The global nitrocellulose market size was estimated at USD 720.12 million in 2018 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.2% from 2019 to 2025. Rising usage of nitrocellulose-based inks in coatings & paints industry across emerging economies, such as India, China, Vietnam, and Colombia, is expected to have a positive influence on the market growth. Guncotton is highly inflammable compound, its usage and storage are governed by strict regulations.
They are produced when cellulose is reacted with the nitrating acid and utilized as a propellant or low-order explosive. Nitric acid and sulfuric acid are presumed to witness high growth on account of their usage in the production of fertilizers and other industrial applications. Production of cellulose nitrate includes cost of raw materials, utilities, maintenance & repair, labor, land lease, and transportation along with auxiliaries, such as depreciation and cost of finance. Raw material accounts for a major portion of the production cost.
Other costs, apart from capital/fixed investment, include pre-operational expenditures and working capital. Pre-operating prices include installation, setup, capitalized interests, project engineering & management, and commissioning costs. Printing ink segment is driven by technological developments and increasing consumption of eco-friendly inks. Product usage in gravure printing and flexography offers high-quality and durable paint. Flexographic printing can be used on any material like plastics, metallic films, paper, and many others materials. Gravure printing is used for engraving images onto cylindrical bases, mostly used in the rotary printing press.
These inks are preferred over other products owing to their superior properties, such as quick drying, good adhesion, and easy application. This substance with a nitrogen content of around 12.6% is used for explosive purpose for both military and civilian application. Several government regulations regarding disposing of hazardous substance owing to adverse health effects and high flammability may hinder market growth. Various governments have issued stringent regulations with an aim to prevent any misuse of this substance and to safeguard the public interest. For instance, Brazil has banned imports of this product into the country to avert any misuse.
Wood coatings emerged as the second-largest application segment owing to increasing residential construction activities. The product has a wide scope during the production process of wood coatings. Cellulose nitrate-based wood coatings can also be used with various other color applications, such as sap stains, fillers, overall stains, and toners. The wood coating is utilized in sliding doors and windows, decking of furniture, etc. Rapid growth of the furniture industry over the recent years and high demand are projected to complement the segment growth during the forecast years.
Improving standard of living has boosted the demand for furniture, which is also likely to contribute to the segment growth.Nitrocellulose lacquer-based wood coating is the most widely used ingredient in musical instrument factories as finishing agents in steel strings for guitars, mandolins, and banjos. Automotive paints are multilayer coatings, which enhance the aesthetic appearance, as well as provide protection against scratches, UV rays, corrosion, oxidation, and acid rains. Key ingredients used for manufacturing of automotive paints are thinners, pigments, and binders. Automotive paints have high solid content and low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).
These factors are driving the consumption of cellulose nitrate in this application segment. Usage of guncotton in nail varnishes is under regulatory pressure owing to safety concerns. Guncotton is also exposed to several other regulations related to transportation and packaging of harmful substances. These regulations are in line with the standards specified by the United Nations (UN) and the international rules set by them. However, with the expanding cosmetics industry across the globe, the demand for nail varnish applications is likely to increase the product consumption over the forecast period.
In addition, high-performance guncotton is utilized in disposable medical devices and mining activities. It is also considered as an ideal solution in artificial jewelry applications owing to various exceptional characteristics. Pharmaceutical, sealants, and artificial jewelry are some other major applications. Rapid growth of adhesives and sealants sector over the past few years has positively influenced the market growth. Adhesive produced from these cellulose nitrate exhibits superior properties, such as longer shelf life and weather resistance. However, the cellulose nitrate industry has witnessed a slowdown in recent years owing to the emergence of substitutes.
Asia Pacific was the leading consumer and accounted for more than 45% of the total revenue in 2018. Emerging economies, such as India, Thailand, and China, are the largest producers and importers of the cellulosic material in the region. Trade and use of cellulose nitrate in these countries are high owing to increasing demand from end-use industries, such as printing inks, automotive paints, wood coatings, and leather tanning & finishes.
Numerous manufacturers are also shifting their production bases to this region to reduce the production costs. These companies gain advantages, in terms of cheaper workforce, as well as low-cost raw materials. China emerged as the most significant user of nitrocellulose as a raw material. Rapidly expanding printing inks industry in the country is a major factor contributing to the product demand.
Europe followed Asia Pacific and emerged as the second major regional market accounting for 20.21% of the global volume in 2018. However, it is expected to lose share to high growth markets of Asia Pacific and Latin America. Brazil and Mexico generate a significant revenue in Latin America region owing to increasing demand from coatings application. North America is also expected to witness a significant growth from 2019 to 2025 due to increasing investments in automotive paints and wood coatings industry.
Major participants in the market include Atomax Chemicals Co. Ltd., Bergerac N.C., Abu Zaabal Co. for Specialty Chemicals, Nitro Quimica, TNC Industrial Co. Ltd., Dow Wolff Cellulosic GmbH, Hagedorn NC, Nitrex Chemicals India Pvt. Ltd., and Nitro Chemie AG. These companies are investing more in R&D to develop efficient products from renewable feedstock. Manufacturers are also striving to achieve a competitive edge on specific factors, such as economies of scales, innovation, price, and operation cost.
The industry is exposed to several regulations governing its manufacturing processes, as well as applications usage across various end-use industries. Several authorities have set various guidelines for the transportation, manufacturing, and disposal procedures. The manufacturers are focusing on expanding their product portfolio to cater to increasing demand and compete with existing multinationals. For example, in March 2004, Nitrex Chemicals India Pvt. Ltd. purchased cellulose nitrate business segment of Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), India, to expand their product portfolio.
Base year for estimation
Actual estimates/Historical data
2014 - 2017
2019 - 2025
Revenue in USD Million and CAGR from 2019 to 2025
North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa
U.S., Canada, Germany, France, U.K., Italy, Turkey, Spain, Austria, Russia, Rest of Europe, China, India, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Rest of Asia Pacific, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, Chile, South Africa, Egypt, UAE, and Rest of Middle East & Africa
Revenue forecast, competitive landscape, growth factors and trends
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This report forecasts revenue and volume growth at global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2014 to 2024. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global nitrocellulose market report on the basis of application and region:
Application Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
Regional Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
Rest of Europe
Rest of Asia Pacific
Middle East & Africa
Rest of Middle East & Africa
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The prevailing pandemic situation has led to weakened demand for paints and coatings in automotive, construction, electronics, and white goods. The path to recovery of growth for the industry is highly dependent on the duration of restrictions imposed and their influence on economic activity across the globe. Contrary to the trend prevalent in the industry in general, certain segments of the market such as antimicrobial coatings are witnessing a surge in demand in healthcare and food industries. The report will account for Covid19 as a key market contributor.