Ceramic Industry News / Advanced Ceramics

Zircon Supply Shortage Expected to Continue

June 28, 2011
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+
Consumption of zircon rebounded strongly in 2010, reaching 1.33 Mt, following an 18% fall in 2009 because of the global economic downturn, according to a report.

Consumption of zircon rebounded strongly in 2010, reaching 1.33 Mt, following an 18% fall in 2009 because of the global economic downturn, according to “Zirconium: Global Industry Markets and Outlook, 2011,” a report from Roskill Information Services. Growth over the last decade has come mainly from the ceramics and chemical sectors, increasing by 4.1% and 7.5% per year, respectively, compared to overall market growth of 2.6% per year. China now accounts for over half of total consumption, with the wider Asian region accounting for two-thirds of consumption. Other major ceramic producing countries, such as Spain and Italy, are also large consumers of zircon.

Chemical uses for zircon include pigments, coatings, and catalysts, as well as the production of synthetic zirconia and zircon metal. Zirconia finds widespread use as a refractory and catalyst material, while zircon metal is used largely in nuclear fuel rods. Other end uses, including foundries and refractories, have shown little or no growth over the last decade. The use of zircon in cathode ray tubes has declined considerably as consumers have switched to flat panel display screens.

Zircon is produced predominately in Australia (accounting for 40% of output in 2010), South Africa (29%) and the U.S. (8%). Output is controlled by four major producers: Iluka Resources, Richards Bay Minerals, Exxaro Resources and DuPont, together accounting for two-thirds of capacity in 2010.

Future demand for zircon is forecast to increase by 5.4% per year, led by ceramics and chemical output in China. Recovery in demand from western markets is likely to be protracted, especially in the ceramics sector. Other end uses are forecast to show little growth and could be negatively affected by higher prices and substitution.

For more information, visit www.roskill.com/zirconium.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Ceramic Industry Magazine.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

June 2014 Issue Highlights

Our June 2014 issue is now available!


Manufacturing Day 2014

Manufacturing Day organizers share their insights with Managing Editor Kelsey Seidler.

More Podcasts

Ceramic Industry Magazine

CI September 2014 cover

2014 September

You won't want to miss the CI Top 10, traditionally our most popular article of the year!

Table Of Contents Subscribe


M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\Ceramics Industry\handbook of advanced ceramics.gif
Handbook of Advanced Ceramics Machining

Ceramics, with their unique properties and diverse applications, hold the potential to revolutionize many industries, including automotive and semiconductors.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


CI Data Book July 2012

Ceramic Industry's Directories including Components, Equipment Digest, Services, Data Book & Buyers Guide, Materials Handbook and much more!


facebook_40px twitter_40px  youtube_40pxlinkedin_40google+ icon 40px