Home / Top News / Capacity Expansion to Overcome Supply Scarcity of Ferroniobium – Need of the Hour, Says Fact.MR

Capacity Expansion to Overcome Supply Scarcity of Ferroniobium – Need of the Hour, Says Fact.MR

East Asia Is Responsible For A Majority Of Ferroniobium Consumption, Being Widely Used In HSLA Production. Such Dominance Is Anticipated To Open Up Newer Opportunities for Manufacturers Willing To Invest Into This Established Market

United States, Rockville MD, June 28, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — According to Fact.MR’s recently released analysis on ferroniobium, worldwide demand stood at 134 kilo tons at the end of 2021. Due to lack of local production and efficient replacements, ferroniobium is strategically important to many developed and developing countries, including the United States. This is on top of its use in military equipment, such as in missiles and other aerospace applications.

Ferroniobium has been named as one of the top 23 minerals that are critical to the U.S. economy and national security. It has a vulnerable supply chain and performs a critical function in the manufacturing of several products, without which, national security would suffer serious consequences.

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Demand for ferroniobium is inelastic, and it dropped by only 8% in the previous eight months. This refers to the reality that, to some extent, demand remains steady even when prices grow.

Drop in ferroniobium demand in the worldwide steel sector during the global economic downturn and also during the COVID-19 pandemic, for example, had only a minor influence on ferroniobium pricing. This is understandable, considering that, while ferroniobium is just a small part of the total cost of HSLA steel, its utilisation provides significant performance and cost benefits to steel makers and their consumers. Owing to this, global producers such as CBMM and CMOC are seeing market growth as a result of rising steel demand and they have expanded their existing facilities to 250 thousand metric tons in 2021, up from 110 thousand metric tons per annum in 2019.

What are some of the Upcoming Use Cases of Ferroniobium?

Niobium is used in the creation of high-performance and ultra-safe ultra-rapid rechargeable batteries for electric cars, as well as medical imaging, particle accelerators, and space exploration.

Jet-engine components, rocket subassemblies, gas turbines, and turbo-charge systems, along with various other heat-resistant and combustion equipment, all employ large amounts of niobium in nickel, cobalt, and iron-based superalloys.

This ferroniobium super alloy was employed in advanced airframe systems of the Gemini program and the primary engine of Apollo Lunar Modules, as well as the rocket thruster nozzles of SpaceX’s Melin Vacuum engines for the upper stages of the Falcon 9 rocket.

Moreover, niobium’s usage in battery packs is a promising breakthrough. Toshiba’s next-generation battery pack for electric cars has a niobium anode, which allows for improved performance, longer life, faster charging, and safer batteries. It is projected to become an industry standard.

Niobium is classified as a ‘strategic metal’ by some nations, including the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and Russia, due to its broad usage in defence and aerospace. Because there are just a few sources throughout the world and it is entirely reliant on imports, the critical nature of niobium is high in the United States of America.

Owing to the aforementioned reasons, demand for ferroniobium is on the rise and is anticipated to provide a higher absolute $ opportunity over the short-term forecast period.

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Key Segments Covered in the Ferroniobium Industry Survey

  • Ferroniobium Market by Form :
    • Lumps
    • Fines
    • Briquettes
  • Ferroniobium Market by Grade :
    • Standard Ferroniobium
    • High Purity Ferroniobium
  • Ferroniobium Market by End Use :
    • HSLA Production
    • Stainless Steel Production
    • Others
  • Ferroniobium Market by Region :
    • North America
    • Latin America
    • Europe
    • East Asia
    • South Asia & Oceania
    • Middle East & Africa

Winning Strategy

End users involved in the steel manufacturing industry, as well as vital stakeholders across diverse end-use industries, are investing in expanding their production capacity. Tier-2 manufacturers need to follow suit and invest in setting up their production facilities closer to mines and collaborating with mine owners and end users in an attempt to capitalize on new pioneering discoveries in ferroniobium, ensuring futuristic revenue-generating opportunities.

R&D into next-generation battery technologies and burgeoning demand for newer-age space-flight technologies are already on the horizon, and manufacturers have been quite vocal in their strategies to increase their market presence and regional dominance. Currently, the market has remained oligopolistic and newer players find it extremely difficult to enter the market in such a competitive scenario.

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Key players in the Ferroniobium Market

  • Existing Players
    • Anglo American
    • CBMM
    • Niobec (Magris Company)
    • China Molybdenum
  • Potential Players
    • Cradle Resources
    • Alkane Resources

Key Takeaways from Ferroniobium Market Study

  • Regional markets of the future will continue to be reliant on imports, as two of the mines that are situated in Brazil currently serve over 92% of the global demand.
  • Ferroniobium has always been a demand-driven commodity and supplying it has always been a challenge. Because there are just a few producers in the market, worldwide supply is constrained.
  • Based on end use, HSLA production is poised to account for over 85% of the total consumption of ferroniobium.
  • By 2032, North America is expected to account for 25.8% of the worldwide ferroniobium market share.

Fact.MR’s Domain Expertise in Chemicals and Materials Division

Expert analysis, actionable insights, and strategic recommendations of the highly seasoned chemicals and materials team at Fact.MR helps clients from across the globe with their unique business intelligence needs.

With a repertoire of over thousand reports and 1 million-plus data points, the team has analysed the chemicals and materials division across 50+ countries for over a decade. The team provides unmatched end-to-end research and consulting services.

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