Sulfuric Acid Market Report

Sulfuric Acid Market Analysis By Raw Material (Elemental Sulfur, Base Metal Smelters, Pyrite Ore), By Application (Fertilizers, Chemical Manufacturing, Refinery, Textile), And Segment Forecasts, 2014 - 2025

Published: November 2017  |  105 Pages  |  Format: PDF  |  Report ID: GVR-2-68038-231-0

Industry Insights

The global sulfuric acid market size was valued at USD 10.10 billion in 2016 and is expected to witness progress due to increase and planned growth in fertilizers using phosphates. The rise can be attributed to the presence of stringent environmental regulations to control emissions, which is expected to lead to the increased use of smelters to capture sulfur dioxide products. 

Increasing demand for the product from fertilizers, chemical manufacturing, paper & pulp, petroleum refinery, metal processing, and automotive industries for use as a catalyst, dehydrating agent, and a reactant is expected to boost the industry over the foreseeable period. Rising concerns about high crop yield and excellent food quality from agricultural sector are projected to propel fertilizer market growth, which, in turn, is likely to trigger sulfuric acid market.

U.S. sulfuric acid market revenue, by application, 2014 - 2025 (USD million)

U.S. sulfuric acid market

Automotive industry is projected to progress at the highest CAGR over the forecast period. Increasing use of sulfuric acid in automotive batteries is anticipated to trigger automotive application segment over the coming years.

Factors, such as volatility in the raw material prices due to the rising consumption from phosphate fertilizer producers during tight supply period and the implementation of various regulations for the production of environmentally-friendly products, are expected to negatively impact the industry growth. An increase in the implementation of standards such as New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) to regulate the emissions of sulfur dioxide, sulfuric acid mist, particulate matter, and nitrogen oxides from H2SO4 production facilities is anticipated to augment market from 2017 to 2025.

Raw material Insights

Elemental sulfur raw material segment grabbed significant market share in 2016 and is projected to progress at the fastest rate over the forecast period. The raw material causes less pollution in comparison to pyrite ore or base metal smelters and is available in abundance in the industry. In order to restrict or curb environmental pollution, a large number of companies have adopted stringent measures to treat the emitted sulfur gas before releasing it into the atmosphere.

Rising developmental activities such as enhancing the production capacities of companies to boost the manufacturing of sulfuric acid products from elemental sulfur are expected to trigger the market growth.

China is the leading producer of pyrites and maximum share of this raw material is used for producing sulfuric acid. Stringent measures are likely to be undertaken by the manufacturers for mining pyrites for the production of acid products as they are less environmental-friendly in comparison to elemental sulfur. These factors are likely to cause a hindrance to the growth of pyrite ore raw material segment.

Canada and Mexico are the importers of sulfuric acid, which is produced from the byproduct of smelters. The product is imported from the U.S. Increasing demand for environmentally mandated smelter capacity for the production of sulfuric acid is likely to propel market over the forecast period.

Application Insights

Fertilizers was the significant application segment in 2016 and accounted for around 54% of the overall market revenue. Increasing demand for improved quality of crop and rising population globally are likely to boost market over the foreseeable period.

Rapid industrialization and urbanization are resulting in the reduction of arable land, which in turn is leading the farmers to use fertilizers for increasing crop yield. Rising use of H2SO4 for the production of quality fertilizers for agricultural use to boost production capacity is projected to propel market growth.

Petroleum and chemical refineries are largely involved in the production of contaminated sulfuric acid, resulting in the regeneration of pure and concentrated H2SO4 products. The regenerated acids emit low emissions leading to reduced production costs, which makes it sustainable and environmentally friendly.

Increasing investments in the developmental activities related to chemical synthesis in chemical manufacturing sector in China are projected to fuel the market growth over the forecast period. The growing production of industrial cleaning agents is expected to spur industry growth. 

Regional Insights

Asia Pacific was the largest-regional segment and accounted for about 46% of the total revenue in 2016. Increasing production of sulfur from China and Japan is projected to propel the product offerings of sulfuric acid in this region. Rising demand for H2SO4 from the Philippines and Indonesia is expected to boost Asia Pacific regional market over the forecast period.

The prices of sulfuric acid are strengthening due to the rising demand for the product in Asia Pacific. Increasing need to expand the production of phosphate fertilizer due to rising fertilizer sector and stringent environmental regulations concerning the manufacturing of environmentally- friendly product is likely to boost the market over the coming years.

Global sulfuric acid market revenue, by region, 2016 (%)

Global sulfuric acid market

Rising demand from industrial and phosphoric acid sectors owing to an increase in the cultivation of crops and higher crop yields is anticipated to trigger growth in China market. Rising exports from China to India and Philippines are expected to drive regional market growth.

The growing supply of H2SO4 products from Saudi Arabia and Morocco is expected to spur the market over the foreseeable period. An increase in the number of acid plants to meet growing consumer demand along with the rising supply of sulfur-burnt acids in the Middle East is projected to fuel the market from 2017 to 2025.

Competitive Insights

The market is fairly concentrated and highly competitive in nature. Few industry participants include DuPont, AkzoNobel N.V., BASF SE, Agrium Inc., PVS Chemical Solution, and Chemtrade Logistics among others. The companies are mostly involved in the manufacturing of sulfur and their byproducts for use in various applications such as fertilizers, chemical manufacturing, petroleum refinery, and other related sectors.

A large number of companies are primarily involved in mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures to enhance their product portfolio and attain a significant presence in the market. For instance, in June 2016, Veolia took over the sulfur products division of Chemour to strengthen the company’s services in oil & gas industry for the recycling and treatment of industrial waste in the U.S.

In December 2014, BASF entered into a partnership with Zhejiang Jiahua Energy Chemical Industry Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of Huafang Textile Co., Ltd. to construct an electronics-grade sulfuric acid plant in China to provide H2SO4 products to the growing semiconductor industry in this region. In September 2016, Jacobs acquired Bayer’s sulfuric acid converter technology for processing sulfur gas.

Several companies are following investment and expansion strategies to strengthen their production capacities and penetrate into the emerging markets. An increase in the number of H2SO4 manufacturers & suppliers is projected to boost market growth over the forecast period.

Report Scope

Attribute

Details

Base year for estimation

2016

Actual estimates/Historical data

2014 - 2015

Forecast period

2017 - 2025

Market representation                                                

Volume in Million Tons, Revenue in USD Million and CAGR from 2017 to 2025

Regional scope

North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Central & South America, Middle East & Africa

Country scope

U.S., Canada, Mexico, Russia, Germany, France, China, Japan, India, Saudi Arabia

Report coverage             

Revenue forecast, company share, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends

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Segments covered in the report

This report forecasts the growth in volume and revenue at the global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the industry trends in each of the sub segments from 2014 to 2025. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global sulfuric acid market on the basis of raw material, application, and region:

  • Raw Material Outlook (Volume, Million Tons; Revenue, USD Million; 2014 - 2025)

    • Elemental sulfur

    • Base metal smelters

    • Pyrite ore

    • Others

  • Application Outlook (Volume, Million Tons; Revenue, USD Million; 2014 - 2025)

    • Fertilizers

    • Chemical manufacturing

    • Metal processing

    • Petroleum refining

    • Textile industry

    • Automotive

    • Paper & pulp

    • Others

  • Regional Outlook (Volume, Million Tons; Revenue, USD Million; 2014 - 2025)

    • North America

      • U.S.

      • Canada

      • Mexico

    • Europe

      • Russia

      • Germany

      • France

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • Japan

      • India

    • Central & South America

    • Middle East & Africa

      • Saudi Arabia

Key questions answered by the report
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