Global consumption of sodium metal was estimated to the tune of 98,400 MT in 2016. It is projected that demand will grow at a CAGR of 3.3% through 2024 and surpass 127,400 MT. The sluggish demand for sodium metal is on account of a slew of factors, including its impact on the environment and growing use of alternatives, such as magnesium. Challenges associated with handling and storage can also impede demand. Owing to these factors, a number of manufacturers have either shut down their sodium metal manufacturing units, or have reduced their production capacity.
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In the backdrop of changing demand preferences, manufacturers are focusing on developing variants that have a lesser impact on the environment. Application-specific sodium metal is quickly gaining traction among manufacturers, as demand for these variants is currently higher. Leading players in the global sodium metal market include Inner Mongolia Lantai Industrial Co. Ltd., Wanji Holdings Group Limited, MSSA S.A.S., and Shandong Moris Tech Co. Ltd.
Key trends expected to shape the sodium metal market include,
• Use of sodium metal in the manufacture of Indigo dyes will continue to offer growth opportunities to manufacturers
• Use of sodium methylate as a catalyst in large-scale biodiesel production will remain a driving factor during the forecast period
• Metal manufacturers and refiners use sodium metal as a reductant; steady demand from this sector will continue to fuel growth
• Competitive oligopoly will remain the prevailing status quo in the market; few manufacturers will continue to hold sway of the market
Sodium metal finds application in a number of end-use industries, with chemical synthesis among the most prominent applications. This segment currently accounts for over 70% revenue share of the market; by 2024, the revenue share is expected to reach 72%. This application segment will continue to provide growth opportunities to manufacturers during the forecast period. The overall weak demand for sodium metal will be offset to a certain extent by demand from the textile sector, where it is widely used for chemical synthesis.
Asia Pacific is the largest market for sodium metal globally, and it will continue to remain the most lucrative market during the forecast period. Asia Pacific is home to numerous textile manufacturing hubs, and on account of steady demand from these centers, demand for sodium metal is anticipated to remain steady during the forecast period. In 2016, 53,690 MT of sodium metal was consumed in APAC, and demand is projected to remain moderate during the forecast period. In Europe, demand for sodium metal is projected to reach 24,200 MT by 2024.