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US Demand for Specialty Silicas to Reach $1.7 Billion in 2015

US demand for specialty silicas is forecast to rise 5.8 percent annually to $1.7 billion in 2015. Market volume will also climb at a healthy clip, rebounding from the declines of the recession-impacted 2005-2010 period. Specialty silica demand will benefit as the economy recovers and growth in manufacturing output resumes, as specialty silicas find considerable use in the production of manufactured goods. Market expansion will be fueled by strong growth in the sizable precipitated silica segment, as well as above-average gains for fumed silica. These and other trends are presented in Specialty Silicas, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.

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 through 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.

Among specialty silica markets, the rubber market is forecast to expand at the most rapid pace through 2015, when it will reclaim its position as the leading outlet for specialty silicas in dollar terms. This market can be divided into tire and nontire applications, with the better growth prospects expected for nontire rubber. This segment - which includes the production of silicone rubber and industrial rubber products - is forecast to rise at a double-digit annual pace from a depressed 2010 base.

Cosmetics and toiletries 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 percent 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.

Thank you to The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm, for providing NAHAD members with this information.

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