GVR Report cover Elemental Sulfur Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Elemental Sulfur Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Source (Refineries, Gas Processing), By End-use (Agriculture, Chemical, Rubber), By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2023 - 2030

  • Report ID: GVR-4-68040-121-5
  • Number of Report Pages: 102
  • Format: PDF, Horizon Databook
  • Historical Range: 2018 - 2021
  • Forecast Period: 2023 - 2030 
  • Industry: Advanced Materials

Report Overview

The global elemental sulfur market size was valued at USD 14.53 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.8% from 2023 to 2030. The growth of the market can be attributed to the surged demand for elemental sulfur from the agricultural and chemical industries, which are primary consumers of this substance. Elemental sulfur is largely used in the production of sulfuric acid (H2SO4), which is a colorless, odorless, extremely corrosive, and oily liquid. H2SO4 is strongly acidic in nature, and its concentrated form acts as both a dehydrating and oxidizing agent. It finds application across various industries as a raw material or processing agent.

U.S. elemental sulfur market size and growth rate, 2023 - 2030

Investments in agriculture industry and gas processing are expected to contribute to market growth over the forecast period. The majority of elemental sulfur produced in the country is derived from the recovery unit of petroleum refining, and gas processing facilities. The demand for elemental sulfur in the U.S. is primarily driven by the increasing demand for agricultural fertilizers and the rise in automotive industry which is driving the growth of rubber tires.

For instance, in January 2023, according to the USDA, the food, agriculture, and other related industries contributed around USD 1.264 trillion to the country’s GDP in 2021. The demand for agriculture and its products is anticipated to increase over the forecast period.

The rising automotive production is expected to further augment market growth over the coming years. According to the Federal Reserve Board, the manufacturing of motor vehicles and their components in the U.S. experienced a rise of 7.8% in March 2022, up from the 4.6% recorded in February 2022. Also, as per OICA, global vehicle production marked an increase of 6% from 2021 to 2022, where the increase was 10% in the U.S.

The production and consumption of elemental sulfur leads to several environment and health-related concerns, which restrains the market growth. Elemental sulfur and its byproducts contribute to the formation of sulfur dioxide when burned. It results in harmful emissions into the atmosphere and causes air pollution, thus, raising environmental concerns.

End-use Insights

The agriculture segment held a revenue share of around 52.0% in 2022, of the global market. Elemental sulfur is widely utilized in fertilizers owing to its potent acidic properties and ability to convert raw materials into essential plant nutrients. This process involves blending sulfuric acid with other substances, such as ammonia, resulting in products like ammonium sulfate and various nitrogen- and phosphate-based fertilizers.

The metallurgy segment is expected to register the fastest growth rate across the forecast period. Sulfur-based products are essential compounds in metal processing, and they are widely used in several industrial uses due to their strong acidic properties.In metal processing, the product is used for the removal of rust and other contaminants from metal surfaces.

The rubber segment is anticipated to register a growth rate of 2.2% in terms of revenue across the forecast period.The product is widely used in the rubber industry for the vulcanization process. Vulcanization is a chemical method that transforms natural rubber into materials with different levels of hardness, flexibility, and mechanical strength.

Governments across the world are exploring various policies for safe and fuel-efficient tires, which is expected to propel their demand over the forecast period. For instance, in July 2023, the Indian government mandated that post-October 2022, new tires manufactured for buses, cars, and heavy vehicles should have better wet grip, less rolling noise, and more rolling resistance. This is anticipated to increase the replacement and production of new tires in the coming years.

Source Insights

Based on source, refineries held a revenue share of over 32.0% in 2022, of the global market. In refineries, fossil fuels are refined to extract elemental sulfur by desulfurization process. To increase the optimization of the extraction of sulfur from fossil fuels, companies and research institutes are investing heavily, which in turn are anticipated to augment sulfur production from refineries across the forecast period.

For instance, in October 2022, India’s Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) announced the development of a new single-step hydrogen-free desulphurization process. This desulphurization process is performed in just one step without the use of hydrogen and has the capability to eliminate as much as 90% of the sulfur content. The exact effectiveness depends on the type of material being treated.

Global elemental sulfur market share and size, 2022

The gas processing segment is expected to register fastest growth across the forecast period, as the industry is witnessing rising investments in the construction of biogas refineries. For instance, in August 2022, EverEnviro Resource Management Pvt Ltd announced its plans to invest INR 1,000 crore (USD 121.09 million) for the construction of 14 compressed bio-gas plants (CBG) in India.

