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The global specialty silica market is currently being driven by the growth in the global automotive industry and its high demand for green tires. The market is also expanding due to the overall growth of the cosmetics industry and the growth in demand for fumed silica. However, the global specialty silica market is being restrained by factors including high product cost coupled with the availability of cheaper substitutes, and the very low growth rate in demand from the paper industry.

The global specialty silica market is expected to be valued at US$4.62 bn by the end of 2016. Between 2016 and 2024, this market’s value is expected to expand at a CAGR of 5.9% and reach US$7.32 bn by the end of 2024. In terms of volume, the global specialty silica market is expected to reach 5,185.0 kilo tons in 2024.

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Rubber Industry Continues to Dominate Specialty Silica Demand

Based on the applications of specialty silica, its global market is segregated into rubber, crop protection, paints and coatings, electronic components, food and beverage, personal care and cosmetics, animal feed, plastics, and a collective segment of minor or niche applications. Among these, the global specialty silica market has always generated a consistently high demand from rubber manufacturers. In 2015, the rubber industry took up more than 50% of the global specialty silica market in terms of value, owing to the massive scale at which specialty silica is used in the manufacture of tires, industrial tools and equipment, and footwear. The use of specialty silica is especially high in tires as it helps maintain a robust structure while considerably reducing rolling resistance, a phenomenon in friction that is responsible for the usage of at least 20% fuel of all vehicles. This factor puts the global specialty silica market in very high regard for tire manufacturers as growing constraints of depleting fossil fuels and tightening emission norms are forcing the automotive industry to ramp up its efforts in reducing the overall fuel consumption of vehicles.

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The global specialty silica market has so far shown a moderately consolidated competitive landscape, with the leading players accounting for more than 50% of the market’s value. The list of key players in the market so far includes the names Cabot Corporation, Evonik Industries AG, PPG Industries, Inc., Wacker Chemie AG, Huber Engineered Materials, Tokuyama Corporation, Solvay S.A., Akzo Nobel N.V., and W. R. Grace & Co.