The global super absorbent polymers market was valued at USD 2.07 billion in 2014. The market finds its largest application in the baby diapers industry. The significant growth rate of this segment is projected to boost the demand of the overall market.
The polymers which are cross-linked are called super absorbent polymers. They have the capability to preserve great quantities of liquid in comparison to their weight. Other major factor contributing to the growth of the industry includes its growing acceptance in various industries apart from hygiene and personal care.
Emerging economies of Central & South America, Middle East & Africa, and Asia Pacific have been estimated to have a very high growth rate on account of high demand from the end-use industries. Increasing disposable incomes in the developing countries have also led to an increased demand for the hygiene and personal care products including female sanitary napkins, adult incontinence products, and baby diapers.
Encouraging policies by the government have boosted the application of super absorbent polymers for agricultural purposes. This trend is majorly seen in the areas with water scarcity and is anticipated to benefit the regional as well as global market.
An imbalance in the demand and supply of raw materials is expected to hinder the growth of the global super absorbent polymers market. This imbalance and shortage in the supply of raw material are projected to increase the overall costs and decrease the profit margins. Development of the technologies has given rise to products with better quality and a greater than before water retention and absorption rates. Aforementioned technological growths provide plentiful prospects for the market players over the forecast period.
U.S. super absorbent polymers market revenue by application, 2012-2022, (USD Million)
The global super absorbent polymers market was majorly dominated by the baby diapers application. This segment held over 70% of the total market share in 2014. The huge market share of the baby diapers segment can be attributed to its ever growing demand in the developing nations.
However, the agricultural segment of the super absorbent polymers is expected to witness the maximum rate of growth, at an anticipated CAGR of 6.0%, from 2015 to 2022. Theyare utilized in the regions having water scarcity for retaining water. These polymers enhance the efficiency of water usage, develop better properties of soil, and increases the crop yield, which is expected to fuel the demand in the agricultural segment in future.
In 2014, the global super absorbent polymers had the highest consumption in Europe. It accounted for over 30% of the overall demand of the market. Factors such as increasing population, growing awareness among the consumers and rising disposable income in the region are expected to benefit the market.
Europe is also forecasted to witness fastest growth over the forecast period. The government has been taking initiatives to boost industrial development and the usage of super absorbent polymers in agricultural segment. This is expected to provide an advantage to the region in future. The increasing geriatric population has characterized demography in the developed countries. This, in turn, is anticipated to increase the demand for adult incontinence products in Europe.
The global super absorbent polymers market is consolidated in nature. The few leading companies held the majority of the overall market share. The key market players have made various strategic steps to improve their capacity of production, diversify their product range, and escalate their share in the global market.
Prominent organizations have also taken several measures to assimilate their operations in order to increase their grip over the value chain, reduce the costs of operation, and intensify their profit margins. Major industry participants include Nippon Shokubai Co. Ltd., Evonik Industries AG, Sumitomo Chemicals Co., Ltd., LG Chemical Co., BASF SE, Formosa Plastics Corporation, and KAO Corporation.
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