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Ulexite Market Trends for 2020 And Beyond

Boron and borates are a class of fertilizers that are essential to the agriculture industry. They are a major category of fertilizers, along with Nitrogen (N), Phosphates (P) and Potassium (K).  Commercially, boron is available in several natural forms. These include borax, Ulexite, Colemanite, and Boric Acid.

Boron and borate minerals are used in many fields, not just as fertilizers. They’re also widely present in the glassmaking industry, ceramics, detergents, and others. In fact, slightly more than half of the borate minerals in the world go towards the glassmaking. Only about 14% of all borate minerals are used as fertilizers. Among these is of course, Ulexite.Demand for Ulexite

Ulexite will continue to see a growth in terms of demand for the year 2020 and beyond. Ulexite itself provides borates to crops, which are micronutrients without any substitutes. Since Ulexite has no other material substitutes, and the demand for agricultural products is not expected to decline anytime soon, we will see the demand trend for Ulexite be pretty stable.

Agricultural demand for Borates stood at 14% in 2012 and is expected to rise by 1.48% in 2020, and a further 1.32% and 1.33% in 2021 and 2022. The forecasted production amount for the agricultural sector in 2020 is about 314,095 tons and this number is projected to increase slightly in the subsequent years to 326,860 tons in the year 2023, as seen in Table 1.

Table 1: Projected Boron Demand Forecasts (In B2O3 tonnes). Source: StormcrowThe recent COVID-19 pandemic around the world is not expected to affect the production and supply of Ulexite in Malaysia. This is because the production of Ulexite as a fertilizer is considered an essential service, as it pertains to the food and agriculture industry.Ulexite Pricing

The pricing for Ulexite has more or less remained stable, and shows only a slight increase due to inflation. In 2005, the documented price of Ulexite was USD250-USD300 per metric ton, and in 2020 we are seeing Ulexite being sold commercially for about USD300-USD350 per metric ton.

Thankfully, the pricing of Ulexite is not influenced by the price of raw materials, as Ulexite is processed mainly by mechanical means. In addition to the price of Ulexite being free from the heavy influence of raw material costs, there is also plenty of room for smaller suppliers to grow in the Ulexite supply business.

The Future of Ulexite

In general, there are several countries that are the main producers include South American countries like Bolivia, Peru and Chile. The main players in the Ulexite production field include Socomirg of Bolivia, Quiborax of Chile and Inkabor of Peru. However, there are many other smaller companies from other countries that can potentially penetrate the market and be successful. This is based on the simple fact that demand is steadily increasing and supply is always welcomed.

The market is definitely not saturated, and the usage of Ulexite is not limited to the fertilizers and the agricultural sector. The best way forward is therefore to vary your target market if you’re producing Ulexite into as many fields and industries as possible.

References
Stormcrow Industry Report on Borates (https://static1.squarespace.com/static/535e7e2de4b088f0b623c597/t/55365c32e4b09956c7c42fc0/1429625906212/Stormcrow-Borate+Industry+Report-Apr2015-Final.pdf)

Industrial Minerals and Rocks: Commodities, Markets and Uses
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