The increasing demand for strontium across a wide range of sectors is expected to fuel the growth of the strontium market during the forecast period of 2016-2024. Strontium is a soft alkali metal that is abundantly found in the earth’s crust. The strontium market is marking exponential growth due to a rise in demand for strontium carbonate across applications such as electronics, pyrotechnic, medical, etc. Strontium carbonate is highly preferred as it is cost-effective and the property of not being hygroscopic. Rising industrial growth is also supporting the growth of the strontium market to a great extent.
- The strontium market is predicted to observe good growth from the electronics segment as it has great mechanical and thermodynamic properties. It is prominently used in making cathode ray tubes for television sets. In addition, rising demand for consumer electronics and products like cameras, motor generators, mobile phones, flashlights, etc is expected to bring a paradigm shift in the growth of the strontium market.
- The wide and varied use of strontium in the medical industry is also expected to bring exceptional gains for the strontium market. Strontium ranelate is used on a large scale for killing cancer cells and helps in preventing bone loss and leads to an increase in bone formation when used in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. In addition, the use of strontium for preventing tooth decay may also generate growth for the strontium market as strontium chloride is used in toothpaste to decrease sensitivity.
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- Investments in strontium extraction are gaining considerable momentum in the strontium market. For instance, Broadway Gold Mining Ltd announced its intentions of discovering strontium reserves across a 2.4 km zone that has great potential to produce strontium minerals. In addition, extensive focus on research and development activities to produce efficient products by manufacturers in the strontium market is gathering steam.
Global Strontium Market: Snapshot
Strontium, an alkaline earth metal, ranks 15th in terms of abundance among elements found in the earth’s crust, occurring as Strontianite and Celestine mineral ores. Strontium (Sr) is obtained from two primary minerals: Celestine (consisting of strontium sulphate) and Strontianite (consisting of strontium carbonate). There are a number of strontium (Sr) isotopes existing in nature; however, only four of them are stable, namely Sr-84, Sr-86, Sr-87, and Sr-88 whose overall occurrence in the earth’s crust approximately accounts for 0.6%, 9.8%, 7.00%, and 82.6% respectively. However, there are no definitive studies that can determine the occurrence of these isotopes on a regional or country level.
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The global strontium market is forecast to exhibit a CAGR of 4.91% between 2016 and 2024. At this pace, the market which stood at 240.72 kilo ton in 2015 is expected to reach 372.09 kilo ton by the end of 2024.
Strontium Carbonate to Remain Dominant Product Segment on Account of its Myriad Applications
The product segment includes compounds of strontium such as strontium carbonate, strontium nitrate, strontium sulphate, and others (oxides, peroxides, hydroxides, and chlorides of strontium). The most consumed strontium compound is strontium carbonate. Strontium carbonate has vast number of applications and is one of the primary compounds that is used as the precursor to produce other strontium compounds. On account of this, strontium carbonate is expected to remain at the market’s fore through the course of the forecast period. Major reason behind high consumption of strontium carbonate is that it is produced from the refining and processing of mineral Celestine.
Enterprises operating in the strontium market is gaining from large number of strontium applications, which include red colorant in fireworks, flares, and other pyrotechnics, manufacture of strontium ferrite for permanent magnets, and preparation of luminous paints and shimmering glass. Strontium is predominantly employed in pyrotechnics and the production of ceramic ferrite magnets, which constitute the leading market segment. Ferrite magnets occupied almost 32.29% of the overall market in 2015. The pyrotechnics segments emerged as the close second-lead in the same year.
Strontium acts as a luminescence and anti-corrosive factor in paints & coatings and is utilized in small amounts in the medical industry as well. In pyrotechnics, strontium compounds act as red colorants. Strontium ferrite magnets are employed in microwave devices, small electric motors, magneto-optic media, recording media, and in the electronics & telecommunication industry. Compounds such as strontium aluminate and strontium chromate are used in the paints & coatings industry for luminescence requirements and anti-corrosive coatings respectively. Addition of strontium carbonate to the electrolytic solution catalyzes the process of zinc refining. Majority are master alloys produced that contains strontium are aluminium based.
North America and Asia Pacific to Fight For the Leading Spot
In terms of production, China, Mexico, and Spain are major countries in the strontium market. The U.S., the U.K., France, Italy, China, India, and a few other nations in Asia are major consumers of strontium. Currently North America and Asia Pacific exhibit the most lucrative prospects for market players. These regions together hold the leading market share, however, in 2015 the North America strontium market marginally emerged dominant with a share of 29.65% in the coming years. Similarly, over the forecast period there is high possibility of the table turning in favor of the Asia Pacific market.
Major players in the strontium market include Solvay, Sakai Chemical Industry Co., Ltd., and BassTech International.
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