The global ferrosilicon market is projected to progress at a CAGR of 3.3% during 2024–2030, to reach USD 13.7 billion by 2030. The biggest driver for the market is the increase in the demand for this material from the manufacturing, construction, and automotive industries.
Ferrosilicon is an alloy of iron and silicon with the primary application in the steel industry as a deoxidizing and alloying agent. It is used as an inoculant during the production of cast iron, as well as in the Pidgeon process, for the manufacturing of high-purity magnesium from magnesium oxide. The magnesium thus obtained can be further used in the aerospace, automotive, medical device, electronics, and chemical industries.
On the basis of type, the milled bifurcation is projected to have a healthy CAGR during the forecast period. This variant is produced by spraying or crushing molten ferrosilicon into fine particles. It is used in the mining sector for the separation of heavy media. Additionally, it plays an important role in the production of cast iron, particularly in situations where a slower reaction is deemed acceptable.
Carbon & other alloy steel is expected to dominate the application segment till 2030. During the manufacturing of carbon steel, ferrosilicon serves as a deoxidizer for removing oxygen and impurities from molten steel. The raw material also acts as an alloying agent, which imparts hardness and corrosion resistance.
Further, in the automotive industry, the role of ferrosilicon is significant due to its high specific gravity, magnetism, and great strength. The demand for vehicles is growing with the increasing degree of industrialization and urbanization, especially in developing countries. Further, the rising demand for buildings and pieces of civil infrastructure results in the need for construction material in high volumes. Since steel is vital to construction projects, the proliferation in their number and scale propels the consumption of ferrosilicon as a raw material for steel production.
The inoculants bifurcation is set to have the higher CAGR, of 3.5%, in the forecast period, based on application. Inoculants are added to molten metal to influence its solidification and improve the microstructure of the final castings. In the cast iron industry, ferrosilicon is used as an inoculant, along with other elements, such as barium, aluminum, and calcium. It plays a crucial role by providing the silicon required for graphite formation, whereas the other elements contribute to the adjustment of moisture in the metal, ultimately improving the casting process. In this regard, the increasing demand for cookware made from cast iron is projected to fuel the market growth.
Ferrosilicon is also used in the Pidgeon process for the refining of high-purity magnesium. The increasing demand for magnesium products from various sectors is aiding the market growth. Key products made from or containing magnesium are aerospace components, automotive parts, sports equipment, electronic devices, power tools, and industrial machines. Thus, in December 2021, LiteAuto GmbH entered into an agreement with the Government of Telangana to invest USD 199.3 million (INR 1,500 crore) for the production of lightweight magnesium alloy components for the automotive (especially EVs) industry.
Some of the key players in the global ferrosilicon market are Elkem, RFA International, DMS Powders, Ferroglobe, Eurasian Resources Group, Feng Erda Group, Finnfjord AS, Mechel PAO, Om Holdings Ltd, and Maithan Alloys Ltd.