The global water soluble polymers market size was valued at USD 27.30 billion in 2014 and is expected to witness significant growth over the next seven years owing to growing applications in drilling, enhanced oil recovery, mining, wastewater treatment, and food. Growing demand for water soluble polymers as stabilizers, thickeners, film formers, emulsifiers, rheology modifiers, lubricity aids, and conditioners will augment industry growth over the forecast period.
Increasing applications in various sectors including household products, construction, detergents, personal care, food, paints & coatings, and pharmaceuticals is expected to fuel demand over the forecast period. Increasing polyvinyl alcohol consumption for green packaging in light of government support will propel industry growth. Rising consumption owing to superior properties including quick drying, mild odor, inflammable, and eco-friendly nature will propel industry growth.
Increasing investments by various players including SNF, CNPC, BASF and Beijing Hengju is expected to stimulate growth. Rising shale gas and wet shale gas production in the U.S., China, Algeria and Australia will drive demand. However, fluctuating raw material prices over the next seven years is likely to restrain growth. In addition, harmful impact on health and environment is expected to hinder growth. The introduction of bio-based acrylamide on account of growing environmental concerns is likely to open new market avenues.
Water soluble polymers market includes various product segments including polyacrylamide, polyvinyl alcohol, guar gum, polyacrylic acid, cellulose ether, gelatin, casein, xanthan gum and others including polyethylene glycol, polyamides, maleic anhydride, and polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP).
Polyacrylamide was the largest segment and accounted for over 25.0% of the market volume in 2014 and will witness major growth over the forecast period in light of increasing consumption in pulp & paper and drilling activities. Growing usage of coagulants and flocculants in wastewater treatment along with mining sector is expected to spur demand for polyacrylamide over the forecast period.
Cellulose ether was the third largest market and accounted for over 680.0 kilo tons in 2014 and is expected to witness significant growth as a result of rising applications in various industries including food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, paper, textile, construction, and paints & coatings over the next seven years.
Rising demand for water soluble PVA films as green packaging in agrochemicals and detergents owing to government initiatives is expected to fuel demand for polyvinyl alcohol. Mounting polyacrylic acid consumption in detergents is further expected to increase its market share over the next seven years.
Water soluble polymers find applications in various sectors including water treatment, oil & gas, personal care & detergents, food, pulp & paper, pharmaceuticals and others including construction, mining, paints, explosives, agriculture, adhesives and textiles.
Water treatment was the largest application segment in 2014 accounting for over 24.0% of market demand and is expected to witness significant growth in light of rising ecological concerns coupled with implementation of stringent environmental standards in various countries including the U.S., China, Germany, and the UK. Owing to pressure from regulatory bodies, the segment will expand substantially over the upcoming years. Environmental regulations concerning drinking water purity and wastewater discharge stimulate the use of synthetic polymers.
Oil & gas is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.4% in terms of revenue from 2015 to 2022 on account of growing shale gas production in various countries including U.S., Canada, Mexico, China, Australia, Africa, Argentina, and Brazil. Also, increasing drilling and completion activities in U.S., UK, Brazil, China, and Canada is further expected to fuel market size. Increasing pharmaceuticals industry in U.S., China, and India is predicted to offer substantial opportunity for growth.
Asia Pacific was a dominant market in 2014 accounting for over 40.0% of the global revenue share and will show high growth on account of rising personal care, food & beverages and pharmaceuticals sector in China, India, and Indonesia. Growing investment for wastewater treatment in China in accordance with the 12th Five Year Plan will drive demand for polymers over the next seven years. In addition, growing waste water treatment industry in India owing to supportive government policy encouraging private investments in projects will stimulate demand.
North America is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 4.5% from 2015 to 2022 in terms of volume on account of shale gas boom coupled with growing pharmaceuticals and food & beverage sector in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Europe is likely to show substantial growth as a result of rapid consumption in personal care, detergents and oil & gas sector in UK, Germany, and Spain. In the MEA, major countries contributing towards industry growth were Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Kuwait, and Qatar. The major application industries were oil field products, water treatment, construction, and paints & coatings.
In Latin America, Brazil was the largest sub-regional market, owing to rising disposable income of consumers and rapid urbanization. Latin America is also predicted to add to the growth over the upcoming years on account of increasing enhanced oil recovery activities and need for soil stabilization in this region owing to high agricultural production.
The global industry is highly competitive with major companies involved in constant product innovation and R&D activities. Key players include Ashland Inc., Arkema SA, DuPont, The Dow Chemical Company, BASF, Gantrade, Nitta Gelatin Inc., Kuraray Group, SNF Group, Kemira Oyj, AkzoNobel, Gelita AG, Shandong polymers Bio-chemicals Co. Ltd., Sumitomo Seika Chemicals Company, and CP Kelco.
SNF Group offers various polymers having wide applications in mining, paper, cosmetic and petroleum sector. Ashland Nexton offers unique textures in gypsum, cement, and latex-based products thereby improving cohesiveness, workability, and appearance of building material. AkzoNobel Alcoguard uses innovative hybrid bio-polymers technology which offers effective performance and an improved environmental profile for detergent sector.
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