U.S. Specialty Oleochemicals Market Report

U.S. Specialty Oleochemicals Market Analysis By Product (Specialty Esters, Fatty Acid Methyl Esters, Glycerol Esters, Alkoxylates, Fatty Amines), By Application, Competitive Landscape, And Segment Forecasts, 2018 - 2025

  • Published Date: Feb, 2017
  • Base Year for Estimate: 2016
  • Report ID: GVR-1-68038-404-8
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Historical Data: 2014 - 2016
  • Number of Pages: 60

Industry Insights

The U.S. specialty oleochemicals market size was estimated at 1,097 kilo tons in 2015. The increasing demand for sustainable solutions and bio-degradable products coupled with changes in the U.S. regulations such as EPA are raising the influence of oleochemicals in various segments of the chemical industry.

The recent developments have created new applications for oleochemical products in various segments such as in biosurfactants, lubricants and polymers which offer substantial prospects for companies in the long run.

U.S. specialty oleochemicals market by application, 2014 - 2025 (USD Million)

U.S. specialty oleochemicals market

Customers increasingly prefer natural based products and this trend is likely to become more prominent in the U.S. in the near future. The chemical companies are increasingly involved in sustainable development as part of liable care initiatives, which further drives the product demand in the region.

In U.S., the banning of trans fats may further boost the consumption of palm-based products. The demand for specialty oleochemicals derivatives is growing at a steady pace owing to increase in consumption of personal care, pharmaceutical, and food products. Demand for personal care products is increasing owing to increase in disposable incomes, product innovation, and high market penetration.

The current regulatory framework in the U.S. is defined by tax incentives provided by government in order to encourage biofuel consumption. The demand for biodiesel is directly associated with the blending norms and specification standards established by U.S. governments across the region through legislative policies.

The change in blending and production standards may have a considerable impact on the biodiesel market, which in turn is expected to affect oleochemicals demand in biodiesel production. Additionally, growing popularity of shale gas as an alternative energy source is expected to have an adverse impact on the biodiesel demand in the U.S., which is expected to remain a major hindrance to the industry expansion.

Product Insights

Specialty esters dominated the U.S. market with a volume of 321.9 kilo tons in 2015. Esters provide a sustainable alternative to petroleum-based chemicals and materials for diverse end-use applications. These chemicals also help manufacturers and consumers to meet REACH and U.S. EPA guidelines to reduce carbon footprint and utilize bio-based resources in environmentally sensitive applications.

Fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) accounted for 8.3% of the overall market volume in 2014. Fatty esters are largely used as food additives in ice creams, baked goods and other processed products to moisturize, stabilize and thicken the food.

Glycerol esters include glycerol monostearate (GMS), glycerol di-stearate, oleates, medium chain triglycerides (MCT) and other glycerides. Owing to its chemical composition, GMS has witnessed significant increase in demand as an emulsifier and thickener in food and beverage and personal care industries.

Alkoxylates include ethoxylates of fatty acid, fatty amine, fatty alcohol, methyl ester etc. Alkoxylates find significance as emulsifiers for manufacturing various products such as household care, agrochemical, and fabric softeners. Growing significance of surfactants in various industrial sectors is anticipated to drive alkoxylates demand over the forecast period.

U.S. specialty oleochemicals market by product, 2015 (%)

U.S. specialty oleochemicals market

Fatty amines segment primarily comprises primary, secondary, and tertiary amines. Fatty amines find significance as floatation agents, corrosion inhibitors, and anti-caking agents. This has attributed to the fatty amines demand for manufacturing hair conditioners, agricultural wetting agents, textile chemicals, oilfield chemicals, and biocides.

Application Insight

Personal care & cosmetics segment is anticipated to emerge as fastest growing application and is expected to account for over 20% of the total revenue by 2025. Decreasing use of harmful chemicals including parabens, aluminum salts, and phthalates coupled with committed efforts from numerous multinational corporations for adopting sustainable products has contributed to increasing consumption of specialty oleochemical derivatives.

Consumer goods include direct chemical products, household cleaners, beverages, food flavorants, etc. Shifting consumer trend towards natural and less toxic ingredients in household products and beverages is anticipated to steer specialty oleochemical demand in the U.S. over the forecast period.

Textiles segment include chemical agents used in textile printing, fiber finishing, coning, fabric softener, etc. Specialty oleochemical derivatives in this segment find significance majorly as emulsifiers, antistatic agents, microbial agents, lubricants, dyeing agents, and wetting agents.

Competitive Insights

The U.S. companies have been extensively involved in R&D to develop bio-based chemicals from vegetable oils. Health and environmental hazards posed by petrochemical-based lubricants regarding their degradability when disposed of have been a challenge since the last few years. In order to overcome these challenges, companies are working towards the production of bio-based lubricants using oleochemicals such as soybean oil as raw materials. One such instance is of Cargill, which has developed electrical insulation fluid through soybean oil.

The U.S. industry is dominated by large multinationals, which makes price differentiation unfeasible for other companies. The key players in the U.S. specialty oleochemical derivatives market include Vantage Specialty Chemicals, Emery Oleochemicals, Evonik Industries, Wilmar International, Cargill, TerraVia Holdings, Inc., and Kao Chemicals.

Report Scope



Base year for estimation


Actual estimates/Historical data

2014 - 2016

Forecast period

2017 - 2025

Market representation                                                

Volume in Kilo Tons, Revenue in USD Million & CAGR from 2016 to 2025

Country scope


Report coverage             

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

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Segments covered in the report

This report forecasts revenue growth at the U.S. country levels and provides an analysis on the industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2014 to 2025. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the U.S. specialty oleochemicals market on the basis of product and application:

  • Product Outlook (Volume, Kilo Tons; Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)

    • Specialty esters

    • Fatty acid methyl ester

    • Glycerol esters

    • Alkoxylates

    • Fatty amines

    • Others

  • Application Outlook (Volume, Kilo Tons; Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)

    • Personal care & cosmetics

    • Consumer goods

    • Food processing

    • Textiles

    • Paints & inks

    • Industrial

    • Healthcare & pharmaceuticals

    • Polymer & Plastic Additives

    • Others

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