Report: Silica sand demand to grow annually

By |  October 31, 2016

silica-sand-chartSilica sand demand in North America is forecast to expand 5.1 percent per year through 2020 to 82.8 million metric tons, according to a report from The Freedonia Group.

The Freedonia Group report, titled “World Industrial Silica Sand,” offers insights on a number of silica sand trends. The firm reports that the 5.1 percent-per-year growth is somewhat less than that recorded between 2010 and 2015. Low oil and gas prices into the near term will depress the number of new wells drilled through 2020, limiting opportunities for frac sand suppliers, the firm says.

The Freedonia Group adds that increasing intensity of use per well will fuel robust growth in silica sand consumption, making it the fastest-growing market in North America into the long term.

Demand for industrial sand in building product applications will also record healthy advances through 2020, the firm reports. A rebound in bituminous roofing demand will fuel these advances as the U.S. construction industry continues to recover from the effects of the Great Recession.

“Gains in the chemicals and flat glass markets will both increase at a steady pace,” says Zoe Biller, analyst at The Freedonia Group.

In addition, less robust increases will be recorded in the container glass market, which will be dampened by glass’ declining share of the packaging market, as well as by the widespread use of recycled glass in glass container manufacturing, The Freedonia Group says.

The worst performance is expected in other, smaller applications, the firm adds. This will be due to the declining use of sand as a blasting abrasive because of the health concerns associated with worker exposure to silica dust.

Kevin Yanik

About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is the editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry magazine. Yanik can be reached at 216-706-3724 or kyanik@northcoastmedia.net.

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