Global chromium market is expected to grow over the forecast period on account of increasing demand from metallurgy industry. Metallurgy industry widely uses chromium as an important alloying material for steel. Chromium also known as group6 element is a steady grey, lustrous, brittle but hard metal. Chromium resists tarnishing, takes high polish and has a high melting point. Chromium is commercially extracted from chromite, which is popularly known as chromium oxide. Chromium oxide is increasingly being used as glaze in ceramics and green color in glass making. Additionally, growing chromium oxide utility in coating metal weapon is anticipated to expand chromium market. Increasing chromium demand in various end-use industries such as stainless steel and chromium plating or electroplating with chromium is anticipated to augment the global chromium market growth over the forecast horizon. Chromium is the main ingredient in IR reflecting paints that are widely used in armed forces to paint vehicles for serving the purpose of camouflaging. Chromium has also found wide scope in synthetic ruby production. Furthermore, increasing chromite and chromium oxide utility for high temperature refractory applications such as cement kiln and blast furnaces owing to its high melting point and high resistivity characteristics is an essential factor driving chromium metal market growth over the forecast period.
On the basis of product types chromium can be broadly segmented into ferrochromium and metallic chromium. Ferrochromium was a major chromium product segment owing to its high usage in stainless steel production. Stainless steel finds diverse applications in consumer goods, household goods and electronics as a result of its glossy luster, light weight and high resistance to corrosion. Moreover, utilization of high Cr to Fe ratio in specialist applications such as engineering steel is predicted to have a positive impact on the global chromium market. Metallic chromium demand is expected to grow at a rapid rate owing to its remarkable hardness and high corrosion resistance properties. Major chromium applications include metallurgy, dyes & pigments, refractory material, catalysts & magnets, wood preservation and tarnishing. Widespread use of chromium pigments such as lead chromate (yellow chromate), red chromate and zinc chromate in metal printer formulation is anticipated to foster the global chromium demand. Chromium copper arsenate (CCA) is used in timber treatment to protect woods against wood attacking insects including marine borers and termites. Growing use of chromium salts such as chrome alum and chromium sulfate in tarnishing leather has increased its demand in leather industry, which in turn is expected to augment overall chromium market.
Volatile chromium costs along with increasing mining expenditure can be a major factor restraining chromium market growth over the forecast period. Toxicity and carcinogenic properties of chromium in high concentration is another factor that can impede chromium market growth. Additionally, controversial results associated with chromium dietary supplements are expected to have a negative impact on chromium market.
Asia Pacific is expected to emerge as the leading regional market with majority chromium demand driven by increasing metallurgical and dyes & pigments industries in the region. India dominates chromium market in Asia Pacific, since it is one of the largest chromium ore producer. China along with is also the largest chromium consumers in terms of increasing population. North America chromium market is expected to witness a substantial growth on account of rapid industrialization in the region. South Africa is the leading chromium producer and supplier, thus driving Middle East & Africa chromium market growth. Europe chromium market in projected to grow at a moderate rate owing to increasing environmental regulations restricting chromium usage in the region.
Global chromium market is fragmented with major players striving for leadership position. Key participants operating in global chromium market include Cia Ferro Ligas da Bahia, African Rainbow Minerals, Norilsk Nickel, Aquarius Platinum, Assore, Anglo American Platinum, Lonmin, Glencore Xstrata and Merafe Resources.
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