Zirconium Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecast (2023 - 2028)

The Zirconium Market is Segmented by Occurrence Type (Zircon, Zirconia, and Other Occurrence Types), Application (Zircon Flour/Milled Sand, Zircon Opacifier, Refractories (Zirconia), Zircon Chemicals, and Zircon Metal), and Geography. The report offers market size and forecast for zirconium in volume (kilotons) for all the aforementioned segments.

Zirconium Market Size

Zirconium Market Summary
Study Period: 2017-2027
Fastest Growing Market: Asia-Pacific
Largest Market: Asia-Pacific
CAGR: > 4 %

Major Players

Zirconium Market Major Players

*Disclaimer: Major Players sorted in no particular order


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Zirconium Market Analysis

The global zirconium market is estimated to reach over 1,575 kilotons by the end of the current year, and it is projected to register a CAGR of over 4% during the forecast period.

A sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 cases led to numerous countries resorting to lockdowns, which significantly affected the global economy. The economic and industrial activities came to a temporary halt, which led the zirconium market to witness repercussions in terms of both production and demand from end-user industries, such as iron and steel, cement, energy and chemicals, and ceramics. However, the increasing focus on developing nuclear power resources is expected to help the market achieve positive growth during the forecast period.

  • Over the medium term, the major factors driving the market’s growth are the growth in foundries and refractories, the increasing number of nuclear power stations in Asia-Pacific, and the accelerating usage of surface coatings.
  • On the other hand, the reducing dependence on zircon is likely to hinder the growth of market significantly.
  • The rising demand for zirconium in the healthcare sector for orthopedics and stringent emission standards pertaining to the automotive industry are expected to create the opportunities for the market studied.
  • China dominated the market studied, accounting for a major share of the total revenue, and it is expected to witness the fastest CAGR over the forecast period.

Zirconium Industry Segmentation

Zirconium is a grayish-white metal with a wide range of industrial, commercial, and scientific applications. It is the 20th most abundant element in the Earth’s crust. It commonly occurs as the mineral zircon (ZrSiO4) in a silicate form. It is less frequently available as the mineral baddeleyite (natural zirconia or ZrO2) in an oxide form. 

The zirconium market is segmented by occurrence type, end-user industry, and geography. By occurrence type, the market is segmented into zircon, zirconia, and other occurrence types. By application, the market is segmented into zircon flour/milled sand, zircon opacifier, refractories (zirconia), zircon chemicals, and other applications. The report also covers the size and forecast for the zirconium market in five key countries across major regions, with production across seven countries in major regions. For each segment, the market sizing and forecasts have been done on the basis of volume (kilotons).

Occurrence Type
Other Occurrence Types
Zircon Flour/Milled Sand
Zircon Opacifier
Refractories (Zirconia)
Zircon Chemicals
Zircon Metal
South Africa
Rest of the World
United States
European Union
Rest of the World

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Zirconium Market Trends

This section covers the major market trends shaping the Zirconium Market according to our research experts:

Increasing Demand from Zircon Flour/Sand

  • Zircon is widely used in ceramics and foundry, mostly in the form of sand and flour (milled sand), due to its various properties, such as the ability to bind with all organic and inorganic sand binders, low acidity, low thermal expansion coefficient, and high spatial stability at increased temperatures, chemical stability at high temperatures, and good recyclability.
  • In ceramics, zircon sand is used for its highly valuable properties, such as its high refractive index for opacification. Its ancillary benefits, including its ability to impart greater mechanical strength, toughness, and durability to ceramic bodies and glass matrices, are established attributes and enable it to find applications in specific segments of the ceramic industry, thereby catering to markets with a preference for these attributes.
  • In foundry applications, it is used widely as a molding base material for sand casting, investment casting, and Cosworth casting (aluminum). It is also used as a mold coating in die casting and refractory paints and washes, as it reduces the wettability of other foundry sands.
  • Zircon sand is used for mold and core manufacturing, where its refractoriness, low expansion, reduced wettability by molten steel, and high thermal conductivity offer significant advantages over silica sand.
  • Zircon foundry sands produce a better metal finish, a lesser likelihood of ‘burn-on,’ and improved metal solidification. It increases the resistance to metal penetration and imparts a uniform finish to the casting.
  • Owing to the aforementioned factors, the demand for zircon flour/sand is expected to grow over the forecast period.
Zirconium Market, Volume CAGR (%), by Application, Global, 2022-2027

