Refractories Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

The Refractories Market is segmented by Product Type (Non-clay Refractory and Clay Refractory), End-user Industry (Iron and Steel, Energy and Chemicals, Non-ferrous Metals, Cement, Ceramic, Glass, and Other End-user Industries), and Geography (Asia-Pacific, North America, Europe, South America, and Middle-East and Africa).

Market Snapshot

Refractories Market Overview
Study Period: 2016-2026
Base Year: 2020
Fastest Growing Market: Asia Pacific
Largest Market: Asia Pacific
CAGR: >2.5 %
Refractories Market Major Players

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Market Overview

The refractories market was valued at 27,448.25 kiloton in 2020, and the market is projected to register a CAGR of more than 2.5% during the forecast period (2021-2026).

Due to COVID-19, numerous countries were in lockdown, which significantly affected the global economy, the economic and industrial activities came to a temporary halt, and the refractories market also witnessed its repercussion in terms of both productions and demand from the end-user industries, such as iron and steel, cement, energy and chemicals, ceramics, etc.​

  • Over the medium term, the major factors driving the market studied are the strong growth of iron and steel production in the emerging countries and the increase in the production of non-ferrous materials. The refractories are used for internal lining applications in iron steel and non-ferrous productions.
  • Moreover, high demand coming from the glass industry is the major factor driving the growth.
  • On the flip side, due to the increasing environmental awareness, government agencies and environmental agencies across the world are laying down the guidelines regarding the usage and disposal of refractories. This is likely to hinder the market growth.
  • The Asia-Pacific region is likely to dominate the market and is expected to have the highest CAGR. Emerging countries, like China, Russia, Mexico, and South Africa, are investing heavily in large-scale infrastructure projects, which are expected to significantly boost the growth of the iron and steel industry.

Scope of the Report

A refractory or refractory material is a material that, at high temperatures, is resistant to decomposition by heat, pressure, or chemical attack and retains strength and form. Refractories are used as a primary material for internal linings in large industrial equipment for their safe, low-maintenance, and cost-effective operations. The refractories market is segmented by product type, end-user industry, and geography. By type, the market is segmented into non-clay refractories and clay refractories. By non-clay refractories, the market is segmented into magnesite brick, zirconia brick, silica brick, chromite brick, and other non-clay refractories. By clay refractories, the market is segmented into high alumina, fireclay, and insulating refractories. By end-user industries, the market for refractories is segmented into iron and steel, energy and chemicals, non-ferrous metals, cement, ceramic, and glass. The report also covers the market size and forecasts for the refractories market in 15 countries across major regions. For each segment, the market sizing and forecasts have been done on the basis of volume (kiloton).

Product Type
Non-clay Refractory
Magnesite Brick
Zirconia Brick
Silica Brick
Chromite Brick
Other Product Types
Clay Refractory
High Alumina
End-user Industry
Iron and Steel
Energy and Chemicals
Non-ferrous Metals
Other End-user Industries
South Korea
Rest of Asia-Pacific
North America
United States
United Kingdom
Rest of Europe
South America
Rest of South America
Middle-East and Africa
Saudi Arabia
South Africa
Rest of Middle-East and Africa

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Key Market Trends

Increasing Demand from the Iron and Steel Industry

  • The iron and steel industry is the major end user of refractories, which accounts for around 60% of the market. These materials can withstand high temperatures, ranging from 260°C (500°F) to 1850°C (3400°F), without any major change in their physical properties.
  • The major applications of refractories in the iron and steel industry include usage in internal linings of furnaces to make iron and steel, in furnaces for heating steel before further processing, in vessels for holding and transporting metal and slag, in the flues or stacks through which hot gases are conducted, and other applications.
  • According to the World Steel Association, the global steel demand reached about 1.76 million metric ton in 2019, and it was projected to reach 1.81 million ton by 2021, registering a growth of about 1.7%. This indicates the demand prospect prevailing in the global market, which serves as instrumental in driving steel production activities.
  • According to World Steel Association, global crude steel production in 2020 reached 1,864 million metric ton, down by 0.9% compared to 2019 due to COVID-19.
  • In terms of consumption, Asia-Pacific is currently the largest consumer of refractories in the iron and steel industry, followed by Europe and North America. In North America, the United States is expected to witness the highest growth rate in the consumption of refractories in this industry during the forecast period.
  • In the European Union, a mild recovery in demand for steel continues while improving the economic sentiments and investment conditions. However, uncertainties in the political landscape, related to the refugee crisis and Brexit, are some of the risks to the economic condition. The demand for steel in the region is anticipated to grow at a slow pace over the forecast period.
  • All the aforementioned factors are expected to drive the global market during the forecast period.
Refractories Market Key Trends

China to Dominate the Asia-Pacific Region

  • The Asia-Pacific region accounted for the largest share, holding around 68% of the total refractories market in terms of volume in 2019. The region is also expected to register the highest CAGR of 3.33% during the forecast period.
  • China dominates the refractories market in terms of consumption and production due to the local availability of raw materials, such as magnesite.
  • Additionally, they are available at cheaper costs as compared to other producers. The iron and steel industry consumes the largest portion of refractories, globally and in China as well.
  • Growing construction activity is creating demand for the production of iron and steel in China and has been driving the growth of the refractories market in recent times. Overall in China, the quantity of steel produced during FY 2019 was valued at 996.3 million ton, and it is expected to increase in coming years. This projects the demand for steel in the country, thereby creating a market opportunity for refractories.
  • Industrial restructuring and the decreased consumption rate of refractories per metric ton of steel impacted the demand for refractories in China. However, the steady growth in the production of iron and steel in the country has been driving the growth of the refractories market in recent times.
  • The growing residential construction industry is expected to support the domestic production demand for non-ferrous, which is a positive factor for the increase in the refractories demand in the coming years.
  • According to the Organization Internationale des Constructeurs d'Automobiles (OICA), China is the largest producer of automobiles. The country alone produced 2,57,20,665 vehicles in 2019, which held about 30% of the global production. Although the sales have decreased, it is expected to increase in the coming years, creating an increased consumption of steel in the automotive body making, thereby creating a need for more refractories in the region.
  • Owing to the encouraging government initiatives and a vast consumer base, the chemical manufacturing sector in China is expected to increase at a consistent rate during the forecast period. The increasing production of chemicals is expected to create an opportunity for the growth of the refractories market in the country in the near future.
Refractories Market Growth Rate By Region

