The global silicon metal market was valued at US$ 6.53 Bn in 2018 and is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of over 4.98% from 2019 to 2027, according to a new report by Transparency Market Research (TMR) titled ‘Silicon Metal Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast, 2018–2027.’ Silicon metals are grey and lustrous semi-conductive metals that are used to manufacture aluminum alloys, steel, solar cells, and microchips. The metal acts as a raw material in a large number of industrial and consumer products such as sealants, adhesives, lubricants, coatings, and polishes. The aluminum-silicon alloys are light in weight and hence, are employed in the automotive industry to replace heavy cast iron and steel components, thus creating fuel-efficient engines and improving fuel economy. Silicon metals are extensively used as semiconductor in various portable electronic applications and in the production of solar panels.
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Growing Automotive and Solar Industries to Drive Silicon Metal Market
Growth in the automotive sector and rise in demand for automobiles, especially in developing economies such as China, India, Brazil, and countries in ASEAN are expected to drive the silicon metal market during the forecast period. Rising automotive sales is projected to increase the demand for silicon-based aluminum alloys. This, in turn, is expected to directly affect the demand for silicon metal. Silicon metal, when alloyed with aluminum, reduces the overall weight and increases the strength of the alloy. Reduction in weight helps to increase the overall operational and economic efficiency of the automobile. Silicon-based aluminum alloys can be varied according to the application by varying the silicon content. Therefore, rising demand for automobiles is likely to drive the demand for silicon metals in the near future. Natural resources are depleting; therefore, it is pivotal to find an alternative energy source. Demand for solar energy is increasing, as solar energy is available in abundantly and freely in the nature. This is directly increasing the demand for solar panels to generate energy. Solar panels are manufactured using high-purity polycrystalline silicon/polysilicon, a derivative of silicon metal. Polysilicon acts as a primary building block for the manufacture of silicon-based photovoltaic panels/modules.
Governments across the globe have started raising awareness about the benefits of solar energy and are providing subsidies on the implementation of solar panels. This, in turn, is anticipated to create lucrative opportunities in the silicon metal market.
Aluminum Alloy Segment to Lead the Global Silicon Metal Market
In terms of application, the silicon metal market has been classified into aluminum alloys, semiconductors, silicones & silanes, solar panels, and others. In terms of value, the aluminum alloys segment dominated the market with a share of around 43% in 2018. The semiconductors segment is anticipated to expand at a rapid pace during the forecast period.
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Rise in Demand for Silicon Metals from Automotive and Solar Sectors Drive Market in Asia Pacific
In terms of region, the global silicon metal market has been segregated into North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific accounted for market share of more than 42% in 2018 due to growth of the automotive industry in countries such as China and India. Furthermore, the market in the region is estimated to expand at a significant pace during the forecast period due to the increase in demand for automobiles in the region and rise in implementation of solar panels as an alternative energy source in the region, especially in China and India.
The Dow Chemical Company and Ferroglobe Account for Large Share of Silicon Metal Market
Key players operating in the global silicon metal market include The Dow Chemical Company, Elkem ASA, RUSAL, Ferroglobe, Wacker Chemie AG, RIMA Group, Simcoa Operations Pty Ltd, China National Bluestar (Group) Co, Ltd., RW Silicium GmbH, MINASLIGAS, and Wynca Group.