Forming and Finishing

Market Trends: Abrasives Demand Continues Growth

Global demand for abrasives is expected to reach $40 billion in 2017.

June 2, 2014
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Worldwide demand for abrasive products is forecast to expand nearly 6% per year to $40 billion in 2017, with nearly all products benefiting from a variety of positive factors. Growth in the Asia-Pacific region will continue to drive gains, with especially strong advances in the large Chinese market, according to “World Abrasives,” a recent study from The Freedonia Group Inc.

Of equal importance is an expected recovery in the developed regions of the world, notably the U.S., Western Europe, and Japan. “In these regions, durable goods manufacturing, the leading outlet for abrasives sales, will accelerate along with continued improvements in the overall economic outlook,” says analyst Gleb Mytko.

Throughout the world, an emphasis on improved manufacturing processes will reportedly benefit abrasives market value as not only does this often require greater abrasive usage per unit but also an increasing amount of higher-priced, value-added products overall. These trends are especially apparent in developing countries in the Africa/Mideast region, South America, and Eastern Europe.

Over half of all additional abrasives demand generated between 2012 and 2017 will be attributable to China, the world’s leading national market for these products. While growth in the country will decelerate as its abrasives industry matures, China’s gains are expected to far exceed those seen in any other major market. Growth in manufacturing activity, increasing living standards and additional foreign investment will continue to stimulate demand in China. In addition, as the country’s durable goods industries become more sophisticated, the intensity of abrasives use is also expected to increase noticeably. China is also the largest producer of abrasives worldwide, supplying both domestic demand and a growing export market.

Following several years of declines during the 2007-2012 period, demand for abrasives in North America, Western Europe and Japan is projected to improve (although growth in all of these areas will remain well below the world average). As these markets rebound from their economic malaise, production of durable goods will improve, generating higher demand for abrasives.

Sales of abrasives in the Africa/Mideast region, Central and South America, and Eastern Europe are also expected to accelerate, as their durable goods sectors continue to develop. More sophisticated industries generally require a greater amount of abrasives. In addition, demand for higher-end abrasive products will increase, adding to market value gains. 

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