The global surfactants market, by revenue, is estimated at USD XX.XX billion for 2016 and is projected to reach USD XX.XX billion by 2021, witnessing a moderate CAGR of 3.97%.
Surfactants mean surface active agents that are used in cleaning, wetting, dispersing, emulsifying, foaming as anti-foaming agents, in many practical applications, such as detergents, fabric softeners, emulsions, paints, adhesives, inks, biocides, cosmetics, among others. Applications of surfactants in various end-user applications and increased awareness of bio-based surfactants govern the market size and dynamics of the global surfactants market.
The global surfactants market is driven by various factors, primarily the increased shale gas availability, increased awareness of bio-based substrates and growth of personal care industry. However, stringent environmental regulations and high raw material prices for bio-surfactant production are likely to restrict the overall growth of the surfactants market.
This report classifies the global surfactants market by type, into anionic, cationic, amphoteric, non-ionic, silicones and fluorosurfactants, with anionic and non-ionic surfactants, together, projected to account for the largest share of the global demand for surfactants in 2016. While anionic detergents have an average growth, non-ionic and amphoteric surfactants are expected to witness the highest growth during the forecast period because of the growing need of masses to use milder and better quality products. The high level of competition between the key players in this market benefits the overall market, by way of new product developments and innovations. The top personal care product manufacturers tend to purchase high-quality surfactants from the key manufacturers, in order to manufacture better end products.
Based on their origin, surfactants are also classified into synthetic and bio-based. The high cost of bio-based surfactants, currently, is expected to restrict the surfactants market growth. Hence, the development and commercialization of cost-effective bio-based surfactants is expected to open a major growth opportunity for the overall market, by origin. Low cost of synthetic surfactants and easy availability is a significant growth driver, however, fluctuating prices of key feedstock materials is a major concern for the manufacturers. Expansion of application base of surfactants is also expected to provide new growth opportunities for the surfactant manufacturers.
With an approximate 39% share of the global consumption, Asia-Pacific is the largest surfactant market, followed by North America and Europe. The Asia-Pacific countries are expected to increase their shares in the global surfactant market, mainly at the expense of Europe and North America. In addition, South America is expected to witness a strong growth, predominantly, because of massive increase in production and consumption of surfactants in Brazil.
Concerns over pollution and biodegradability of products is a growing trend, both from government agencies and buyer side. In water bodies, non-degradable chemical concentration is bio magnified at each tropic level. Companies have to adhere to the non-toxicity and waste products norms. Legislation on detergents permits improved protection of the environment by safeguarding water systems from the harmful effects of certain substances that are found in detergents. Consumers are safeguarded through complete labeling to include any substance that could cause allergies. The high growth rate of bio-based surfactants also points to this trend.
One of the major drivers for the bio-based surfactant market is increased awareness among consumers toward eco-friendly products, mainly in Europe and North America. However, the current high cost of bio-based surfactants is expected to restrict the market growth of surfactants. Hence, the development and commercialization of cost-effective bio-based surfactants is expected to open a major growth opportunity. Low cost of synthetic surfactants and easy availability is a significant growth driver. However, fluctuating prices of key feedstock materials is a major concern for the manufacturers. Expansion of application base of surfactants is also expected to provide new growth opportunities for the surfactant manufacturers.