Global glycol ethers market demand is expected to augment on account of increasing construction, automotive and paint & coatings industries in the emerging economies including China, India and Brazil. In addition, market growth is driven by its increasing applications in cosmetic and personal care products. However, REACH regulations aimed at restricting the use of glycol ethers, especially on rising concerns about toxic nature of ethylene oxide based glycol ethers is anticipated to act as a key restraining factor for this market. Although, use of glycol ethers based on propylene oxide is balancing the offset caused by the aforementioned factor. Moreover, volatility in prices of raw materials which include ethylene and propylene is expected to restrain market growth.
Glycol ethers are organic compounds which are used in applications including paints & coatings, inks, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and cleaning products. Non-solvent applications of glycol ethers include chemical intermediates, hydraulic & brake fluids and anti-icing agents. Major market volume share for glycol ether was held by paints & coatings in 2013. The segment is expected to witness fastest growth owing to increasing use of glycol ethers in water-based coatings as replacement for high VOC emitting solvent-based coatings. Glycol ethers are also categorized into propylene oxide-based (P-series) and ethylene oxide-based (E-series) glycol ethers.
Asia Pacific accounted for the major market share in light of high construction & infrastructure activities in the region. Asia Pacific is expected to witness fastest growth over the next six years on account of rapid industrialization and growing construction expenditure in the emerging economies such as China and India. European markets are anticipated to witness sluggish growth on account of slow recovery from recession. Emerging economies such as China, India and Brazil are likely to be more lucrative markets owing to the large end-user base along with lower investments in land and labor.
Global glycol ether market is concentrated in nature with major share being held by a few dominant companies. Key players of the glycol ether market include The Dow Chemical Company, BASF, Ineos, LyondellBasell, SABIC, Formosa Plastics Group, Reliance India Ltd., Shell, Sinopec, Huntsman Corporation and Eastman Chemical Company.
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