Increasing demand of eco-friendly (bio-based) surfactants, specifically from European and North American regions is driving the global surfactants market. Regulations and non-toxicity are the main factors favoring the use of bio-based surfactants.
Currently, Asia-Pacific dominates the global surfactants market, followed by North America and then Europe. Asia-Pacific is also anticipated to have highest growth rate during next five years. This is owing to the growth in related segment such as personal care, soap/detergent, oilfield chemical, food, pharmaceutical etc. in Asia-Pacific. North America is the second-largest consumer of surfactants. The Middle East & Africa is estimated to witness growth rate, higher than global average, during 2014 to 2019. The market in this region is experiencing increased demand in several applications of surfactants.
Surfactants market is projected to reach 22,802.1 KT (Kilotons), in terms of consumption, and $40,286.3 million in terms of value, by 2019.
Synthetic/chemical based surfactants still hold the largest share. However, due to stringent regulations, bio-based surfactants will grow at a higher CAGR. Bio-based surfactants are priced higher than synthetic surfactants because of the expensive raw materials. Considering existing research and developments taking place in the industry, prices are estimated to come down.
Majorly, bio-based surfactants are non-ionic or amphoteric. At present, anionic surfactants captures the larger share of surfactants market. However, due to higher growth of bio-based surfactants, and eco-friendly and less toxic nature of non-ionic surfactants, non-ionic surfactants will have higher growth rate.
"Soap/detergent is the topmost application segment in the surfactants market"
Soap/detergent application segment takes the topmost position in the surfactants market with more than 46% share in terms of volume and value. The fastest growth rate during next five years in surfactants market is expected to come from elastomers and plastics applications, where surfactants are used in emulsion polymerization. In oilfield chemicals surfactants market, North America will lose it dominance to Asia-Pacific due to increased off-shore exploration activities and expected commercial production of shale gas by China, which has largest shale gas reserves.
Shale gas production will lead to more availability of raw material for synthetic surfactants. This will further reduce the price of synthetic surfactants. This will drive the surfactants market mainly in Asia-Pacific and RoW due to less stringent regulations in the regions.
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