The value of 2015 domestic magnesium compound production (excluding dead-burned magnesia) was $137 million; production increased slightly (2.4%) to 295,000 t. The U.S. imported 265,000 t of magnesium compounds for consumption, representing a slight increase of 2.7%. Exports climbed 30.4% to reach 30,000 t.
About 46% of the magnesium compounds consumed in the U.S. were used for refractories in the form of dead-burned magnesia, fused magnesia and olivine; the remaining 54% was used in agricultural, chemical, construction, environmental, and industrial applications in the form of caustic-calcined magnesia, magnesium chloride, magnesium hydroxide, and magnesium sulfates. Apparent consumption remained relatively flat at 520,000 t. Domestic consumption of dead-burned magnesia decreased as the use of higher quality fused-magnesia refractories increased and crude steel production in the U.S. decreased by 9%.
Global consumption of dead-burned and fused magnesia declined slightly during the first eight months of 2015, compared with that of the same period in 2014, due to a slight decrease in global steel production (including a 7% decline in China). In recent years, fused magnesia has replaced dead-burned magnesia in steel furnaces; this trend is expected to continue as more fused magnesia capacity comes on line. Although fused magnesia costs more than dead-burned magnesia, its longer campaign life reduces downtime, which decreases the overall cost of production. The steel industry in China is expected to continue to become more efficient in its use of refractories, which would result in less magnesia consumed per unit of steel produced.
According to a report available from Research and Markets, the global magnesium oxide market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 2.9% from 2016-2026.9
9. Magnesium Oxide Market: Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment, 2016-2026 (published June 2016; $5,000), Research and Markets, www.researchandmarkets.com.