Currently, India has approximately 25 operational CBG plants, with industry experts suggesting that the sector has the potential to attract investments exceeding USD 2 billion within the upcoming five to seven years, which is expected to boost the consumption and manufacturing of the product.

Regional Insights

North America is expected to grow at a CAGR of 0.9%, in terms of revenue, across the forecast period. The growth of the region is attributed to the increasing demand for products in the agriculture and tire industries.For instance, in October 2022, Pirelli & Cie SpA announced that it is going to invest USD 112.6 million for the expansion of its tire manufacturing plant in Silao, Mexico. The expansion of the facility is expected to raise the company’s annual production by 1.3 million. The project is anticipated to be completed by 2025.

Elemental Sulfur Market Trends, by Region, 2023 - 2030

Europe is another vital region for the global market, where the product demand is attributed to the growth in the pharmaceuticals and medical industry. For instance, in 2021, pharmaceutical production in the EU reached USD 39.5 billion, which was 5 year all-time high, due to COVID-19’s impact. However, in 2022 production declined marginally, which amounted to EUR 34 (USD 37.3) billion.

Asia Pacific dominated the market with share of 43.2% in 2022. Its large share is attributed to the thriving sectors such as agriculture, metallurgy, oil & gas refining, water treatment, and rubber. For instance, China is implementing effective policies for achieving agricultural modernization by 2025. It aims to increase its food supplies and other agricultural products, with annual grain production going beyond 650 million tons. The growth of the agricultural sector is expected to propel the product demand in the country.

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

The global elemental sulfur industry is characterized by the presence of large, medium, and small companies with oil & gas exploration as core business activity. The market is fragmented in nature, with numerous players, present across different regions and at a global level. Key manufacturers follow the merger and acquisition strategy to stay ahead of their competition.

For instance, in May 2022, WeylChem International GmbH successfully concluded the acquisition and integration of INEOS Sulfur Chemicals Spain SLU, which is the primary sulfur chemicals division of INEOS enterprises in Spain. The freshly procured business encompasses a cutting-edge production site, capable of manufacturing 350,000 tons of sulfuric acid per annum, located in Bilbao. Some prominent players in the global elemental sulfur market include:

  • ADNOC Group

  • China Petrochemical Corporation

  • Intrepid Potash


  • Motiva Enterprises LLC

  • Saudi Arabian Oil Co.

  • Suncor Energy Inc.

Elemental Sulfur Market Report Scope

Report Attribute


Market size value in 2023

USD 12.31 billion

Revenue forecast in 2030

USD 16.78 billion

Growth rate

CAGR of 1.8% from 2023 to 2030

Market size volume in 2023

84.30 million tons

Volume forecast in 2030

102.19 million tons

Growth rate

CAGR of 2.7 % from 2023 to 2030

Base year for estimation


Historical data

2018 - 2021

Forecast period

2023 - 2030

Quantitative Units

Volume in kilotons, Revenue in USD million, and CAGR from 2023 to 2030

Report coverage

Volume forecast, revenue forecast, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends

Segments covered

Source, end-use, region

Regional scope

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

Country scope

U.S.; Canada; Mexico; Germany; UK; France; Spain; Poland; China; Japan; India; Singapore; Indonesia; Brazil; South Africa; UAE

Key companies profiled

ADNOC Group;China Petrochemical Corporation; Georgia Gulf Sulfur Corporation;Intrepid Potash; JOHN H. CARTER COMPANY; Motiva Enterprises LLC; Saudi Arabian Oil Co.; Shell plc.; Suncor Energy Inc.;Valero, Grupa Azoty

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Global Elemental Sulfur Market Report Segmentation

This report forecasts revenue and volume growth at global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2018 to 2030. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global elemental sulfur market report on the basis of source, end-use, and region.

Global Elemental Sulfur Market Report Segmentation

  • Source Outlook (Volume, Kil0tons; Revenue, USD Million; 2018 - 2030)

    • Refineries

    • Gas Processing Plants

    • Other

  • End-Use Outlook (Volume, Kil0tons; Revenue, USD Million; 2018 - 2030)

    • Agriculture

    • Chemical

    • Rubber

    • Metallurgy

    • Others

  • Regional Outlook (Volume, Kil0tons; Revenue, USD Million; 2018 - 2030)

    • North America

      • U.S.

      • Canada

      • Mexico

    • Europe

      • Germany

      • UK

      • France

      • Spain

      • Poland

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • Japan

      • India

      • Singapore

      • Indonesia

    • Central & South America

      • Brazil

    • Middle East & Africa

      • South Africa

      • UAE

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