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Metal Replacement Demand to Rise Across the Electronics Sector in the Coming Years

metal replacement

Metal Replacement Demand to Rise Across the Electronics Sector in the Coming Years

Over the past few years, manufacturers across the automotive, aerospace & defense, energy, and electronics industries are showing enormous interest in metal alternatives to obtain higher design freedom, improved performance and significant weight reductions. Metal replacement materials largely help in speeding up installations and enhancing the mechanical properties which in turn offers greater durability and reduces the overall cost. The growing prominence of these solutions is expected to proliferate the expansion of the metal replacement market in the ensuing years.

The industry is observing lucrative growth opportunities in the electronics sector on account of the elevated sales of consumer electronics, especially mobile phones, across the globe. According to the Consumer Technology Association statistics, revenue from the retail sales from the consumer technology industry in the U.S. will reach USD 461 billion in 2021, representing a rise of 4.3% year on year.


 

On the other hand, China is showing promising performance with regard to cell phone exports. According to the data published by the General Administration of Customs of China, cell phone exports in the country accounted for USD 22.9 billion during the first two months of 2021, representing year-on-year growth of 49.2%.

Such a considerable rise in the demand for consumer electronics goods is subsequently driving the adoption of metal replacement solutions. They find important usage in mobile device enclosures, circuit boards, batteries, sensors, audio speakers, etc. to address engineering challenges and improve the performance and reliability of products. For instance, high-performance polymer solutions offer high reliability, versatility, and design freedom for next-generation electronic devices.

The numerous product advantages are essentially driving its demand in the aerospace industry. The high-performance polymers are enabling aerospace companies to enhance the performance of their aircraft by replacing the metals. The adoption of these polymers is being driven by the growing necessity for fuel-efficient and eco-friendly aircraft. In addition, they also offer greater reliability, reduce assembly times and minimize operating and manufacturing costs.

As a result of the high product demand in aerospace, several eminent market players are inclined on developing innovative solutions designed according to the industry needs to gain a competitive edge in the market. To illustrate, in 2020, Victrex collaborated with French aircraft manufacturer Daher to develop a 176-ply laminate structural panel for aircraft with a 32 mm thickness, based on VICTREX AE™ 250 LMPAEK thermoplastic composite. According to the company, this new solution will expedite the aircraft manufacturing process and improve efficiency.

Speaking of the application of metal replacement in the transportation sector, it is being extensively used to make vehicles lighter and more fuel-efficient. Metal alternatives like polymers, plastics, composites, etc. not only enhance fuel efficiency but also improve durability and driving comfort through reduced noise and vibration.

Quoting an instance, in 2020, AIMPLAS, the Plastics Technology Centre, contributed to the European Mat4Rail project involving the manufacturing of new materials and components for the railway of the future. The initiative was aimed at reducing the weight of railway vehicles by replacing metal components with composite materials to enhance the vehicle capacity and passenger comfort. The role of AIMPLAS was to develop new hybrid resin formulations offering better resistance to flame propagation and to be used in fiber-reinforced polymers.

Rising demand for material that can enhance performance and offer greater freedom during manufacturing has impelled the demand for metal replacement solutions across sectors like electronics, aerospace, automobile, etc. Besides, technological developments in these solutions are further driving their demand and is expected to accelerate the business growth in coming years.

plywood

American Plywood Imports Peak Near $3B

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘U.S. – Plywood – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

In 2020, American plywood imports grew by +15% y-o-y to 5.4M or by +7.7% to $2.9B in value terms, reaching a record level over the past decade. Viet Nam, Brazil and Canada constitute the major plywood suppliers to the U.S., with a combined 41%-share of the total imports. Last year, Cambodia, Indonesia, Brazil, Viet Nam, Chile, Canada and Russia saw the most rapid increases in plywood exports to the U.S. In 2020, the average plywood import price in America dropped by -6.7% against the figures of 2019.

Plywood Imports into the U.S.

Plywood imports into the U.S. skyrocketed to 5.4M cubic meters in 2020, with an increase of +15% against 2019 figures. In value terms, plywood imports rose by +7.7% significantly to $2.9B (IndexBox estimates) in 2020.

Viet Nam (779K cubic meters), Brazil (766K cubic meters) and Canada (697K cubic meters) were the main suppliers of plywood imports to the U.S., with a combined 41% share of total imports. China, Indonesia, Chile, Russia and Cambodia lagged somewhat behind, together accounting for a further 42%.

In 2020, the most notable growth rate in terms of purchases, amongst the main suppliers, was attained by Cambodia (39.7% y-o-y), Indonesia (+36.6% y-o-y), Brazil (+36.5% y-o-y), Viet Nam (+24.4% y-o-y), Chile (+18.5% y-o-y), Canada (+14.4% y-o-y) and Russia (+7.8% y-o-y).

In value terms, Viet Nam ($424M), China ($363M) and Indonesia ($351M) constituted the largest plywood suppliers to the U.S., together comprising 39% of total imports. Canada, Brazil, Chile, Russia and Cambodia lagged somewhat behind, together accounting for a further 44%.

The average plywood import price stood at $542 per cubic meter in 2020, falling by -6.7% against the previous year. Prices varied noticeably by the country of origin; the country with the highest price was Indonesia ($695 per cubic meter), while the price for Chile ($420 per cubic meter) was amongst the lowest. In 2020, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by China, while the prices for the other major suppliers experienced a decline.

