Lime is a low cost—high volume commodity which is derived from heating limestone and consumed on a large scale in the United States. There are two types of lime generally available in the market– quick lime and hydrated lime, and they are used across various applications including metal processing, cement manufacturing, pulp and paper processing, etc. Revenue from the sales of lime in the U.S. market is estimated to be valued at US$ 2,538.1 Mn by 2016 end; and the U.S. lime market is estimated to register a CAGR of 3.7% during the forecast period 2016–2026.
The domestic metal industry in the U.S., which suffered from dumping of low cost products in the country, is expected to strengthen its position over the coming years. Lime is used to eliminate impurities during metallurgical operations such as in the manufacturing process of ferrous (iron and steel) and non-ferrous (alumina & bauxite, magnesium, copper, zinc, lead, etc.) metals. These metals are a backbone in various end-use sectors of the country including construction, automobiles, electronics, etc. Due to developments in the metal industry, lime is anticipated to experience significant growth in its demand and the market is forecast to register healthy growth over the coming years. Another key driver affecting the demand of lime in the U.S. market is its increasing use for producing precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC). PCC, due to its high calcium content, is progressively being used in the manufacture of paints, paper, plastic, rubber, calcium-based antacid tablets and liquids, multi-vitamin/ mineral tablets, etc. The growing use of PCC, specifically in the healthcare, polymer, and paper industries, is expected to drive demand for lime over the forecast period in the country.
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Growing prominence of lime alternatives such as limestone, calcined gypsum, magnesium hydroxide etc. are anticipated to pose challenges to its market growth in the country. Besides, less storage time is another challenge faced by market players in the country. Lime, when stored for more than six months, changes its physical and chemical characteristics due to absorption of carbon dioxide and moisture, and the product becomes unsuitable for use.
On the basis of product type, the U.S. lime market is segmented into quick lime and hydrated lime. Quick lime segment accounted for 85.2% volume share in 2015 and is anticipated to increase at a CAGR of 3.1% over the forecast period.
On the basis of application, the U.S. Lime market is segmented into cement manufacturing, metal manufacturing, fertilizers, pulp & paper, chemical (Water treatment, flue gases, others) and others. The Metal manufacturing segment accounted for 32.7% value shares in 2015. The chemical segment, which is sub-segmented into water treatment, flue gas segment and others, is expected to expand at a value CAGR 3.7% over the forecast period.
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On the basis of geography, the U.S. lime market is segmented into Northeast, Midwest, South, and Western regions. Midwest and South regions, collectively accounting for 76.2% value share, dominated the U.S. lime market in 2015. Growth of steel industry in the southern part of the U.S. is expected to drive lime consumption growth in the region.
Key players reported in this study of the U.S. lime market include CARMEUSE, Lhoist, Graymont, Mississippi Lime Company, United States Lime & Minerals Inc., CHENEY LIME & CEMENT COMPANY, Linwood Mining & Minerals Corporation, Pete Lien & Sons Inc., and Valley Minerals LLC.