Lime is a low cost-high volume commodity that is derived from heating limestone and is consumed on a large scale in the United States. There are two types of lime generally available in the market – quick lime and hydrated lime – and are used across various applications including metal processing, cement manufacturing, pulp and paper processing, etc. Revenue from the sales of lime in the U.S. market is estimated to be valued at US$ 2,538.1 Mn by 2016 end. The U.S. lime market is estimated to register a value CAGR of 3.7% during the forecast period 2016–2026.
Increasing use of lime to remove impurities during metallurgical operations likely to boost market growth
The domestic metal industry in the U.S., which suffered from dumping of low cost products in the country, is expected to strengthen its position over the coming years. A huge amount of lime is used to eliminate impurities during metallurgical operations such as in the manufacturing process of ferrous (iron and steel) and non-ferrous (alumina & bauxite, magnesium, copper, zinc, lead, etc.) metals. Due to developments in the metal industry, the demand for lime is also anticipated to experience significant rise and the market is forecast to register healthy growth over the coming years.
Another key driver impacting the demand for lime in the U.S. market is its increasing use for producing precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC). PCC, due to its high calcium content, is progressively being used in the manufacture of paints, paper, plastic, rubber, calcium-based antacid tablets and liquids, multi-vitamin/mineral tablets, etc. The growing use of PCC, specifically in the healthcare, polymer, and paper industries, is expected to drive demand for lime in the U.S market over the forecast period.
Growing prominence of lime alternatives such as limestone, calcined gypsum, magnesium hydroxide etc. are expected to pose challenges to its market growth in the country. Besides, less storage time is another challenge faced by market players in the U.S. lime market. Lime, when stored for more than six months, changes its physical and chemical characteristics due to absorption of carbon dioxide and moisture, and the product becomes unsuitable for use. These factors are likely to restrict revenue growth of the U.S lime market over the forecast period.
By Product Type
- Quick Lime
- Hydrated Lime
- Cement Manufacturing
- Metal Manufacturing
- Chemical (Water Treatment, Flue Gas, Others)
- Pulp & Paper
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Quick Lime product type segment anticipated to continue a disproportionate dominance throughout the forecast period
The Quick Lime segment accounted for a volume share of 85.2% in the U.S. lime market in 2015. This segment is anticipated to register a volume CAGR of 3.1% over the forecast period.
Metal Manufacturing and Chemical application segments estimated to consume approximately two-thirds of the total lime consumed in the U.S. by 2016 end
The Metal Manufacturing segment accounted for 32.7% value share in the U.S lime market in 2015. The Chemical segment is estimated to register a value CAGR of 3.7% between 2016 and 2026.
The South and Midwest regions expected to remain the key markets for lime through 2026
The Midwest and South regions, collectively accounting for 76.2% value share, dominated the U.S. lime market in 2015. Growth of the steel industry in South U.S. is expected to boost lime consumption growth in the region.
Top companies are expanding their production facilities and introducing latest technology and equipment to meet market demand
CARMEUSE, United States Lime & Minerals Inc., CHENEY LIME & CEMENT COMPANY, Lhoist, Linwood Mining & Minerals Corporation, Pete Lien & Sons Inc., Mississippi Lime Company, Graymont Limited, and Valley Minerals LLC are some of the leading players operating in the U.S lime market. Some of these companies have followed a strategy of acquisitions and alliances to expand their presence and retain market share.