Source: IndexBox Platform

chromium

Chromium Ore and Concentrate Imports in China to Regain Momentum

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘World – Chromium ores and concentrates – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

In 2020, global exports of chromium ores and concentrates reduced sharply by -10.2% y-o-y to 16M tonnes. China, the major importer of chromium ores and concentrates, comprises over 70% of the total global imports. In Q1 2021, shipments to the country stood at a level slightly lower than in the same period of 2020. South Africa remains the largest exporter worldwide, accounting for 79% of the total global exports.

Largest Importers of Chromium Ores and Concentrates

In 2020, China (16M tonnes) represented the key importer of chromium ores and concentrates, constituting 71% of total imports. It was distantly followed by Mozambique (3.8M tonnes), generating a 17% share of total imports. Russia (896K tonnes) followed a long way behind the leaders.

In value terms, China ($3B) constitutes the largest market for imported chromium ores and concentrates worldwide, comprising 77% of global imports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Mozambique ($386M), with a 10% share of global imports.

In Q1 2021, shipments to the country stood at a level slightly lower than in the same period of 2020. A sharp drop was recorded in Q2 2020 due to the pandemic, followed by a recovery, after which imports stabilized. Should the trend pattern remain flat in 2021, a slight growth against 2020 could be expected.

Chromium Ore and Concentrate Exports by Country

In 2020, approx. 16M tonnes of chromium ores and concentrates were exported worldwide; shrinking by -10.2% on the previous year. In value terms, chromium ore and concentrate exports fell rapidly to $2.5B (IndexBox estimates) in 2020.

South Africa dominates chromium ore and concentrate export structure, accounting for 13M tonnes, which was near 79% of total exports in 2020. The following exporters – Kazakhstan (676K tonnes), Turkey (672K tonnes), Zimbabwe (583K tonnes), Oman (378K tonnes), Pakistan (279K tonnes) and Albania (249K tonnes) – together made up 18% of total exports.

In 2020, average annual rates of growth with regard to chromium ore and concentrate exports from South Africa stood at -7.4%. Kazakhstan (-3.3%), Zimbabwe (-13.6%), Pakistan (-16.6%), Albania (-22.0%), Turkey (-33.4%) and Oman (-36.2%) illustrated a downward trend over the same period.

In value terms, South Africa ($1.8B) remains the largest chromium ore and concentrate supplier worldwide, comprising 74% of global exports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Turkey ($126M), with a 5.1% share of global exports. It was followed by Zimbabwe, with a 4.4% share.

In 2020, the average chromium ore and concentrate export price amounted to $152 per tonne, which is down by -13.3% against the previous year. There were differences in the average prices amongst the major exporting countries. In 2020, the country with the highest price was Pakistan ($191 per tonne), while Oman ($100 per tonne) was amongst the lowest. In 2020, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by Kazakhstan, while the other global leaders experienced a decline in the export price figures.

Source: IndexBox Platform

wood

Global Wood Pellet Imports Reach Record $4.5B

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘World – Wood Pellets – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

Global wood pellet imports spiked by +9.2% y-o-y to $4.5B, reaching the highest point ever. The UK remains the largest wood pellet importer, accounting for 35% of the total global imports. Among leading importers, the Netherlands saw the most prominent growth of purchases last year. The average import price for wood pellets grew by +4.3% y-o-y in 2020. The U.S., Viet Nam, Canada, Latvia, Russia and Denmark constitute the prime exporters of wood pellets worldwide. 

Wood Pellet Imports by Country

In 2020, approx. 26M tonnes of wood pellets were imported worldwide; surging by +4.6% on the previous year. In value terms, wood pellets imports expanded by +9.2% y-o-y to $4.5B (IndexBox estimates) in 2020.

The UK represented the major importing country with an import of around 9M tonnes, which finished at 35% of total imports. South Korea (3M tonnes) ranks second in terms of the total imports with a 12% share, followed by the Netherlands (11%), Denmark (9.9%), Japan (7.9%) and Italy (7%). The following importers – Belgium (1,135K tonnes) and Latvia (426K tonnes) – together made up 6% of total imports.

Among the largest importers, the Netherlands recorded the highest spike in import value last year. This country ramped up its imports more than twofold, from 1.2M tonnes in 2019 to 2.8M tonnes in 2020.

In value terms, the UK ($1.7B) constitutes the largest market for imported wood pellets worldwide, comprising 38% of global imports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by the Netherlands ($518M), with a 11% share of global imports. It was followed by Denmark, with a 9.4% share.

The average wood pellets import price stood at $176 per tonne in 2020, rising by +4.3% against the previous year. There were significant differences in the average prices amongst the major importing countries. In 2020, the country with the highest price was Italy ($209 per tonne), while South Korea ($110 per tonne) was amongst the lowest. In 2020, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by the UK, while the other global leaders experienced mixed trends in the import price figures.

Leading Suppliers of Wood Pellets

In 2020, the U.S. (7.3M tonnes), distantly followed by Viet Nam (3.1M tonnes), Canada (2.9M tonnes), Latvia (2.4M tonnes), Russia (2M tonnes) and Denmark (1.4M tonnes) were the key exporters of wood pellets, together comprising 66% of total exports. Estonia (1,070K tonnes), Austria (849K tonnes), Germany (751K tonnes), Malaysia (634K tonnes), Lithuania (610K tonnes), Portugal (603K tonnes) and Belarus (526K tonnes) took a relatively small share of total exports.

In value terms, the U.S. ($982M) remains the largest wood pellets supplier worldwide, comprising 22% of global exports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Canada ($407M), with a 9.1% share of global exports. It was followed by Viet Nam, with an 8.7% share.

Source: IndexBox Platform