Iron Oxide Pigments Market - Construction Growth Forecast to Push the U.S. Iron Oxide Industry to an Increase

Basic Chemicals June 28, 2015
Author: Svetlana Sitkova
Head of Industrial Research Department

iron oxide pigments market

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, 2014 was marked by a slight decrease in production on the iron oxide pigments market in the U.S. compared with the previous year. Approximately 49 thousand tonnes of finished natural and synthetic iron oxide pigments were processed and sold by six companies (estimated value of 80 million USD). Despite a 4% rise in sales in 2014, they still did not exceed their peak levels of 2007 (88.100 tonnes). 

Finished iron oxide pigments can be used for a variety of purposes. While most of iron oxide pigments (60%) are used in concrete and other materials for construction, 25% are used in paints, 5% in foundries, and more than 2% in industrial chemicals.
Iron oxide pigments are commonly used for coloring concrete bricks, blocks and roofing tiles, thus the negative dynamics in 2014 EU crude natural iron oxide pigment consumption can be directly linked to the stagnation in Europe's construction industry. 

Conversely, in the first half of 2014, U.S. residential construction increased. Steady growth was observed in housing starts and completions, approximately 7% and 15%, respectively, and this trend is projected to continue in 2015. Spending on residential construction also showed positive dynamics, rising by more than 7% in 2014. Nonresidential construction spending increased by 6% in 2014, accounting for approximately 62% of total construction expenditures. All this bodes well for the iron oxide pigment industry.

In 2014, U.S. pigment-grade iron oxide pigment exports showed a 9% increase compared with the previous year. Due to a boost in exports to China, Spain, Germany, Australia, Thailand and Israel, exporting of other grades of iron oxide pigments also rose (by 8%). The U.S. natural and synthetic iron oxide pigment imports increased as well in 2014 over 2013, but insignificantly so.

A specialty chemical company based in Texas purchased a major producer of pigments, and now owns iron oxide pigment facilities located in five States (Missouri, Georgia, California, Pennsylvania and Maryland). Another company based in Utah launched production of a high-purity advanced natural oxide composed mainly of goethite and hematite. Three leading producers of iron oxide pigments in the U.S. are currently constructing one synthetic iron oxide production plant in Georgia (U.S.) and two in China. 

The plant in Georgia will be the first new production plant built in the U.S. in nearly 35 years. The plants that are being constructed in China are owned by two companies, a German chemical company and a U.S. Hong-Kong based company.

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Source: World: Iron Oxides And Hydroxides - Market Report. Analysis and Forecast to 2020