. Hydrogen fluoride is used as a principle ingredient in the production of a range of products including rocket propellants, refrigerants, enriched uranium for nuclear fuel, anesthetics and water purifiers, among others.

Major players covered in the report include British Fluorspar Ltd., China Kings Resources Group Co. Ltd., China Shen Zhou Mining & Resources Inc., Jianyang Shanshui Chemicals Industry Corp. Ltd., Mexichem Fluor S.A. de C.V., Mongolrostsvetmet LLC, Sinochem Lantian Co. Ltd., The Kenya Fluorspar Company Ltd., Zhejiang Wuyi Sanlian Industrial Development Co. Ltd., and Zhejiang Yingpeng Chemical Co. Ltd. among others.

The research report titled “Fluorspar: A Global Strategic Business Report” announced by Global Industry Analysts, Inc., provides a comprehensive review of market trends, drivers, and strategic industry activities of major companies worldwide. The report provides market estimates and projections in metric tons for all major geographic markets including the US, Canada, Japan, Europe (France, Germany, Italy, UK, Spain, Russia and Rest of Europe), Asia-Pacific (China, India and Rest of Asia Pacific), Latin America and Rest of World. The report also analyzes the global market for Fluorspar by end-use applications including Aluminum Production, Hydrofluoric Acid Production, Steel Production and Other End-Use Applications.