The global nitric acid market size was valued at USD 12.51 billion in 2016. It is expected to witness a CAGR of 1.8% from 2015 to 2022. Increasing use of the product in the chemical and fertilizer industries is likely to stoke market growth. Surging demand for ammonium nitrate as a fertilizer in the agriculture industry is further estimated to propel the market.
The market is anticipated to witness significant growth over the forecast period owing to widespread use of nitric acid in the chemical and fertilizer industries. Growing need for high yield in order to meet increasing population demands is leading to increase in the use of fertilizers, which is poised to influence the market positively.
Ammonia is the key raw material used in the manufacturing of nitric acid, which is further employed in the production of ammonium nitrate, adipic acid, toluene di-isocyanate, and nitrochlorobenzene. Ammonia production is concentrated mainly in the U.S., China, India, and Russia owing to availability of large natural gas reserves in the countries.
Majority manufacturers of nitric acid are integrated across several stages of the value chain as the acid is an intermediary good and its demand is largely dependent on the demand for end products for which it serves as an input. 90.0% of the nitric acid is manufactured for on-site consumption; hence, the retail market for nitric acid represents only 10.0% of the total nitric acid production.
Environmental regulations against the use of ammonium nitrate fertilizers are projected to severely impact demand for nitric acid over the forecast period. Due to nitrification and leaching, the use of ammonium nitrate fertilizers results in loss of nitrogen to underground water.
This has led to introduction and implementation of a regulatory framework by EPA and the European Union, which focuses towards limiting the level of nitrogen in groundwater to less than 50 milligrams per liter. This is poised to act as a major restraint for the market, especially in North America and Europe.
Fertilizers dominated the global market and accounted for over 80.0% of the overall market in 2014. The segment is expected to continue its dominance over the forecast years. Agriculture growth in India, China, and Brazil on account of rising food demand coupled with favorable government support is likely to stir up the demand for fertilizers.
Adipic acid is majorly employed for the manufacturing of nylon 6,6 resins and fibers. Nylon 6,6 is a polymer composite, which finds extensive application in the automotive industry as a replacement for interior and exterior metal parts. Increasing use of composites in automobiles is estimated to spur the demand for adipic acid. The segment represented a small share in the market in 2014.
Nitrobenzene is a precursor to aniline and its derivatives. Key applications of aniline include manufacturing of polyurethane foams, aramid fiber, and pharmaceuticals. Increasing use of the above-mentioned products in industries including automobile and construction is projected to contribute to the growth of the nitrobenzene segment.
Nitrochlorobenzene is an intermediate for the production of fine chemicals such as 2,4-dinitrochlorobenzene, and 3,4-dichloronitrobenzene. Growing government initiatives to support industrialization along with surging consumption of chemicals in construction, automotive, and pharmaceutical industries are benefiting the growth of the chemical industry, especially in emerging economies of Asia Pacific, such as India and China. Positive chemical industry outlook in the economies is poised to augment the nitrochlorobenzene market over the forecast period.
Europe and China were the largest consumers of nitric acid in 2014 and accounted for over 60.0% of the global consumption. Presence of large agricultural and industrial market in Asia Pacific is expected to be a key factor responsible for the high growth of the global nitric acid market. In addition, stringent regulations in regions including North America and Europe regarding the use of ammonium nitrate-based fertilizers are likely to shift the demand to countries in the APAC region.
The U.S. dominated the North America market with a revenue share of 68.7% in 2014 and it is estimated to continue the trend over the forecast period. Robust manufacturing base of chemical, electronics, and automotive industries in the U.S. is anticipated to supplement the growth of the market in the region.
Germany represented 13.0% of the overall revenue in Western Europe in 2014. Leading chemical companies such as BASF, Bayer and Henkel have their established manufacturing units intended for the production of application-specific bulk chemicals and specialty polymers in Germany. Aforementioned factors are influencing the growth of the market in Western Europe positively.
Presence of advanced fertilizer manufacturing facilities in Russia along with abundant availability of raw materials such as ammonia is projected to be a favorable factor for the market. URALCHEM was the largest ammonium nitrate manufacturer with an annual production capacity of 2.5 million tons in 2014.
The global market is fragmented in nature due to presence of numerous manufacturers. DuPont; BASF; The Dow Chemical Company; Agrium Inc.; Omnia Holdings; Apache Nitrogen Products Inc.; and CF Industries are some of the key players in the industry.
Expansion is the key strategy adopted by market players to strengthen their market position. For instance, in November 2014, Agrium Inc. expanded its nitrogen facility in Texas. This expansion project helped in increasing the annual ammonia capacity required for the production of nitrogen and its derivatives, thereby improving its nitrogen footprint in the agricultural industry.
This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, & country levels and provides an analysis of the industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2012 to 2022. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global nitric acid market report on the basis of application, and region:
Application Outlook (Volume, Kilo Tons; Revenue, USD Million, 2012 - 2022)
Regional Outlook (Volume, Kilo Tons; Revenue, USD Million, 2012 - 2022)
Central & Eastern Europe
Middle East & Africa
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