However, the global economic downturn has had a severe impact on mining activity, and this has in turn decreased the demand for chemicals in this sector.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (chemicals.frost.com), South Africa Mineral and Mining Chemical Markets, finds that the market earned revenues of $592.7 million in 2008 and estimates this to reach $901.7 million in 2014. Explosives will continue to be the dominant product segment, while processing and water treatment chemicals will grow at a slower rate.
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"The demand for explosives is set to continue driving the mineral and mining chemicals market in South Africa," notes Frost & Sullivan Programme Manager, Mani James. "Legislation requires mining companies to have safer processes embedded in their operating systems, boosting the uptake of mineral and mining chemicals."
Bulk explosives and detonators are set to promote growth in the explosives market. Growth in these product segments is due to a shift in the use of less safe packaged explosives. The use of bulk explosives in open cast mining activities such as coal mining activities will support market expansion.
However, as mines look to save costs they will place pressure on manufacturers to lower their prices. The decline in demand for commodities will also have a direct impact on the demand for chemicals, forcing suppliers to compete more aggressively for market share.
"Chemical suppliers to mining companies tend to review contracts more regularly because of fluctuating prices," explains James. "It is imperative that chemical suppliers adopt flexible and competitive pricing strategies to continue as preferred suppliers to mines."
Moreover, due to the maturity of the market, the level of competition is high. Competition among suppliers is further heightened by the fact that customers are price sensitive and not particularly brand loyal.
Enhancing awareness among companies about environmental issues is a major factor that will influence the adoption of environmentally safe chemicals. The role of chemical suppliers in the safety processes of their customers is becoming increasingly important. Chemical suppliers can facilitate market share growth by assisting companies in complying with environmental regulations.
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South Africa Mineral and Mining Chemical Markets / M31C