Silicon Metal Market Growth & Trends

The global silicon metal market size is expected to reach USD 8.67 billion by 2027, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc. It is expected to expand at a CAGR of 4.6% from 2020 to 2027. The industry is expected to be driven by rising installations of photovoltaic cells, strong demand from aluminum producers, and increasing demand from semiconductor manufacturers.

About 44% of the total silicon metal output is used for the production of aluminum alloys. The addition of the product to the aluminum production process minimizes shrinkage and cracking and improves castability. The recent trend indicates aluminum being used as an alternative to steel and other metals to manufacture lighter weight automotive parts to attain fuel efficiency. This is a positive sign for the market.

Asia Pacific dominated the market in 2019 owing to strong domestic demand from China. China is a leader in terms of aluminum production and also has growth potential for silicone manufacturing. Therefore, the country also leads in terms of silicon metal production to cater to its large domestic demand and capitalize on undersupplied foreign markets.

In the chemical industry, the product is used for silicone manufacturing. Silicones, in turn, are used in a wide array of end-use industries, including construction, transportation, healthcare electronics, and textiles. The global silicone production is highly consolidated as it is dominated by five players – the top 5 producers account for approximately 85% of the output. As a result, the bargaining power of buyers in the silicones industry is high.

The production, as well as consumption of silicones, are mostly concentrated in North America and Europe, although there is a substantial growth potential from developing economies such as China. The increasing disposable income, growing construction output, and improving industrial products are likely to improve the demand and production of silicones, which, in turn, is expected to benefit the market growth.

The solar industry is another key application of the product, which is expanding at a rapid rate. The product is a critical raw material in the manufacturing of photovoltaics. This can be illustrated from the fact that the global photovoltaic installations doubled between 2015 and 2017. However, there was a drop in installations in 2018, following Chinese policy reforms. However, the future outlook looks lucrative as the rate of PV installations is rapidly increasing in developing economies.

Silicon Metal Market Report Highlights

  • Asia Pacific dominated the market with a revenue share of 38.3% in 2019 owing to the presence of a large aluminum production base in the region
  • The solar and semiconductor application segment is expected to expand at the fastest revenue-based CAGR of 5.2% from 2020 to 2027 owing to rapidly rising installations of photovoltaics and healthy demand from semiconductor manufacturers
  • The aluminum application segment dominated the market with a revenue share of more than 40.0% in 2019 as silicon metal is an important alloying element used for the production of aluminum
  • In December 2015, Ferroglobe Plc was formed as a result of a merger between Globe Specialty Metals, Inc. and Grupo FerroAtl?ntica
  • Ferroglobe Plc is a global leader in the market with a share of roughly 14% in 2019