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SPECIALTY MARKETS INCREASE SHARE OF THE $900 MILLION WORLD DEMAND FOR MAGNESIUM COMPOUNDS

 FAIRFIELD, N.J., Jan. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Since 1987, world demand for magnesium compounds has declined at an average annual rate of 3% a year reaching $900 million in 1992. This has been primarily due to the decline in dead burned magnesium for steel-making refractories. As a result of improved wear rates, magnesium refractory use per ton of steel produced has dropped, especially in North America and Western Europe.
 During the same period, the U.S. market for magnesium compounds has only declined 1% per year, primarily due to increasing demand for specialty magnesium compounds. These products increased in use at an average annual rate of 6% per year, from 15% of demand in 1987 to their current level of 20% to 25%.
 Since 1987, magnesium compound suppliers have been continually developing new products for such specialty markets as water treatment, fire retardants, pharmaceuticals, and lube and fuel additives. This has been a result of both changing market needs as well as increased price competition in commodity magnesium compounds from the Chinese and other foreign sources.
 According to Kline & Company, seven types of magnesium compounds are consumed in specialty applications, as listed in Table 1. While no one specialty market represents the volume of steel making refractories, these applications generally provide much higher value for the compounds listed.
 The technical requirements of these markets are also generally more stringent, requiring suppliers to further modify and purify their products. In addition, natural magnesite based materials are beginning to compete more with brine or sea water derived magnesias in selected markets.
 Within the past few years, there has been considerable magnesium compound supplier restructuring as a result of these market trends. Marine Magnesia and American Premier (formerly Premier Refractories) have completed acquisitions or mergers to expand specialty capabilities. In addition, both National Magnesia and Dow Chemical have increased production capacity for magnesium hydroxide for growing neutralization applications. In addition, new sources of supply, specifically from China, Australia, Brazil, and the Middle East, will force other suppliers to adjust their product and market strategies, especially as the lower-end refractory markets shift their magnesium sourcing to low-cost foreign materials.
 To address these market and supplier changes, Kline & Company is launching its first detailed analysis of the markets and requirements for specialty magnesium compounds in a new report, OPPORTUNITIES IN SPECIALTY MARKETS FOR MAGNESIUM COMPOUNDS. The report is available on a subscription basis only and will be based on over 100 in-depth interviews with leading consumers and suppliers as well as other trade factors. Information on how to subscribe to this 200-page study can be obtained from Kline & Company, Inc., 165 Passaic Avenue, Fairfield, N.J.
 Table I
 SELECTED SPECIALTY APPLICATIONS FOR MAGNESIUM COMPOUNDS
 Specialty Type of Magnesium Compound Used
 markets Oxide Hydroxide Carbonate Sulfate Chloride Silicate Stearate
 Stack-gas
 scrubbing X - - - - - -
 Water/waste
 water
 treatment X X - X X - -
 Mining/mineral/
 metal
 processing - X - X X - -
 Pharmaceuticals
 and nutritional
 supplements X X X X - X X
 Fire retardants
 for rubbers/
 plastics X X X X X - X
 Lubricant and
 fuel
 additives X - - X - - X
 Paper and
 pulp X X - X - - -
 Food - - - X - - -
 -0- 1/5/94
 /CONTACT: Todd Harris of Kline & Company, 201-808-3408/


CO: Kline & Company ST: New Jersey IN: CHM SU:

CM-DF -- CH003 -- 9425 01/05/94 15:14 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 5, 1994
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