Silicon Dioxide is one the main exports of W. R. Grace and Company chemicals located in the Baltimore metropolitan area (see Grace Chemical report for company shipment details and individual bills of ladings). Silicon dioxide, also known as silica, has been known to man since before the Middle Ages. It can be found naturally in sand and quartz. Silicon dioxide when cooled quickly can be used in the production of glass and porcelain. Many telecommunication optical fibers are made from silicon dioxide. Silicon dioxide is a good electric insulator with high chemical stability. It can be used in electrical applications to store charge and block current. Silicon dioxide can also be used in a fiber form as a high-temperature thermal protection fabric. Excluding China, the United States is the largest producer, followed by Italy, and then Germany. United States produced 24,600 thousand metric tons in 2009, almost twice that of the second largest producer Italy. China’s data on silicon dioxide production was not publicly available.
World’s Top Silicon Dioxide Exporters
Silicon dioxide known by its Harmonized Code as HS 281122 falls under the foreign trade category of an Inorganic Acid HS 2811. The world’s top exporter of silicon dioxide is Germany, who dominates 32 percent of the world’s market, generating an export value of over half a billion dollars. The United States is the world’s second largest silicon dioxide exporter, generating 210 million dollars in 2009. The third largest exporter of silicon dioxide is China, who is competing with the United States. United States and China each represent roughly 13% of the world market in silicon dioxide sales.
United State’s Silicon Dioxide Exports
Using StatsPlus, a Piers product, we can look at the United States silicon dioxide exports to individual countries. Canada bought the most United States silicon dioxide, generating almost 55 million dollars in 2010. Mexico was the second largest buyer of U.S. silicon dioxide, purchasing 50 million dollars worth, a total of 17%. Japan was the third largest buyer and China was the fourth.
Mexico’s Import of Silicon Dioxide and Future Research
Mexico was the second largest buyer of silica dioxide. One interesting aspect of the Mexican market is the fact that Mexico imported 85% of all its silicon dioxide from the United States. It is safe to say that the United States has a strong monopoly on silicon dioxide sales in Mexico. It would be interesting to find what silicon dioxide is being used for in Mexico, what specific companies are involved in buying it, and what products they are producing with it. One could apply these trends to other markets to increase the United States’ market share, especially in newly industrialized countries who display a predicted increase in silicon dioxide use. Included is a chart of Mexican silicon dioxide imports by year and dollar value associated.
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