Global demand for bismuth is expected to grow at a Y-o-Y growth rate of 4.9% by 2016 end. China is a major consumer, producer, and exporter of bismuth and is anticipated to maintain its dominance in the global market in the near future. The country is estimated to account for 27.0% share of overall bismuth sales by the end of 2016. The increasing use of bismuth oxide in growing manufacturing industries is anticipated to drive consumption in the region. The rapid growth of the automobile end-use industry is expected to drive further market growth.
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Increasing environmental regulations regarding lead usage in various end-use industries would drive demand for bismuth and bismuth derived compounds. Stringent regulations and initiatives by leading manufacturers in end-use industries to phase out lead production is expected to spur bismuth market growth. Major paints & coatings manufacturers such as BASF SE and PPG Inc. are actively offering bismuth-based products replacing their lead based portfolio, in order to provide environmentally-friendly product offerings.
The bismuth market in APAC is anticipated to witness higher growth rates due to increasing manufacturing activities in China and India. Demand in Europe is also anticipated to be above average due to stringent lead restricting directives in the region, while demand in North America, Latin America, and MEA is expected to be moderate. Declining lead production due to regulations and declining consumption of lead-acid batteries is anticipated to be a major restricting factor for the global market. The increasing use of bismuth alternatives in pharmaceuticals and alloys is also a major obstacle to market growth.
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Hunan Jinwang Bismuth Industry Co. Ltd., Hunan Bismuth Co. Ltd., and Nui Phao Mining Company Limited are some of the top producers of bismuth, with a cumulative annual production capacity of 11,000 metric tons.