Plummeting costs of LEDs and increasing consumer shift towards replacing incandescent lights with LED lights, owing to their high energy efficiency and low carbon emissions is in turn expected to create highly lucrative growth prospects for the global high purity alumina market throughout the forecast period (2017–2025). Artificial sapphire is used as a substrate in production of LEDs, onto which the emitting layer of the LED is deposited as a vapor. Artificial sapphire is derived from high purity alumina by single crystal technology. As per stats released by Coherent Market Insights, the 4N purity segment was pegged at US$ 744 million in 2016. 99.99% purity level the 4N grade alumina is widely used, due to easier availability of smelter grade and low production cost. The 4N grade high purity alumina is widely used in gas separation and ultra-filtration process due to its high chemical resistance, porous nature, and mechanical strength. Moreover, demand for 5N grade high purity alumina is expected to witness significant growth during the forecast period as it finds wide application in scratch-proof sapphire glass and high end electronic displays. The market is expected to gain traction in Asia Pacific region due to burgeoning growth of various end-use industries in China, Taiwan, South Korea and India.
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The global high purity alumina market size was valued at US$ 1764.9 million (revenue) and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 16.3% in terms of revenue during the period 2017 – 2025.
Surging demand for Electronic Displays Augmenting Market Growth
Asia Pacific has emerged as a major manufacturing hub, with major players focusing on capitalizing on economies of scale in the region. Furthermore, the region is a highly lucrative market for consumer electronic products, on the back of rampant economic growth in countries such as India and China. Besides, as per statistics released by India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF)—a trust established by the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India—the country is poised to emerge as the second-largest market for smartphones in 2017. According to stats released by Coherent Market Insights, the electronic display market is projected to exhibit a robust CAGR of 16.9% during 2017-2025. These factors collectively position Asia Pacific as a powerhouse in the global high purity alumina market, and is expected to retain its dominance in the market through 2025.
Cost Reduction: A Major Challenge for Market Players
The high purity alumina is a highly capital intensive market, which creates high entry barriers for new entrants. High production costs result in high cost of end products and relatively low profitability. Thus, the market is highly consolidated and is mainly dominated by major players based in Australia and China. This is mainly attributed to large bauxite reserves—the basic raw material for production of high purity alumina—in these countries.
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Major players in the global high purity alumina market include Altech Chemicals Limited, Baikowski Pure Solutions, Nippon Light Metal, Polar Sapphire Ltd., Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd., Orbite Technologies Inc., and Alcoa Inc. and among others.