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Affected by factors such as a slowdown in growth rates of downstream sectors like iron and steel, building materials, and glass, as well as the reduced demand of refractories for infrastructure construction, China’s refractory materials production in 2012 fell 4.43% over the previous year to 28.1891 million tons. Of these, magnesia bricks, magnesium carbon and alumina magnesia carbon, and siliceous brick dropped sharply, down 15.94%, 8.45%, and 8.37% year over year, respectively, according to a recent study from Research and Markets.
In terms of exports in 2012, both volume and value of refractories raw materials fell, but refractories products broke the 2 million ton mark again, climbing 4.4% year-over-year to 2.0397 million tons; export prices increased by 7.08%.
Product-wise, China has been promoting the development of high-quality, energy-efficient unshaped refractories. In 2012, the proportion of unshaped refractories in total refractories production exceeded 40%. Compared with industrially advanced countries, however, the proportion is still lower; the goal is reportedly to hit 60% in 2020.
According to the Opinions on Promoting the Healthy Development of Refractory Industry issued by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) in February 2013, China will continue to promote joint reorganization and enhance industrial concentration in the future; form two to three internationally competitive enterprises; and create a number of new industrialization demonstration bases, with industrial concentration of the top 10 companies reaching 25% by 2015 and 45% by 2020.
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