The Global Precious Metal Catalysts Market is projected to register a CAGR of around 5% during the forecast period (2021-2026).
COVID-19 has severely impacted the demand and supply chain of the precious metal catalysts market. The automobile industry and petrochemical industry which are the major applications of the market are negatively impacted by the pandemic due to the lockdown regulations on transportation issued by governments thus affecting the precious metal catalysts market. Several countries were forced to go in lockdown owing to the pandemic scenario, which led people to minimize the usage of personal vehicles, thus creating a negative impact on the demand of automotive catalysts used in the vehicle exhaust streams and in-turn decreasing the demand of the precious metal catalysts. The COVID-19 crisis has fundamentally changed the operations of the pharma industry around the world. The countries have put short-term pressure on budgets, reduced treatment of non-COVID-19 patients, and undermined market fundamentals in the first two quarters of 2020. However, the pharma industry is reaching its normality, which is likely to increase the demand for precious metal catalysts during the forecast period.
- In the medium term, one of the major factors driving the market studied is the accelerating demand for high-performance transportation fuel.
- On the flip side, high production costs and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic are likely to hinder the growth of the market studied.
- Asia-Pacific dominated the market with the largest consumption coming from China, ASEAN countries, and India.
Key Market Trends
Platinum Segment to Dominate the Market
- Platinum is one of the major segments of the market, as the platinum catalyst helps to reduce CO2 emission. It is largely used in the automobile sector to reduce the effect of pollutants released by the industrial processing units. The majority of platinum consumption can be validated by the rise in the sale of diesel vehicles. In addition to it, platinum is used as one of the emission control catalysts. Thus it is estimated to dominate the European market owing to the region's introduction of more stringent Euro 6 and Euro 7 emission rules.
- The auto-catalysts help to reduce emissions from gasoline and diesel engines and improve the energy efficiency of industrial processes. For over 35 years, autocatalysts containing platinum group metals have proven the most effective way to tackle pollution generated by all types of petrol and diesel vehicles. Autocatalysts eliminate 98% of harmful emissions from engine exhausts; without them, the average family car would emit 15 tonnes of polluting gases over a 10-year life span.
- Platinum along with, pollution control catalysts is also used for various applications in automobiles such as Engine control sensors, airbag initiators, Electronics for engine management systems, and spark plugs. According to OICA (International Organisation of Motor Vehicles Manufacturers), the global production of automobiles in the third quarter of 2019 and 2020 was around 65 million and 50 million. The decrease in production is due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with the lifting of lockdown and transportation regulations, the automobile industry is expected to recover during the forecast period.
- Platinum is also used to enhance medical technology to improve health care. The platinum group metals are also used in the pharmaceutical industry as many important catalysts rely on platinum, palladium, ruthenium, rhodium, iridium, and osmium.
- Sources, such as automobiles, refinery & petrochemical complexes, chemical industries, oil, and natural gas processing plants, and pharmaceutical industries, among others, are discovering an increasing number of applications of platinum-based emission control catalysts and increases the demand for platinum catalyst thus increasing the market studied.
China to Dominate the Asia-Pacific Market
- China is one of the fastest-growing economies, globally. Furthermore, almost all the end-user industries have been witnessing growth, owing to the growing population, living standards, and per capita income.
- China is a hub for chemical processing, accounting for a major chunk of the chemicals produced globally. The country contributes more than 35% of global chemical sales. The chemical industry is another prominent end-user industry in China. Many major companies in the market have their chemical plants in China. With the growing demand for various chemicals, globally, the demand for precious metal catalysts from this sector is projected to grow during the forecast period.
- China is the world's second-largest pharmaceutical market and is considered a priority for most global players. The precious metal catalysts are of particular interest to the pharmaceutical industry because many important catalysts rely on platinum, palladium, ruthenium, rhodium, iridium, and osmium. The Chinese healthcare sector is growing at a rapid pace. As a part of Beijing's "Made in China 2025" industry plan, President Xi Jinping announced his plans to focus on innovation and homegrown R&D concerning the pharmaceutical sector.
- Moreover, the Chinese automotive manufacturing industry is the largest in the world. Though the industry witnessed a slowdown in 2019, wherein the production and sales declined. However, as of March 2020, China has lifted the lockdown in the country and has started various industrial operations in the country, while other countries are still aggressively engaged in lockdowns and restrictions in manufacturing activities. According to a forecast report released in December 2020 by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) and Center of Policy Studies for the Automobile Industry in China (CPSAIC), China auto sales will reach 27.227 million units in 2021, including 22.908 million passenger vehicles (PVs) and 4.319 million commercial vehicles (CVs).
- Owing to all the factors mentioned, the Asia-Pacific region is to dominate the market during the forecast period, with China accounting largest share in the growth.
The global precious metal catalysts market is partially consolidated in nature, with the top five players accounting for a considerable share in the global market. Some of the prominent players in the market include Clariant, BASF SE, Evonik Industries AG, Johnson Matthey, and Umicore Galvanotechnik GmbH, among others.
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