The global surfactants market is expected to register a CAGR of 5.41% during the forecast period, 2018 to 2023. Asia-Pacific held the largest market, accounting for almost 40% of the global market share in 2017.
Personal care is one of the major end-users for surfactants. Surfactants are used as ingredients in a variety of products in the personal care segment, such as foaming agents, dispersants, emulsifiers, solubilizing agents, cleansers, and conditioners, among others. The personal care industry accounted for around 14% of the global market in 2017. Asia-Pacific has become the largest consumer as well as producer of surfactants. The production has reached such high levels that it has become a major hub for export of cosmetics and personal care products to developed nations, such as the United States. The tier-2 markets, such as South Korea, are expected to witness a rapid rise in the demand for personal care products. Moreover, China and India are also likely to experience good opportunities for the personal care market.
Anionic surfactants account for approximately half of the total share of the surfactants market. Growing focus on environmental regulations is expected to increase the demand for anionic surfactants. In terms of volume, the three most-used anionic surfactants are alpha-olefin sulfonates, linear alkylbenzene sulfonates, and alcohol ethoxysulfates. High price and supply fluctuations of petrochemical products, and reducing dependence on crude oil are likely to drive the demand for anionic surfactants. The current market demand for environment-friendly alternatives has led to a boost in demand for bio-based anionic surfactants.
Asia-Pacific was dominated by China, Japan, and India. China was the largest consumer of surfactants in 2017 and the country is likely to continue its dominance during the forecast period. Continuous growth in population is fuelling the demand for personal care, soaps, and detergents in the country, which, in turn, is augmenting surfactants market. Moreover, demand for surfactants in soaps and detergents was the high in 2017; this segment is estimated to continue its dominance during the forecast period, primarily due to the increasing household applications.
Key Players: BASF, DOWDUPONT, Evonik Industries AG, Kao Chemicals, Huntsman International LLC, 3M, and Akzo Nobel N.V amongst others