Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Companies and Demand Trends for High-Purity Alumina

Information found on the Internet indicates that about 50% of the world-wide production of high-purity alumina (HPA) is in China.  However, the current largest producer (seller) of HPA is the Japanese company Sumitomo.  Companies in other areas producing HPA include: Hydro (Norway); Alcoa (United States); Rusal (Russia); Baikowski (France); and Orbite Aluminae (Canada).  Large Chinese producers are: Hekei Hebei Pengda Advanced Materials Technology; Zibo Xinfumeng; and Dalian Rall Fine Ceramics.

The demand growth for HPA (99.99% and greater aluminum oxide purity) is expected to grow from 25 to 30% per year over the next few years.  Currently, an estimated 13,000 to 15,000 metric tons per year are produced.  Increasing HPA use in light-emitting diode (LED) products (such as screens and lighting) is one factor for this high growth rate.  Other uses of HPA are: in the semiconductor industry; automotive sensors; phosphor-based products; abrasives; and watch covers.   An interesting unknown concerning the future HPA demand is the recent building of a factory in Arizona by Apple to produce relatively large quantities of synthetic sapphire.  Synthetic sapphire is made from HPA.  Depending on how Apple uses this synthetic sapphire could influence other companies’ synthetic sapphire use, and consequently HPA demand.

The current price reported on the Internet for HPA ranges from $50 per kg to $400 per kg, depending on purity and other specifications.  The increasing demand for HPA is attracting new producers.  This in turn should lead to more supply and decreased prices.

The above blog represents a general overview of companies, demand, and pricing related to HPA.  Please email me should you be seeking more research and analyses either on this topic or other chemical industry data, statistics, and activities.

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