As predicted, participants zircon market, due to the expected increase in demand the price of zircon to a sufficiently low level in 2013 can fly up to dizzying heights. As for the decline in prices was observed in the fourth quarter of last year, according to the Irish company «Kenmare Resources», this situation has become possible iz-za fairly weak demand in Europe and China, as well as iz-za existing competition between suppliers, trailing annual sale. Australian company «Iluka Resources» supports the view «Kenmare Resources», noting that on average the end of 2013 the cost of zircon concentrate fell to 1,083 USD per ton, because the decline in demand compared with 2012 is not too high. Nevertheless, «Kenmare Resources» talks about the possibility of increasing demand for zircon concentrate in 2014, as analysts forecast promises improvement in the global economy.
As to the numbers, the group «Goldman Sachs» expects an increase in demand for zircon in 2014 to 3.8%, which is 1.24 million tons, the same percentage increase projected in 2015, which will amount to 1.29 million tons. During 2013 concentrate production totaled 1.17 million tons, a reduction of zircon consumption observed in 2012 that, according to the «Goldman Sachs», and was the cause of the deficit in 2014. Predicted by price in 2014 will be 1125 USD per ton.
The sharp jump in the cost of the zircon took place in 2011, the price of 870 USD per ton rose to 2,500 USD in October 2010 per tonne to the beginning of 2012 — these are the figures the company calls «Industrial Minerals». Among the main reasons that led to such an increase, called the increase in demand construction sector of China, as well as the shortage of supply. In the same period, it had to end the majority of long-term agreements that give producers the opportunity to significantly increase the value of the product.
In turn shoppers find a way out, switching to substitutes zircon — for example, aluminum oxides, despite the fact that this alternative is not very efficient in production. Basically zircon is used in the manufacture of ceramic spheres (54%), refractory (12%) of zirconium chemicals (22%), foundry (12%), however, in 2012 and 2013, the use of zircon decreased significantly due to weakness the world economy.