Established global behemoths wield a substantial control over the bromine market, worldwide. Their dominant position is a result of their massive manufacturing capacities and significant geographical outreach. Armed with substantial technological and financial resources, the companies have been nimbly adapting to various market changes. In order to bolster their positions further, these companies have been leveraging astute pricing policies and product development.
Bromine and its derivatives are increasingly finding application in lessening mercury emissions from smokestacks of coal-fired plants that poses hazard to human health. In fact, many governments and other authorities already have regulations in place to arrest mercury emission. This in turn has provided a fillip to the global bromine market. Besides, bromine is also used in water treatment – be it industrial water treatment or residential or commercial water purification. This is another growth driver in the market.
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Negatively impacting its market, on the other hand, is the fact that bromine is a hazardous waste, which has to be disposed of carefully so as to cause minimum damage to the environment and humans. Further, bromine vapor is highly corrosive. The problem becomes aggravated in presence of moisture on account of the formation of acids. Therefore, bromine needs be kept dry during transportation and storage.
A report by Transparency Market Research, forecasts the global bromine market to expand at a lackluster CAGR of 5.0% from 2017 to 2025, to become worth US$2.674 bn by 2025 from US$1.74 in 2016.
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The global bromine market can be divided into flame retardants, drilling fluids, biocides, catalysts, water treatment, etc. based on its different applications. Of them, the segment of flame retardants accounts for maximum market share. Going forward, the segment is expected to retain its leading share in the market, albeit reducing it slightly to 32.6% by 2025 by clocking the minimum CAGR of 4.2%. This is because, bromine, which is used to manufacture brominated flame retardants (BFR) which is added to a wide array of products, ranging from textiles, plastics, and electrical/electronic equipment, is being banned or restricted on account of its ill-effects on human health. This is proving a major impediment to the growth in the global bromine market.
Another major application of bromine is as clear brine fluids in drilling fluids. With oil and gas drilling activities showing little signs of slowing down in the near future, despite oversupply, the segment is slated to clock continued growth as they are used in the completion process of oil and gas extraction. The segment is expected to register a CAGR of 5.4% from 2017 to 2025.
Vis-à-vis growth rate, however, water treatment application is anticipated to surpass all other applications by registering a CAGR of 6.1% between 2017 and 2025.
Some of the prominent participants operating in the global bromine market are Albemarle Corporation, Israel Chemical Ltd. (ICL), Jordan Bromine Company Limited, and Gulf Resources Inc.