China to Dominate the Market

  • China dominated the global market share for zirconium, and it is gaining popularity as the fastest-growing consumer of nuclear energy in the present scenario. The increasing focus on developing nuclear power resources is expected to increase the demand for zirconium.
  • China is the largest steel producer in the world. According to the report published by World Steel Association, China accounted for 53% of the overall production of steel in the world, which is 1950.5 metric tons. Additionally, in 2021, the Chinese government approved the construction of 43 new EAFs with a total crude steel capacity of 29.33 million mt/year. Thus, the construction of new steel plants is likely to drive the market for refractories, thereby increasing the consumption of zirconium in the country.
  • The increased pace of infrastructural activities has led to an increase in residential and commercial buildings in China. This is expected to drive the demand for refractories in the cement and iron steel industries, thereby driving the market studied.
  • China is currently gaining popularity as the fastest-growing consumer of nuclear energy. The country has 50 operable nuclear reactors, with a combined net capacity of 47,518 MW. The increasing focus on the development of nuclear power resources is expected to increase the demand for zirconium.
  • According to China’s Atomic Energy Research Initiative, by 2035, nuclear plants operation should reach around 180 GW. Thus, increasing nuclear power production capacities is likely to increase the consumption of zirconium in the country.
  • The growth in industries, such as refractories and ceramics, is expected to drive the market studied in the forecast period.
Zirconium Market - Growth Rate by Region, 2022-2027

Zirconium Industry Overview

The global zirconium market is consolidated, with the top five companies accounting for major shares of global consumption. Most of the consumption of zirconium is in the Asia-Pacific region and Europe. The major players in the market include Iluka Resources Limited, Rio Tinto, Tronox Holdings PLC, Kenmare Resources PLC, and Eramet.

Zirconium Market Leaders

  1. Iluka Resources Limited

  2. Tronox Holdings plc

  3. Eramet

  4. Kenmare Resources PLC

  5. Rio Tinto

*Disclaimer: Major Players sorted in no particular order

Zirconium Market Concentration

Zirconium Market News

  • Recent developments pertaining to the market studied will be provided in the final report.

Zirconium Market Report - Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Drivers

      1. 4.1.1 Growth of Nuclear Power Stations in the Asia-Pacific

      2. 4.1.2 Consistent Growth in Foundries and Refractories

      3. 4.1.3 Accelerating Usage in Surface Coatings

    2. 4.2 Restraints

      1. 4.2.1 Reducing Dependence on Zircon

    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

    5. 4.5 Import and Export

      1. 4.5.1 Trade Regulatory Policy Analysis

      2. 4.5.2 Price Trends

  5. 5. MARKET SEGMENTATION (Market Size in Volume)

    1. 5.1 Occurrence Type

      1. 5.1.1 Zircon

      2. 5.1.2 Zirconia

      3. 5.1.3 Other Occurrence Types

    2. 5.2 Applications

      1. 5.2.1 Zircon Flour/Milled Sand

      2. 5.2.2 Zircon Opacifier

      3. 5.2.3 Refractories (Zirconia)

      4. 5.2.4 Zircon Chemicals

      5. 5.2.5 Zircon Metal

    3. 5.3 Geography

      1. 5.3.1 Production

        1. Australia

        2. Brazil

        3. China

        4. India

        5. Indonesia

        6. South Africa

        7. Ukraine

        8. Rest of the World

      2. 5.3.2 Consumption

        1. China

        2. United States

        3. Japan

        4. European Union

        5. India

        6. Russia

        7. Rest of the World


    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 Australian Strategic Materials Ltd

      2. 6.4.2 Base Resources Limited

      3. 6.4.3 Binh Dinh Minerals Company

      4. 6.4.4 Doral Mineral Sands Pty Ltd

      5. 6.4.5 Eramet

      6. 6.4.6 Iluka Resources Limited

      7. 6.4.7 INB

      8. 6.4.8 Kenmare Resources PLC

      9. 6.4.9 Lanka Mineral Sands Limited

      10. 6.4.10 MZI Resources Ltd

      11. 6.4.11 Rio Tinto

      12. 6.4.12 Tronox Holdings PLC

    5. *List Not Exhaustive

    1. 7.1 Growing Usage in the Healthcare Sector, Especially Orthopedic Implants​

    2. 7.2 Stringent Emission Standards Pertaining to Automotive

**Subject to Availability
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Zirconium Market Research FAQs

The Zirconium Market market is studied from 2017 - 2027.

The Zirconium Market is growing at a CAGR of >4% over the next 5 years.

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

Asia-Pacific holds highest share in 2021.

Iluka Resources Limited, Tronox Holdings plc, Eramet, Kenmare Resources PLC, Rio Tinto are the major companies operating in Zirconium Market.

Zirconium Industry Report

Statistics for the 2023 Zirconium market share, size and revenue growth rate, created by Mordor Intelligence™ Industry Reports. Zirconium analysis includes a market forecast outlook to 2028 and historical overview. Get a sample of this industry analysis as a free report PDF download.

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