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

Insoluble Sulfur Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Grade (High Dispersion, High Stability), By Application (Tire Manufacturing, Footwear), By Region (Asia Pacific, North America), And Segment Forecasts, 2020 - 2027

  • Report ID: GVR-4-68038-862-6
  • Number of Pages: 101
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)

Report Overview

The global insoluble sulfur market size to be valued at USD 1.2 billion by 2027 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.9% during the forecast period. Rising product demand as a curing agent from rubber producers is projected to remain a key driving factor for market growth. Insoluble sulfur is a widely used product in the global tire manufacturing industry, wherein it is utilized as a curing agent for rubber.

Insoluble Sulfur Market size, by grade

Since tire manufacturing consumes the majority of the rubber applications, the usage of insoluble sulfur in the industry has shown remarkable demand. Moreover, with the increasing number of on-road vehicles across the globe, the demand for tire replacements has been rising. These factors are anticipated to boost the market growth over the foreseeable future.

In light of the recent COVID-19 global pandemic, the overall tire manufacturing and automotive production sectors took a marginal hit due to disrupted supply chain and temporary operational shutdown globally. Automakers have put production on hold, which led to reduced demand for tires from OEMs. Furthermore, the pandemic has disrupted the supply chain networks worldwide, leading to longer procurement timelines and increased pricing due to a shortage of materials. These factors are projected to affect market growth in the tire manufacturing sector in 2020 and 2021.

The market has witnessed significant changes on account of innovations introduced by key multinationals. For instance, Eastman Chemical Company introduced CrystexCure Pro in February 2018, which is a non-blooming vulcanizing agent utilized for rubber formulation to enhance the qualities of the radial tires. Furthermore, Nynas, a specialty bitumen, and naphthenic oil producing company introduced a range of products under Nytex brand, which is commercially available in various viscosities, which are highly compatible with robust types of rubber as well as sulfur.

The product has several characteristics, which make it suitable for a range of applications, such as in the manufacturing of insulating material for wires & cables and for pipe and tire manufacturing. The product is added in desired volumes across these materials to improve resistance to aging & fatigue and to enhance the overall product quality.

Major market participants have been investing heavily in research activities to capture a larger market share on a global scale. The intense competition has led to product innovation, in terms of quality, competitive pricing, etc.

Insoluble Sulfur Market Trends

Insoluble sulfur improves the tolerance and high durability of all types of rubber products. It is an excellent rubber vulcanizing agent. The applications include rubber chemistry, such as tires, shoes, cables, rubber pipes, wires, insulating materials, latex, and other types of automotive rubber parts. The global market is likely to be driven by an increase in the supply of insoluble rubber for various use in the rubber industry in the forecast period.

The footwear category is expected to hold a significant proportion of the worldwide market. With the customers changing preferences and advancements throughout the global footwear industry the demand for insoluble sulfur in footwear supply chain is expected to grow during the forecast period. However, the disrupted distribution channels are the consequence of pandemic followed by the volatility in the prices of raw material are the factors likely to act as market restraints on the market's growth.

Increased technological advancements, as well as acquisitions and mergers in the tire industry, are creating an opportunity for the market in the forecast period. Furthermore, the presence of well-established manufacturing firms is expected to boost industry growth in the future.

Grade Insights

In terms of volume, regular grade led the market with a share of 64.2% in 2019. This is attributable to the high usage of the product across all rubber compound producing sectors. In addition, the regular grade product is majorly the one with no additive mixtures and is commercially considered as the most primary form of insoluble sulfur. Regular form is manufactured by all major industry participants and is highly used as a vulcanizing agent. According to EC regulations, the substance is considered non-hazardous, however, for personnel handling the substance at the workplace, is advised to follow preliminary safety precautions.

In terms of revenue, high dispersion grade is estimated to account for the major share by 2027 due to the widespread usage of the substance for application in tire production on account of its key characteristics, such as excellent dispersibility and high thermal stability. It usually contains around 20% of insoluble sulfur in powder form, which is oil treated. It usually has lower concentrations of insoluble sulfur as compared to the other grades and is typically composed of polymers, such as various dispersing agents, SBR, and EPDM among others.

The high stability grade segment is projected to register the fastest CAGR from 2020 to 2027 as this product grade exhibits similar properties to that of high dispersion grade, which includes a reflection of high thermal stability. However, this form is typically mixed with various additives to enhance their performance, in terms of thermal stabilization of the product, which is done by adding ash-less stabilizing agents like esters, phenols, and carboxylic acid. The upgraded product has high demand by rubber producers due to high-performance productivity and lower costing compared to other counterparts.

Application Insights

In terms of volume, tire manufacturing application led the market with a share of over 91% in 2019. This is attributed to high product demand from the rapidly growing tire manufacturing sector across the globe. Tire producers are highly reliant on insoluble sulfur formulators as it is one of the key feedstock essential for producing high-quality performance products.

Insoluble Sulfur Market share, by application

Multiple companies including Eastman Chemical Company, Oriental Carbon & Chemicals Ltd., and more are focusing on producing high quality products, which are easy to use by the tire manufacturers and can eventually lead to shorter production time as well as provide high-performance goods. Increased productivity and reduced timelines eventually decrease the cost bearing of the companies and are therefore considered a crucial factor for the utilization of the product.

