Global Surfactants Market is Projected to Reach $44.6 Billion by 2020

Date: 2016-01-07

About three-fourth of this revenue is expected to come from anionic and non-ionic surfactants. The Asia-Pacific market is projected to exhibit the highest CAGR during the analysis period, both in terms of volume and revenue. 

Surfactants are organic compounds with presence of both hydrophobic and hydrophilic group. The wetting and penetration effect, emulsification, dispersion, foaming, detergency, conditioning, and substantivity are some of the important properties of surfactants. The key drivers responsible for growth of the surfactants market include growing end user industries and improving lifestyles in developing economies. Easy availability, low price, and broadened application areas are few other factors fuelling the demand for surfactants worldwide. Surfactants were mainly used in the detergent and soap industries; however, this trend is changing, and they are currently used in several other industries such as fabric industry uses this as a softener, paper industry to de-ink the recycled paper, agrochemical industry to manufacture herbicides and insecticides, the cosmetic industry in shampoo, hair conditioners and toothpastes, as firefighting agent, in the oil industry, and others. Thus, broadened applications in variety of industry segments has increased the overall surfactants’ demand. However, factors such as volatility in raw material prices, increasing inclination towards green products, and governmental pressure for implementation of eco-friendly chemical processes is expected to hinder the market growth. 

Household detergents and personal care applications are the major market segments in terms of application. Food processing is the fastest growing application segment due to growing use of surfactants as biocides to inhibit bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses which can interfere with fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, and poultry. Surfactants have also gained popularity and technological advancements across different unconventional applications such as cleaning storage tanks, crude oil transportation and enhanced oil recovery in oil & gas industry, as biocides in agricultural industry, as gene delivery, and immunological adjuvant in healthcare industry. 

Key findings of the study 

Based on application, the household detergents segment captured more than half of the total market and is expected to hold its lead through 2020. 
Asia-Pacific is the fastest growing geographic market segment. 
Based on type, the non-ionic surfactants segment is projected to grow at the highest CAGR of 4.7% from 2015 to 2020. 
Among anionic surfactants, linear alkyl benzene (LAB) captured two third of the market in 2014. 
Among non-ionic surfactants, fatty al ethoxylates are the fastest growing segment through 2020.
Consumption of anionic surfactants is highest in the Asia-Pacific region. 
Food processing is the fastest growing application segment. 
In 2014, North America and Europe collectively accounted for half of the market. The prices of surfactants are comparatively high in Europe due to stringent regulations enforced by Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals (REACH); however, the same would be at lower prices in the U.S. as a result of low mineral oil prices for both, anionic and cationic surfactants. Asia-Pacific captured more than 33.09% of the surfactants market due to improved lifestyle, increased cost of living, and rise in population which would drive the personal care, soaps & detergents, and pharmaceutical industries. 

The surfactants industry is growing rapidly in the developing regions and frequent acquisition is the most adopted strategy by the global players to broaden the horizons in the developing region such as Asia-Pacific. Collaborations between the companies are majorly focused on increasing the surfactants production. Furthermore, top market players in the global surfactants market also adopt strategies such as agreements, certifications, contracts, expansions, investments, joint ventures, partnerships, product launches, and innovation. The prominent players profiled in this report includes BASF SE, AkzoNobel N.V., Kao Corporation, Stephan Company, Rhodia S.A., Clariant AG, Evonik Industries AG, Huntsman Corporation (Huntsman International LLC), P&G Chemicals, and Lion Corporation.

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