The South American surfactant market was valued at USD 3.29 billion in 2017, and is projected to reach USD 4.88 billion by 2023. Surfactants are the compounds that aid in the lowering of interfacial or surface tensions between a liquid and a solid, or between two liquids. Generally, they are organic compounds that amphiphilic i.e. they contain both hydrophilic and hydrophobic groups. As a result, they contain both water-soluble and water-insoluble components.
Owing to their surface reducing properties, biocide nature, adsorption properties (that aid in the stabilization of the rapidly formed bubbles during emulsifying, coating, or foaming), surfactants are becoming an integral part of various commercial and industrial sectors. Additionally, because of their viscosity and elasticity, they are increasingly becoming popular in numerous applications.
In the South American surfactant market, household soaps are expected to dominate the market by application. However, the personal care application segment is expected to witness the highest growth. By type, the anionic surfactant segment is expected to witness the fastest growth during the forecast period.
Oleo chemicals are chemicals produced from natural sources, such as fats and oils obtained from vegetables or animals. They are usually less toxic as compared to petrochemicals. Therefore, they are gaining popularity as substitutes for petroleum-based products. Due to the escalating demand for bio-based products, growing need for sustainable solutions, and changes in regulatory framework, the demand for oleo chemicals has increased significantly in various segments of the chemical industry. Various new applications, such as bio-surfactants, bio-lubricants, and biopolymers, are emerging as replacements for petroleum-based products, thereby creating growth opportunities for the oleo chemical market. As most of the bio-based surfactants are derived from oleo chemicals, the growth of the oleo chemical market is expected to drive the demand for bio-based surfactants during the forecast period.
Brazil is the largest consumer of surfactants in the region. Owing to increasing concerns over environmentally friendly products that are made from naturally occurring or renewable-based raw materials, the usage of surfactants has increased. Both consumers and major retailers are demanding for wellness and sustainability, in addition to performance. The National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) of Brazil, along with other regional agencies, provides the necessary regulations and standards concerning the manufacture, supply, and import of surfactants in domestic and industrial applications. Companies have to adhere to the non-toxicity and waste products norms. Given the increasing importance of soy bean production in Latin America, many multinational companies are already adopting the oleo-based natural feedstock, as they tend to standardize their formulations worldwide, in order to export their products to multiple markets. Most of these companies have set up their manufacturing plants in Brazil and Argentina. Owing to the aforementioned factors, the South American surfactant market is expected to register steady growth over the forecast period.
Key Players: Huntsman International LLC, DowDuPont, Henkel AG & Co. KGaA, Clariant AG and BASF SE amongst others.
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