Competitive Landscape

The refractories market stands to be fragmented in nature, where the top five companies cater to about 31%-33% of the global market demand.​ The major players include RHI Magnesita GmbH, Vesuvius, Krosaki Harima Corporation, Shinagawa Refractories Co. Ltd, and Saint-Gobain, among others.

Recent Developments

  • In August 2020, Imerys signed an agreement for the acquisition of a majority stake of about 60% of Haznedar Group, a Turkish-based high-grade monolithic refractory and refractory bricks manufacturer serving the iron and steel, cement, and petrochemical industries.
  • On 30th January 2020, RHI Magnesita, the leading global supplier of high-grade refractory products, systems, and solutions, announced that it had acquired Missouri Refractories Co. Inc. (MORCO).
  • On 24th September 2019, RHI Magnesita made an important acquisition by buying a plant from Manishri Refractories & Ceramics Pvt. Ltd. The plant will produce magnesia carbon brick with a production capacity of 18,000 MTPA. In November 2019, the company started trail production.

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Drivers

      1. 4.1.1 Strong Growth of Iron and Steel Production in the Emerging Countries

      2. 4.1.2 Increase in the Production of Non-ferrous Materials

      3. 4.1.3 High Demand from the Glass Industry

    2. 4.2 Restraints

      1. 4.2.1 Environmental Concerns and Health and Safety Issues

      2. 4.2.2 Unfavorable Conditions Arising Due to the COVID-19 Outbreak

    3. 4.3 Industry Value Chain Analysis

    4. 4.4 Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.4.1 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      2. 4.4.2 Bargaining Power of Consumers

      3. 4.4.3 Threat of New Entrants

      4. 4.4.4 Threat of Substitute Products and Services

      5. 4.4.5 Degree of Competition


    1. 5.1 Product Type

      1. 5.1.1 Non-clay Refractory

        1. Magnesite Brick

        2. Zirconia Brick

        3. Silica Brick

        4. Chromite Brick

        5. Other Product Types

      2. 5.1.2 Clay Refractory

        1. High Alumina

        2. Fireclay

        3. Insulating

    2. 5.2 End-user Industry

      1. 5.2.1 Iron and Steel

      2. 5.2.2 Energy and Chemicals

      3. 5.2.3 Non-ferrous Metals

      4. 5.2.4 Cement

      5. 5.2.5 Ceramic

      6. 5.2.6 Glass

      7. 5.2.7 Other End-user Industries

    3. 5.3 Geography

      1. 5.3.1 Asia-Pacific

        1. China

        2. India

        3. Japan

        4. South Korea

        5. Rest of Asia-Pacific

      2. 5.3.2 North America

        1. United States

        2. Canada

        3. Mexico

      3. 5.3.3 Europe

        1. Germany

        2. United Kingdom

        3. Italy

        4. France

        5. Rest of Europe

      4. 5.3.4 South America

        1. Brazil

        2. Argentina

        3. Rest of South America

      5. 5.3.5 Middle-East and Africa

        1. Saudi Arabia

        2. South Africa

        3. Rest of Middle-East and Africa


    1. 6.1 Mergers and Acquisitions, Joint Ventures, Collaborations, and Agreements

    2. 6.2 Market Share Analysis

    3. 6.3 Strategies Adopted by Leading Players

    4. 6.4 Company Profiles

      1. 6.4.1 Chosun Refractories Co. Ltd

      2. 6.4.2 Harbisonwalker International

      3. 6.4.3 IFGL Refractories Ltd

      4. 6.4.4 Imerys

      5. 6.4.5 Krosaki Harima Corporation

      6. 6.4.6 Magnezit Group

      7. 6.4.7 Minerals Technologies Inc.

      8. 6.4.8 Morgan Advanced Materials

      9. 6.4.9 Refratechnik

      10. 6.4.10 Resco Products Inc.

      11. 6.4.11 RHI Magnesita GmbH

      12. 6.4.12 Shinagawa Refractories Co. Ltd

      13. 6.4.13 Vesuvius

      14. 6.4.14 Saint-Gobain

      15. 6.4.15 INTOCAST AG

      16. 6.4.16 Puyang Refractories Group Co. Ltd

    5. *List Not Exhaustive

    1. 7.1 Growth Potential of the Indian Steel Industry

    2. 7.2 Other Opportunities

**Subject to Availability

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Refractories Market market is studied from 2016 - 2026.

The Refractories Market is growing at a CAGR of >2.5% over the next 5 years.

Asia Pacific is growing at the highest CAGR over 2021- 2026.

Asia Pacific holds highest share in 2020.

Krosaki Harima Corporation, RHI Magnesita GmbH, Vesuvius, SHINAGAWA REFRACTORIES CO.,LTD., Saint-Gobain are the major companies operating in Refractories Market.

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