Furthermore, in terms of industrial application, the substance is broadly utilized as a vulcanizing/crosslinking agent across the rubber formulation sector due to its non-blooming characteristic. This enables high resistance to reversion, which is also reflected at elevated temperatures. In addition, they also display properties, such as improved dispersibility and flow ability, which make them suitable for use in several industrial rubber processing sectors.

Regional Insights

Asia Pacific led the market and accounted for over 48% of the global revenue share in 2019. The region will retain its leading position throughout the forecast years due to the increasing number of rubber processors in the region, majorly across countries, such as China, India, Thailand, Japan, and South Korea. Major companies are shifting their production bases to Asia Pacific due to eased regulations, surplus availability of land, skilled & low cost labor, and positive trade affairs with economically strong nations.

Insoluble Sulfur Market Trends by Region

In addition, countries, such as Japan, India, Thailand, South Korea, and Indonesia, are rapidly becoming major hubs for automobile manufacturing, which has led to high consumption of rubber in tire manufacturing applications across the region. China is the major contributor to the rubber manufacturing sector, which is also a key exporter of rubber products across Asian countries. The demand is currently disrupted in terms of material procurement and distribution due to the global pandemic. However, it is projected that the industry shall eventually recover by end of 2021, thereby boosting demand for insoluble sulfur in rubber compound formulations over the forecast period.

The automotive sector in Europe is one of the most crucial industries with companies, such as DAF Trucks, BMW Group, Ford, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and Daimler, leading the regional market. The industry is highly innovative and is constantly evolving, thereby generating numerous growth opportunities for various component manufacturers, tire producers, and more.

In North America, U.S. has gained traction, in terms of the rubber industry, with rapid imports of rubber from China, Germany, Thailand, and Japan. This reflects the heavy consumption of rubber by the tire manufacturing sector in the country. Furthermore, U.S. also dominates the heavy trucks, buses, and commercial vehicle sectors, which utilizes high-performance tires on periodic intervals. This is projected to result in increased product consumption in North American regional market.

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

The market is highly competitive with the presence of globally recognized brands by multinationals, such as Nynas AB and Eastman Chemical Company. Growing competition in the market has led to several process reforms adopted by these multinationals, followed by new product launches, patented technologies, and project expansions.

Majority of the key industry participants are observed to have long-term contracts with regional or global level tire formulators and other rubber product manufacturing companies to establish a sustainable business setup and increase their market share. Moreover, small- & medium-scale manufacturers are also focusing on developing new products and venture into the untapped markets of Asia and Middle East.

Recent Developments

  • In April 2022, Maip Group, a major global plastics formulator, and compound producer introduced innovative components for new resins in the automobile industry, as a part of multi-year strategic agreement with Eastman.

  • In May 2022, Nynas announced and planned improvements as part of a substantial, strategic, and innovative transformation journey that would enhance and alter its business in the coming years.

  • In March 2022, the flue gas desulphurization unit for boiler K-5 was constructed by Grupa Azoty S.A. The plant's design objectives, particularly those relating to gas emissions, were met in compliance with the BAT findings' requirements.

Some of the prominent companies in the insoluble sulfur market include:

  • Eastman Chemical Company

  • Nynas AB

  • Oriental Carbon & Chemical Ltd.

  • Lions Industries

  • Shikoku Chemicals Corp.

Insoluble Sulfur Market Report Scope

Report Attribute


Market size value in 2020

USD 0.8 Billion

Market volume in 2020

247.0 Kilotons

Revenue forecast in 2027

USD 1.2 Billion

Volume forecast in 2027

312.1 Kilotons

Growth rate

CAGR of 2.9% from 2020 to 2027 (Revenue-based)

Base year for estimation


Historical data

2016 - 2018

Forecast period

2020 - 2027

Quantitative units

Volume in kilotons, revenue in USD million, and CAGR from 2020 to 2027

Report coverage

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

Segments covered

Grade; application; region

Regional scope

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

Country scope

U.S.; Canada; Mexico; Germany; U.K.; France; The Netherlands; Spain; China; India; Japan; Thailand; Brazil; Argentina; South Africa

Key companies profiled

Eastman Chemical Company; Nynas AB; Oriental Carbon & Chemical Ltd.; Lions Industries; Shikoku Chemicals Corp.

Customization scope

Free report customization (equivalent up to 8 analysts working days) with purchase. Addition or alteration to country, regional & segment scope.

Pricing and purchase options

Avail customized purchase options to meet your exact research needs. Explore purchase options

Global Insoluble Sulfur Market Segmentation

This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2016 to 2027. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global insoluble sulfur market report on the basis of grade, application, and region:

Global Insoluble Sulfur Market Segmentation

  • Grade Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • High Dispersion

    • High Stability

    • Regular Grade

  • Application Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • Tire Manufacturing

    • Industrial Application

    • Footwear

    • Others

  • Regional Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • North America

      • U.S.

      • Canada

      • Mexico

    • Europe

      • Germany

      • U.K.

      • France

      • The Netherlands

      • Spain

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • India

      • Japan

      • Thailand

    • Central & South America

      • Brazil

      • Argentina

    • Middle East & Africa

      • South Africa

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