High Purity Base Metals: Introduction
- Base metals such as aluminum, zinc, copper, and lead are processed to obtain their purest form by removal of impurities or any other metal. Purity levels of base metals are available in different grades such as 99.99%. Metals have to undergo several processing steps to achieve high level of purity. For instance, high purity aluminum is achieved through three-layer electrolysis or combining fractional distillation and three-layer electrolysis. Under electrolysis, aluminum ions are reduced in an electrolytic cell that contains three separate liquid layers. Under distillation, aluminum is refined by leveraging solubility differences.
- High purity aluminum is popular in the electronics segment where it is used in television, computer, and other display materials. Pure lead is alloyed with other elements for various commercial applications such as extruded products including rods, wire, traps, ribbon, and pipes. It is also used in rolled products, such as thin foils, which are further employed in vital applications including corrosion-resistant equipment for the chemical industry, waterproof membranes, roofing, and x-ray and gamma-ray shielding.
- The usage of copper in electric vehicles is more than double its usage in gasoline-powered cars. According to the International Copper Association, more than 40,000 charging ports would be needed over the next decade due to the rise in demand for electric vehicles. This is expected to require around 100 kilo tons of copper by 2030. Zinc is largely used in galvanizing alloys. Galvanization is important in construction and transportation industries in order to achieve durability, protection, and low cost for structures and vehicles. Development of steel structures in the long term is anticipated to augment the demand for high purity base metals.
Key Drivers and Restraints of Global High Purity Base Metals Market
- Growth in various end-use industries such as automotive, aerospace, marine, electrical & electronics, building & construction, and consumer goods is estimated to drive the global high purity base metals market in the near future. Increase in technological development, better research aspects, and rise in application of high purity base metals are projected to fuel the market during the forecast period.
- The ongoing trade wars and demand-supply gap are estimated to hamper the global high purity base metals market during the forecast period
High Purity Base Metals: End-use Segment
- In terms of end-use, the global high purity base metals market can be segmented into transportation, electrical & electronics, building & construction, consumer goods, chemical, and others
- The transportation segment is anticipated to hold significant share during the forecast period. All major base metals in their pure state are largely used in the automotive industry. Lead is a key raw material for batteries, which are primarily used in automotive, industrial, consumer goods, and electronics industries.
Covid-19 Impact on High Purity Base Metals Market
- On January 30, 2020, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak a public health emergency of international concern. Originating in China, the virus has spread to at least 213 countries and territories around the world. Supply of raw materials used to produce high purity base metals has been hampered due to the industrial shutdown triggered by the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Manufacture of various consumer goods and other products across the globe came to a halt due to the unavailability of raw materials and shortage of labor. This is expected to hamper the high purity base metals market in the near future.
Asia Pacific to Dominate High Purity Base Metals Market
- In terms of region, the global high purity base metals market can be divided into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa
- Asia Pacific dominated the global market in 2019. The large share of the region can be primarily ascribed to China, which is the major consumer of base metals in the world. Growth of end-use industries in India is driving the market in Asia Pacific. Initiatives by the Government of India to promote manufacturing are expected to augment the production of high purity base metals in the country.
Key Manufacturers Operating in Global High Purity Base Metals Market
The global high purity base metals market was highly fragmented in 2019. Major players have prominent presence in developed and developing countries. Key manufacturers operating in the global high purity base metals market include:
- Aluminum Corporation of China Limited
- Boliden Group
- Hindalco Industries
- KGHM Polska Mied? S.A
- Norsk Hydro ASA
- Rio Tinto
- Sumitomo Chemical
Global High Purity Base Metals Market: Research Scope
Global High Purity Base Metals Market, by Product Type
Global High Purity Base Metals Market, by End-use
- Building & Construction
- Industrial Machinery & Equipment
- Consumer & General Products
- Electrical & Electronics