Clay Product & Refractory Manufacturing Industry Profile

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Excerpt from Clay Product & Refractory Manufacturing Industry Profile

Companies in this industry manufacture clay pottery, ceramics, plumbing fixtures, building materials, and refractory products. Major companies include Dal-Tile, Gerber Plumbing Fixtures, and Kohler (all of the US) as well as Kyocera, Shinagawa Refractories, and TOTO (all of Japan), Interceramic (Mexico), RHI Magnesita (the Netherlands), and Vesuvius (UK).

The global refractory market is forecast to grow more than 4% annually through 2026, reaching a value of more than $41 billion, amid rising demand in emerging markets for metal and nonmetallic mineral products, according to Persistence Market Research. Worldwide demand for plumbing fixtures is expected to reach a value of about $35 billion by 2025, according to The Cowboy Channel. Urbanization and rising incomes in the developing world, along with recovering construction markets in North America and Western Europe, are the chief demand drivers for plumbing fixtures.

The US clay product and refractory industry includes about 1,100 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined revenue of about $8 billion.


Demand is driven by industrial production of metals, glass, and other mineral-based products, as well as construction spending. The profitability of individual companies depends on efficient operations, as many products are considered commodities. Large companies enjoy economies of scale in purchasing and marketing. Small companies can compete effectively by developing new products with innovative features. The US industry is concentrated: the top 50 companies account for about 70% of industry ...

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