Published: Apr, 2018

The high purity alumina market was valued at around US$ 1,100 Mn in 2017 is anticipated to expand at a robust CAGR of 15.4% during the forecast period, according to a new report published by Transparency Market Research (TMR)  titled ‘High Purity Alumina (HPA) Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast, 2018–2026. Expansion of the high purity alumina market is primarily driven by its rising demand from manufacturers of LEDs and related products and lithium- ion batteries. Demand for LED products has increased significantly in developing economies such as China, Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea due to rising regulations pertaining to the use of incandescent bulbs. HPA is used in the coatings of lithium-ion battery separators found in electric vehicles and portable electronics. The rising use of sapphire glass by smartphone manufacturers is adding to demand for HPA.

high purity alumina market

Demand from LEDs and Related Products to Drive Market Growth

Currently, LED bulbs reduce electricity use by 85% as compared to incandescent light bulbs and by 40% compared to fluorescent lights. With developments in technology, LEDs are expected to save electricity by 90% and 50% compared to incandescent light bulbs and fluorescent lights, respectively by 2020. LEDs last 50 times longer than incandescent lights and last three to seven times longer than fluorescents. In addition, LED bulbs provide superior light quality than compact fluorescent lights (CFLs).

Production costs of LEDs and related products have declined over the recent past. Furthermore, this trend is expected to continue over the forecast period. Thus, steady rise in demand for LEDs and the corresponding increase in LED production is expected to drive the consumption of high purity alumina during the forecast period.

Despite their energy efficiency, LEDs have been used exclusively in electronic devices (screens for cell phones, computers, or TV). Technological advances have progressively reduced manufacturing costs. Coupled with a regulatory focus on energy efficiency, these reductions are opening up new opportunities for LEDs to enter the lighting sector. With a further decline in production costs expected and rise in environmental concerns, LED lighting is expected to be a lucrative area for the high purity alumina market in the coming years.

Rising Demand for HPA in Lithium-ion Battery Separator Coatings Due to Higher Life Cycle and Thermal Stability

Countries such as China, Japan, and South Korea account for a dominant share in the global lithium-ion battery separator production. Lithium-ion battery production is expected to rise during the forecast period, primarily driven by increasing demand for electric and hybrid vehicles. Moreover, rise in demand for consumer electronics and energy storage devices is expected to fuel demand for lithium-ion batteries and, in turn, for high purity alumina during the forecast period. In the recent past, lithium-ion battery manufacturers have channelized efforts toward expanding their production capacities. This trend is expected to continue, and battery production is expected to rise significantly during the forecast period. This anticipated robust rise in lithium-ion battery production and rise in adoption of high purity alumina for separators are expected to boost demand for high purity alumina during the forecast period.

Over the next few years, demand for lithium-ion batteries with 99.99% (4N) HPA-coated separators is expected to increase significantly due to rising demand for electric vehicles in China, the U.S., South Korea, etc. For instance, in 2018, Tesla, Inc., a U.S.-based company engaged in the manufacture of electric vehicles, energy storage, and solar panel manufacturing, opened a new lithium-ion battery manufacturing facility named ‘Gigafactory’ in the U.S.. The company, in collaboration with Panasonic Corporation and other business partners, started operations in the Gigafactory, which is expected to produce 35 GWh/year of lithium-ion battery cells. All these factors are expected to propel demand for high purity alumina during the forecast period.

Regional Perspective of the High Purity Alumina Market

In terms of revenue, Asia Pacific constituted a significant share of the high purity alumina market in 2017. Expansion in automotive and LED lighting industries is estimated to provide lucrative opportunities to the market during the forecast period.

North America recorded significant sales of high purity alumina in 2017. This is primarily due to the rise in research activities in higher grades of high purity alumina by various leading companies in the region. Additionally, increase in number of stringent regulations on carbon and dust emission is compelling manufacturers to opt for high purity alumina-based coatings with high hardness and wear resistance, typically in lithium-batteries separators.

The high purity alumina market in Europe is expected to expand at a moderate pace during the forecast period. Rising demand for energy-efficient LEDs and increasing mergers and capacity expansion activities among LED manufacturers in Germany, the U.K., and France are expected to drive sales during the forecast period.

High Degree of Competition Exists among Established Players

The high purity alumina market is dominated by a few major players, which generates intense competition. Key producers of high purity alumina depict a medium to low level of forward integration. This provides a distinct competitive advantage to market leaders. Exit barriers are high due to the required investment in agreements, machinery, intellectual property rights, and technology. Entry of several small- to medium-scale manufacturers has intensified the competition in the high purity alumina market.

Companies such as Hebei Heng Bo New Material Technology Co. Ltd., Zibo Xinfumeng Chemicals Co., Ltd., and Xuan Chen Jing Rui New Material Co., Ltd. are leading manufacturers of high purity alumina in China. Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd., Nippon Light Metal Co. Ltd., and HMR Co. Ltd. have wide presence in Japan and South Korea. Baikowski SAS and Sasol Ltd. are the major players operating in high purity alumina market in the U.S. and Canada. Polar Sapphire Ltd. has widespread operations across Canada.

High Purity Alumina Market – Grade Analysis

  • 4N
  • 5N
  • 6N

High Purity Alumina Market – Application Analysis

  • LEDs
  • Semiconductor
  • Phosphor
  • Li-ion Batteries
  • Sapphire
  • Others

High Purity Alumina Market – Regional Analysis

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
  • Europe
    • Germany
    • France
    • U.K.
    • Italy
    • Spain
    • Russia & CIS
    • Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • Japan
    • India
    • ASEAN
    • South Korea
    • Australia
    • Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Mexico
    • Rest of Latin America
  • Middle East & Africa
    • GCC
    • South Africa
    • Rest of Middle East & Africa 

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