In terms of value, the global barium market stood at US$ 2.6 Bn in 2019 and is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of ~5% during the forecast period. The barium market is driven by the increase in usage of barium in the glass & ceramics industry. Major suppliers of barium and its compounds are located in Asia Pacific. China is a production hub of barium carbonate in the region.
Major Drivers of Barium Market
Barium carbonate is used in the removal of efflorescence, which is a crystalline or powdery deposit of salts often visible on the surface of concrete, brick, tiles, or natural stone surfaces. The demand for high quality, discoloration-free bricks has been rising. Masonry units need to be covered and left in pallets in order to minimize the risk of efflorescence throughout the construction project. With the addition of barium carbonate, soluble sulfate salts are bonded and undergo chemical a reaction to form insoluble barium sulfate. This prevents efflorescence. The pattern of construction has undergone significant changes with modernization. The demand for attractive, colored, and smooth structures has been rising. Tiles are made of the same clay or shale as bricks, and are formed into relatively thin sheets, tubes, or hollow blocks. They are usually glazed and made in many colors with the addition of barium carbonate.
Bricks remain one of the vital building materials in construction activities in emerging economies. The construction industry in China and India has been expanding significantly. This is fueling the demand for bricks and flooring tiles in these countries. In turn, this is propelling the barium carbonate market.
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Increase in Oil & Gas Exploration and Drilling Activities to Offer Lucrative Opportunities to Barium Market
Around 90% of barium sulfate (barite) is primarily used in the petroleum/oil drilling industry. It is used as a weighting material in the formulation of drilling mud. Barium sulfate is used to increase the hydrostatic pressure of drilling mud, allowing it to compensate for high-pressure zones experienced during drilling. The softness of the barite mineral prevents it from damaging drilling tools during drilling and enables it to function as a lubricant. The global production of oil and natural gas increased substantially from 2005 to 2017. This has resulted in excessive drilling and exploration activities, thereby propelling the demand for barium compounds across the globe. The demand for clean energy fuels such as natural gas has been increasing across the globe. Under the 2015 Paris Climate agreement, all countries, except the U.S., have joined hands to reduce the overall average global temperature by 1.5°C and lower carbon emission released by petrol & diesel vehicles. France and the Netherlands are providing subsidies on natural gas vehicles (NGV) and electric vehicles (EV). In line with this objective, France is expected to discontinue the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040 and shift toward natural gas and electric vehicles. Majority of countries are shifting toward the production of natural gas vehicles to reduce air pollutants and carbon emission. This strategy is estimated to result in a decrease in demand for crude oil in the long term, but exponential increase in natural gas drilling activities.
The global demand for energy has been increasing at a rapid pace. The demand for oil and gas exploration and drilling activities has also been rising at a significant pace. Growth in production of oil and gas has propelled the global barium market. Asia Pacific is anticipated to dominate the global barium market during the forecast period, led by the rise in production of natural gas in the region, primarily in China.
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Decline in Demand for Barium Carbonate to Hamper Global Market
CRT or cathode ray tubes are the largest components of older monitors and televisions. They are responsible for generating and displaying video images. CRTs are primarily made of glass, which is made of barium carbonate. The introduction of LED televisions has led to a decrease in the production of CRTs. Since the late 2000s, CRTs have been largely superseded by newer flat panel display technologies such as LCD, plasma display, and OLED displays. Various renowned television manufacturers have stopped making their own CRT-based sets. The consumption of CRT devices is expected to decrease in the near future with the transition toward flat-panel monitors and television technologies. Approximately 85% of the remaining CRT devices are projected to reach end-of-life by 2025. The demand for barium carbonate is anticipated to decline with the decrease in demand for CRT.
Asia Pacific Dominates Barium Market
China is the key producer of barium compounds in Asia Pacific. Several manufacturers are engaged in the production of barium compounds that can be used in glass and ceramics. In most countries of Asia Pacific such as China, India, and countries of ASEAN, governments have taken initiatives for new building and construction projects. The rise in investments in the construction industry is anticipated to fuel the demand for barium compounds in the region in the near future. Barium compounds are primarily used in glass & ceramics and bricks & tiles for the removal of unwanted salts. Unlike developed regions such as Europe and North America, Asia Pacific witnesses significant demand for barium compounds for usage in the production of CRT glass. This can be ascribed to the presence of significant middle-class population in the region.
Fragmented Nature of Barium Market
The barium industry is fragmented, with tier-1 companies constituting to 30% to 40% share of the global barium market in 2019. Companies operating in the barium market are investing to expand their product portfolios as well as distribution networks. They have adopted strategies such as mergers & acquisitions, development of new products, joint ventures, and expansions to meet the increasing demand for coatings. Tier-2 companies operating in the barium market companies include regional players with strong foothold in the local market and unorganized players that are primarily established in China and India. The unorganized sector consists of small-scale manufacturers of barium. Large numbers of small-scale manufacturers operate in every region. They primarily import barium from China and distribute it across the country.
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