Ferroalloy refers to the wide range of alloys of iron which contains high proportion of one or more elements. The various elements apart from iron include silicon, aluminum, nickel or manganese. The main ferroalloy includes ferroaluminum, ferroboron, ferronickel and ferrosilicon among others. Ferronickel is an alloy which is obtained by combining nickel and iron. Ferronickel comprising of 1.5 to 8% of nickel is usually produced using the blast furnaces and this grade or quality of ferronickel is also known as nickel pig iron. The conventional ferronickel grades mainly contain about 20% or more of nickel content. The nickel pig iron apart from nickel comprises of up to 7 to 8% of silicon, phosphorus, carbon and chromium in extremely small quantities.
The growing demand for stainless steel from various end-use industries is expected to boost the overall growth of the ferronickel market. Ferronickel is also used in manufacturing the nickel alloy steel. Ferronickel is primarily used in manufacturing austenitic stainless steel. Ferronickel are non-magnetic and have enhanced non-corrosive properties as it contains about 8.5 to 25% of nickel. Austenitic stainless steel accounts for 70-75% of the global stainless steel output. Thus, the growing demand for the austenitic stainless steel is expected to further boost the overall growth of the ferronickel market. Ferronickel finds various applications in the wide range of end-use industries such as construction, transportation, electrical and electronics, metal goods and tabular products. Thus, with the growing population, changing lifestyle and growing economies is expected to boost the overall growth of the construction industry which in turn is expected to augment the global demand for the ferronickel market.
Europe is one of the major manufacturers of the ferronickel owing to the presence of some of the largest manufacturing companies in this region. Asia Pacific is growing as the leading manufacturer of ferronickel in the world. Japan and China are the key exporter of ferronickel in the world. The growing construction, electrical and electronic industry in China is expected to boost the demand for stainless steel which in turn is further expected to augment the overall demand for ferronickel. Stringent mining regulations has hampered the overall nickel market which in turn is expected to restrain the global market of ferronickel as it is completely dependent on nickel which is an essential raw material. The increasing steel scrap wastage is expected to have environmental impact and thus, various stringent environmental regulations related to the discarding of the metal waste is expected to restrain the growth of the market in the coming future.
LARCO Industries, Mechel, Cunico Resources NV, ENRC, Felman Trading Inc. and Lalwani Ferroalloys are some of the key participants of the ferronickel market. The companies mainly focus on assuring constant supply of the raw material from the suppliers which helps in achieving uninterrupted manufacturing process. The companies constantly conduct research and development which is more focused towards increasing production and energy efficiency, optimal utilization of the natural resources, recycling of by-products, environmental protection and mine rehabilitation. Most of the companies also focus on increasing their production capacities which helps in achieving economies of scale which further helps in achieving competitive advantage. Thus, by achieving competitive advantage companies can sustain in the highly competitive market as well as capture greater market share.
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