Growth Expected in Specialty Silica Market

A report by The Freedonia Group Inc. anticipates the demand for US specialty silicas to rise 5.8% annually to US $1.7 billion from 2010 to 2015. The report, titled "Specialty Silicas," also found that market volume of specialty silicas will rebound from the 2005-2010 recession period, where specialty silicas grew only 2.1% annually.

As manufacturing output resumes, the company finds that precipitated silica and fumed silica will see growth. According to the company, precipitated silica will remain the leading segment of the specialty silica market in both volume and value terms. This silica type is expected to advance roughly in line with the overall market with a 5.6% annual growth from 2010-2015, promoted by above-average gains in the large rubber sector. In particular, advances will be supported by the growing utilization of precipitated silica in silica-reinforced low rolling-resistance tires, which offer greater fuel efficiency than conventional tires.

Meanwhile fumed silica is expected to grow 8% annually from 2010-2015, while silica gel, silica sol and fused silica are expected to grow 2.6%, 4.6% and 5.9% in the same time period, respectively.

The cosmetics market reportedly represented the largest market for specialty silicas in value terms in 2010. Precipitated silica is the most widely used product, accounting for more than 80% of demand in this market. Silica will remain a key ingredient in toothpaste formulations, serving as a thickener and/or abrasive polishing and cleaning agent.

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