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Global Zirconium Silicate Demand Dampens, Leads Prices to Fall Over in December 2023
Global Zirconium Silicate Demand Dampens, Leads Prices to Fall Over in December 2023

Global Zirconium Silicate Demand Dampens, Leads Prices to Fall Over in December 2023

  • 10-Jan-2024 4:07 PM
  • Journalist: Francis Stokes

In December 2023, Zirconium Silicate followed a downward trajectory in the global market primarily driven by lackluster demand from the downstream construction industry. Germany's manufacturing sector faced challenges as reduced new orders persisted, putting pressure on production levels. To maintain output, manufacturers frequently turned to address accumulated work backlogs as manufacturers sought to decrease their inventory levels by the year-end. This decision was influenced by various factors, including diminished customer demand, financial constraints, and enhanced material availability.  Further, the US and Asian markets saw a decline in Zirconium Silicate costs amid the low cost of imported material and sluggish demand.

The cost of Zirconium Silicate depreciated by 3% in the Europe particularly in Germany, Italy, Poland, and Spain amid lackluster demand from the downstream construction industry due to the economic slowdown. Towards the conclusion of the year, there was minimal improvement observed in German construction activity, and the overall conditions remained firmly within a contraction phase. New orders for Zirconium Silicate experienced a significant decline, and residential construction also witnessed a substantial decrease in December, even though the inflation of input costs decreased to a two-year low. During this timeframe, the construction sector, particularly housing activity, continued to face challenges stemming from various factors, thus impacting the Zirconium Silicate market.

A problematic combination of escalating prices, increasing interest rates, and a general reluctance to invest amid economic uncertainties have resulted in a persistent slump in demand for construction projects which influenced the downward price trajectory of Zirconium Silicate. Moreover, Euro area annual inflation is expected to hover at 2.9% for December 2023, rising from 2.4% (November 2023) according to a flash estimate from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, which has impacted consumer purchasing activities in Europe.

During this timeframe, Zirconium Silicate experienced a depreciation of 3% in the USA, primarily due to weak demand from the downstream construction sector. Towards the end of the year, sellers concentrated on reducing their material inventory, resulting in discounted rates and contributing to the overall price decrease of Zirconium Silicate. Further, the construction sector showed limited demand as the industry experienced a notable downturn during this month which lowered the  Zirconium Silicate cost. Moreover, the cost of imported material from Europe remained low due to abundant supply, further reducing the overall cost of the product in the region.

In this month, the Chinese Zirconium Silicate market witnessed a downward trend as the prices fell by 3% this month. In December, China's manufacturing activity contracted for the third consecutive month and showed a more significant drop. This has created uncertainty regarding the country's economic recovery, prompting considerations for additional stimulus measures in the coming year.

According to ChemAnalyst, Zirconium Silicate prices in the Asian market, imported from Europe, are likely to experience an uptick in January 2024 which is attributed to a surge in freight charges. The situation is due to ongoing disruptions in the Red Sea and Bab-el-Mandeb Strait. In response, exporters are exploring alternative routes, such as navigating through the tip of Africa through the Cape of Good Hope. However, this alternative poses challenges, including increased distance, prolonged transit times, higher fuel expenses, and potential disruptions during the extended voyage. These logistical and economic complexities for exporters may contribute to an upward trajectory in the prices of Zirconium Silicate.

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