The significant growth in the foundry and metal casting industries has had the most significant influence on the global market for bentonite. The rise in the automotive and the machinery and heavy equipment manufacturing industries has been boosting the demand for foundry and metal casting applications across the world. As bentonite is extensively utilized in these applications, a subsequent increase in its demand has been observed since the past few years, reflecting greatly on the progress of this market.
The offered an opportunity worth US$1.42 bn in 2015. Researchers anticipate it to rise at a CAGR of 3.0% from 2016 to 2024 and reach a value of US$1.85 bn by the end of 2024.
Demand for Sodium Bentonite to Remain High
Sodium bentonite and calcium bentonite are the main two product types available in the global bentonite market. The market was led by sodium bentonite in 2015 with a share of more than 60%. The scenario is anticipated to remain so over the forthcoming years, thanks to the increasing preference for green sand casting process in the foundry.
Drilling mud, iron ore pelletizing, foundry sands, pet products, construction, paper, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals are the prime application area of bentonite across the world. The demand for bentonite is higher in foundry sands that other application segments. In 2015, it held a share of 20% of the overall demand for bentonite, globally.
Analysts project the segment to continue its dominance over the next few years due to the continual growth in the automotive and the machinery industries. The pet product segment, which includes cat litter and cattle feed, is another key application segment of the global bentonite market. This segment is estimated to witness a moderate increase over the next few years.
Asia Pacific Bentonite Market to Continue as Global Leader
Geographically, Asia Pacific led the worldwide bentonite market in 2015 with a share of 30%. The regional market is expected to expand notably over the next few years, continuing to dominate the global market. The high demand for bentonite in the construction industry is the key factors behind the significant growth of the Asia Pacific market for bentonite. Over the coming years, the rise in the metal industry is projected to fuel the demand for bentonite in this region, especially in IOP and foundry sand applications, which is likely to boost this regional market considerably. China is anticipated to surface as the most prominent consumer of bentonite in Asia Pacific in the near future.
Among other regional markets, North America is anticipated to witness a healthy rise while Europe is likely to grow at a moderate pace in the years to come. The upsurge in the green sand casting process in foundry segment is expected to drive the Europe market for bentonite, whereas, the market in North America is predicted to be boosted by the rising usage of bentonite in pet products, such as cat litter and cattle feed. Latin America and the Middle East and Africa markets for bentonite are estimated to witness a moderate to high rise in the near future, thanks to the expansion of the automotive and the heavy equipment manufacturing industries and the increasing large oil drilling activities in these regions.
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The leading players in the global market for bentonite are Minerals Technologies Inc., IMERYS SA, Clariant International Ltd., Ashapura Group, Bentonite Performance Minerals LLC, American Colloid Co., Canbensan, and Dantonit A/S.