The Corundum market is expected to amplify growth potential for stakeholders in the corundum market in the Middle East & African region.
Based on its chemical composition, corundum is nothing but aluminum oxide. When it is synthesized through various processes for industrial applications, artificial corundum is manufactured synthetically with a small addition of colouring agents, which is later left for cooling and solidification. This entire process of manufacturing synthetic corundum is known as the Verneuil Process.
Corundum is a highly stable and hard mineral, the second hardest worldwide after diamond. Corundum can be made available in a variety of colours. The most commonly preferred types of corundum are Padparadscha (Pink and orange variety of Sapphire), Emery (Black), Star Ruby, Ruby (Pink or red), Blue Sapphire, Star Sapphire, and Green Sapphire.
Growing Applications of Artificial Corundum as Precious Stones to Drive the Market
While it is commonly used in many applications, its sales in the jewellery industry as precious stones account for a significant share of the global corundum market. These minerals are used in manufacturing various gemstones and are emerging as among the highest in demand after diamonds. This is among the most significant driving forces for the global market for corundum.
As mentioned earlier, the demand for corundum is not only high across the popular segments such as Blue Sapphires and Red Rubies, but rare gemstones such as padparadscha are also witnessing significantly high demand across the jewellery industry, mainly for their distinctive and unique colour. This creates great potential for leading stakeholders in the corundum market across the jewellery and precious stones industries.
Furthermore, non-gemstones manufactured using corundum are commonly used in various industrial applications, contributing to the growth of the global corundum market. For instance, Black Emery finds applications as an abrasive, mainly attributed to its natural hardness.
Brown corundum is also witnessing high demand as a deburring agent in various applications such as grinding, sandblasting, and plunge cutting, owing to its ability to smoothen and soften ragged edges.
Though it is not as hard as brown corundum, white corundum is used in abrasion applications, such as polishing glass, where high speed is required without producing more heat during friction. It is also used as a sharpening agent for cutting tools, in vitrified grinding wheels, and in the manufacturing of precision milling equipment used in similar applications.
Consequently, though the market is mainly driven by its demand in the jewellery industry, its growing significance in industrial abrasion applications will also contribute to its growth in the coming years.
Price Fluctuations of Jewellery-grade Corundum May Inhibit Exponential Growth of the Market.
While the global market for the mineral continues to witness positive growth due to its burgeoning demand for precious stones, the constant fluctuations in the prices of jewellery-grade corundum create roadblocks for market players. This is mainly attributed to the fluctuating demand and the dynamics of consumer markets.
Sapphires made from corundum, especially the ones in colour other than red or blue, are highly volatile as consumer demand is unpredictable and highly dynamic, thereby triggering constant fluctuations in the prices of fancy Sapphire and restricting market players from introducing stability in the prices of corundum.
In addition, another factor that impacts the prices of corundum is the political instability in some African countries, such as the Republic of Madagascar. Such geopolitical factors often lead to unpredictable restrictions on exporting precious stones manufactured using corundum.
This ultimately contributes to the disruptions in the demand-supply chain, which directly impacts the prices of corundum in the international markets. In the coming years, this may emerge as a hindrance to the growth of the corundum market.
The global market for corundum is geographically segmented into seven regions – North America, Latin America, Europe, East Asia, South Asia, Oceania, and Middle East & Africa. Attributing to the surging demand for artificial corundum due to its lack of natural occurrence in the United States along with many European countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany, and Turkey, North America and Europe are expected to remain the largest regional market for corundum, in the coming years.
China is one of the largest producers of artificial corundum, which is expected to boost Asia Pacific’s significance in the global corundum market. Apart from China, other Asia countries such as Thailand, India, Japan, and Korea are also expected to account for a significant share of the market owing to the expanding presence of leading manufacturers in these countries.
Leading stakeholders in the global corundum market are entering Asia countries, including Cambodia, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Myanmar, to capitalize on the natural corundum mines in these countries.
African countries, such as the Republic of Madagascar, are also gaining attention from market leaders with the natural occurrence of corundum in this region. This is expected to amplify the growth potential for stakeholders in the corundum market in the Middle East & African region in the coming years.
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