Sodium is a chemical compound with symbol Na and is soft, silvery alkali metals which belong to group 1. Sodium metal is produced from electrolysis process of fused caustic soda with little carbon and iron. Sodium metal is used as a coolant in a nuclear reactor and also has a wide range of applications across metal, chemical, paper, petroleum, soap, glass, and textile industries. Moreover, sodium metal is also used as a heat transfer fluid in high-temperature pipes. Furthermore, baking soda, ordinary table salt, soaps, and detergents, baking powder and aspirin are some of the sodium products. Moreover, sodium metal is also used to make artificial rubber.
The global sodium metal market is projected to reach around US$ 400.3 million by the end of 2027, in terms of revenue, growing at CAGR of 4% during the forecast period (2019-2027).
Growing demand for sodium metal for the production of indigo dye which is further used in the dyeing of cotton yarn is expected to foster the market growth of sodium metal. Sodium metal is a key ingredient used in the production of indigo dye. Hence, growing textile industry, growing demand for denim product and rising per capita income of the developed economies is expected to foster the market growth of sodium metal over the forecast timeframe.
The growing production of biodiesel is projected to augment the market growth of sodium metal. Sodium methylate is one of the key ingredient which is widely used as catalysts for the large-scale production of biodiesel. Sodium methylate is produced, by using sodium metal or sodium hydroxide which is further reacted with methanol to extract sodium methoxide (sodium methylate). Therefore, the rising production of biodiesel is expected to foster the market growth of sodium metal.
On basis of the region, Asia Pacific dominated the global sodium metal market in 2018, accounting for 53% share in terms of volume, followed by North America and Europe, respectively.
Figure 1. Global Sodium Metal Market, Revenue Share (%), By Region, 2018
Sodium metal is a highly reactive compound and combusts spontaneously when it gets exposed to water to air which is expected to restrict the market growth. Sodium metal is difficult to store and transport and only a few companies are engaged in the production of sodium metals. Hence, this factor is expected to hinder the market growth of sodium metal over the forecast period.
Increasing usage of alternative sodium metal such as magnesium which is used as a reductant in the production of titanium is expected to hamper the market growth to some extent. Major companies are using the alternative of sodium metal because of its hazardous nature and difficulties. Hence, the availability of alternative sodium metal is expected to hamper market growth.
The growing pharmaceutical industry where sodium metal is used to produce drugs such as aspirin and other drug products is also expected to augment the market growth of sodium metal. According to the India Brand Equity Foundation, the Indian pharmaceutical industry is expected to expand at a CAGR of 22.4% over 2015–20 to reach US$ 55 billion. India’s pharmaceutical exports stood at US$ 17.27 billion in FY18 and have reached US$ 19.14 billion in FY19.
The growing glass industry is another major factor that is projected to propel the market growth of sodium metal. Sodium metal is widely used in the production of glass. According to Alliance Europe, in 2018, the EU-28 glass production reached a volume of 36.5 million tons, a slight increase of 0.2% compared with 2017. Therefore, growing production of glass is expected to augment the market growth.
Figure 2. Global Sodium Metal Market– Opportunity Analysis
Growing demand for rubber products and sodium metal is used in the production of rubber is expected to accelerate the market growth over the forecast period. Moreover, the growing consumption of sodium metal for producing various sodium compounds across the various end-user industry is further expected to foster market growth.
Key players are investing in order to strengthen their share in the market and to cater to the rising demand for sodium metal, especially from countries such as China and the U.S. is expected to accelerate the market growth. For instance, in 2016, Inner Mongolia LanTai Industrial Co., Ltd., largest sodium manufacturer with a plant in China, announced its plans for investment in capacity ramp-up for sodium production by nearly 20,000 metric tons in order to meet the demand for sodium from domestic so also from overseas market.
Figure 3. Global Sodium Metal Market, Revenue Share (%), By Application, in 2018
On the basis of application in 2018, chemical synthesis has accounted the largest market share of 70.8% in terms of value, followed by metal manufacturing & refining and pharmaceutical respectively.
Figure 4. Global Sodium Metal Market– Value Chain Analysis