The global zirconium ore and concentrate market soared by +16% y-o-y to $2.4B in 2020. China, Australia and the U.S. lead global zirconium ore and concentrate consumption, with a combined 78%-share of the total volume. China prevails in global zirconium concentrate imports, steadily increasing the volume of purchases over the last decade. In 2020, the world average import price for zirconium ores and concentrates amounted to $987 per tonne, rising at an average annual rate of +1.1% over the past ten years.
American preserved frozen potato imports increased from 695K tonnes in 2010 to 1.1M tonnes in 2020. In value terms, imports expanded from $653M to $1.1B over this period. Canada supplies 85% of the total volume of imports. In 2020, Belgium emerged as the fastest-growing supplier of frozen potatoes to the U.S., reaching a 10% share of the total imports.
China’s propene imports shrank from $2.9B in 2019 to $2B in 2020. In physical terms, purchases fell by -20% y-o-y to 2.5M tonnes. South Korea, Japan and Taiwan constitute the largest supplies, accounting for nearly 80% of China’s propene imports. Last year, all these countries decreased propene exports to China, while Taiwan recorded the most prominent drop in supplies.
American frozen fish meat exports dropped from $602M in 2019 to $518M in 2020 amid the declining demand from Japan and South Korea. In physical terms, exports shrank by -9.5% y-o-y to 198K tonnes. South Korea, Japan and France constitute the leading importers, accounting for 65% of American frozen fish meat exports. The average export price for frozen fish meat from the U.S. decreased by -4.8% y-o-y to $2,623 per tonne in 2020.
Turkey featured a record growth of polycarboxylic acid imports over the past decade. From 2010 to 2020, imports surged fourfold in physical terms and twofold in value terms. In 2020, the supplies to Turkey rose by +41% y-o-y to 1.4M tonnes. South Korea remains the largest supplier of polycarboxylic acids, accounting for 41% of Turkey’s imports. The average polycarboxylic acid import price fell by -36% y-o-y to $599 per tonne in 2020.
Sweden is rapidly ramping up ethylene imports. In the first half of 2021, Sweden purchased 100K tonnes of ethylene. Last year, imports spiked from $125M to $388M, or from 116K tonnes to 525K tonnes in physical terms. The UK, Norway and Finland supply 80% of Sweden's ethylene imports. In 2020, the UK's exports rose fourfold, while Norway's and Finland's recorded an eightfold increase. The average ethylene import price dropped by -31.8% y-o-y to $739 per tonne.
The global cadmium market is estimated at $122M for 2020. While the battery industry is currently the main application for cadmium, the expanding demand from the cadmium telluride battery industry could provide a powerful boost to the market for the metal. Technological improvements and the introduction of new capacities for recycling solar cells will become an urgent need for the next decade and an attractive area for investment.
In 2020, American sauce and seasoning imports continued to follow a decade-long upward trend, growing by +18% y-o-y in value terms. From 2010 to 2020, imports increased twofold, from $791M to $1.6B. Italy, Mexico and Canada represent the largest sauce supplies, accounting for 64% of American imports. The average import price for sauces and seasonings rose by +2.4% y-o-y to $1,999 per tonne in 2020.
Latin America and the Caribbean boosted imports of monoammonium phosphate by +11% y-o-y to 5.9M tonnes in 2020. Brazil constitutes the largest importer, comprising 80% of Latin America’s import volume, and Argentina follows, accounting for 17%. Morocco represents the key supplier of monoammonium phosphate both to Brazil and Argentina. The average import price for monoammonium phosphate in Latin America and the Caribbean fell by -17.3% to $328 per tonne last year.