The global nitrocellulose market size was 622.5 million in 2015. The surge in demand for nitrocellulose-based inks in paints & coatings industry especially across economies, such as Vietnam, India, UK, China, and Colombia had an overall positive impact on the market.
Printing ink industry is being driven by technology advancements and the demand for eco-friendly inks. Use of nitrocellulose based ink in flexography and gravure painting gives high quality and durable color paint result. All these factors are anticipated to further fuel the global market demand.
U.S. Nitrocellulose Market Volume By Application, 2014 - 2024 (Kilo Tons)
Increasing construction spending, particularly in Asia Pacific, is expected to be directly proportional to the growth of the market. They are produced from cellulose by exposing it to nitrating agents such as nitric acid. Cellulose is usually obtained from wood pulp or cotton linter.
Nitrocellulose finds usage in other applications such as automotive paints, wood coatings, leather finishes, and nail varnishes. Other niche applications include sealants, adhesives, and artificial jewelry. Demand from printing ink accounted for over 25% of global market in 2015. This product imparts features which include solubility, quick drying, and excellent adhesion.
Wood coating manufacturing process highly uses nitrocellulose. They have found to be user-friendly and have the ability of multiple coating applications. Moreover, this product based wood coatings can be used with various other color applications such as sap stains, overall stains, fillers, and toners.
The global furniture industry has witnessed a significant growth in the recent past and is expected to carry a similar trend over the forecast period thus contributing significantly to the demand.
Nitrocellulose, being inflammable, its storage and usage are governed by strict regulations. Major industry participants of the industry are trying to bring new technologies to make the manufacturing process cleaner. Raw material sourcing is a major concern for the manufacturers. Companies are trying to increase their production efficiency to cater to the rising global demand.
The major applications of nitrocellulose include printing inks, automotive paints, wood coatings, leather finishes and nail varnishes. Printing ink demand is estimated to hold over 27% of the overall market in 2024.
They also find applications in nail varnishes and leather finishes. Leather materials are coated with nitrocellulose induced leather finishes protecting them from heat and moisture. However, the global leather industry is declining due to changing consumer preference for cheaper leather alternatives.
Usage of nitrocellulose in nail varnishes is under regulatory pressure owing to safety concern. However, with the expanding cosmetics industry across the globe, the demand for nail varnish applications is expected to increase over the forecast period.
Asia Pacific dominated the global nitrocellulose market and accounted for over 40% of total demand in 2015. Demand from emerging economies such as China and India is the primary attributing factor for this scenario.
Asia Pacific region is expected to witness maximum growth during the forecast period. The larger scope of expansion in end-use industries such as leather tanneries in Vietnam and automotive industry in Taiwan, South Korea, and India is expected to benefit the market demand in the region.
Europe accounted for a significant share of the overall market. However, the region is predicted to lose market share owing to growing demand in Latin American and Asia Pacific.
The global nitrocellulose market is characterized by companies having a low level of integration across the value chain. Few major industries such as Dow Wolff Cellulosics GmbH and Sichuan North Nitrocellulose Corporation have been able to achieve complete integration of their value chain thus providing them with a competitive edge.
Major industry participants include Abu Zaabl Co. for Specialty Chemicals, Atomax Chemicals Co., Ltd, TNC Industrial Co., Ltd, Nitrochemie AG, and Hagedorn NC. The industry witnessed certain M&A recently. For example, in March 2004, Nitrex Chemicals India Pvt. Ltd. purchased nitrocellulose business from Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), India, to increase their market share.
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