Prospects for Canada's asbestos industry
CIM Bulletin, Vol. 78, No. 880, 1985
A. IGNATOW, Nonferrous Commodities Division Minerals and Metals Strategy Branch, EMR Canada Ottawa, Ontario
A review is made of some of the principal factors and conditions that are, and will be, important to the over-all market climate for asbestos fibre and for the future of Canada's asbestos industry:— health hazard associated with asbestos exposure;— uncertain international regulatory environment for continued asbestos use;— adverse public reaction to asbestos;— product liability/litigation costs (U.S.A. primarily);— promotion of substitution by governments and asbestos user industries; and— minimal product and market development efforts by asbestos-producing and consuming industries.
In addition, Canadian producers, who export some 95 per cent of their production, face additional constraints:— dramatically reduced integration with asbestos-consuming industries;— 60 per cent of exports to most rapidly declining markets (U.S.A., Europe);— increased competition from offshore producers favourably located to growth markets in developing countries;— increasing production costs;— a strong dollar;— disadvantageous freight rates; and— loss of price leadership and price erosion.
Future market trends, as well as prospects for Canada's asbestos industry, will be projected in this paper.
Asbestos, Markets, Health, Production, Substitute fibre, Regulations.