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Specialty Chemicals: Latest Market Statistics and Trends

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Global Specialty Chemical Industry

The world specialty chemicals sector was worth more than $706 billion in 2010, having recorded yearly growth in excess of 3% for the four preceding years, reports MarketLine. Fine chemicals represented the leading market segment in terms of revenue, exceeding $204 billion and accounting for 29% of the overall industry in terms of value.

Market growth is expected to accelerate to a yearly rate of more than 5% between 2010 and 2015, bringing the industry to almost $919 billion.

Key Segments

The global specialty chemical industry involves the sale of value-added chemicals necessary in manufacturing various products including additives, industrial gases, adhesives, specialty paints and coatings, pigments, plastics, advanced polymers, printing inks, sealants, cleaning compounds,  and fine chemicals.

The global pigments and dyes sector is expected to reach almost 10 million tons by 2017, representing revenue of $27 billion, according to research from Global Industry Analysts. Industry performance will be fuelled by expansion in important end-use industries, and demand will rise due to improving quality and performance. More strict environmental standards will also drive growth as consumers opt for more environment-friendly products.

The global textile dyes market is forecast to reach almost $6 billion in 2017, reports Global Industry Analysts. Market growth will be driven by technology advances, population growth, consumer spending and consumer perceptions. Environmentally friendly dyes and chemicals are expected to propel demand over coming years.

The global adhesive and sealant market is currently in a phase of recovery following several slow years, reports SBI. The overall market was worth almost $22 billion in 2011, having climbed from $19.5 billion 5 years before. Structural and non-structural sealants represent the leading market segment in terms of growth. Between 2006 and 2011, structural sealants recorded almost 4% yearly growth, while non-structural sealants witnessed just over 3% yearly growth.

Synthetic resin and rubber adhesives have the largest share of the global adhesives and sealants market in terms of value, exceeding $10 billion in 2010. Natural base glues and adhesives have witnessed negligible growth since 2006, remaining at less than $1.5 billion. Economic recovery and developing Southeast Asian markets are fuelling demand. Adhesives and sealants are also being increasingly used for the development of new products intended to help energy conservation and renewable energy sources. Adhesives and sealants have many uses including applications such as automotive, footwear, shipbuilding, electronics, consumer goods, textiles, and construction repair and remodeling.

The specialty fuel additive market is expected to break the $1.5 billion mark in the US in 2016, according to research from Freedonia. Market growth will be fuelled by rising demand for petroleum fuel, driven by economic recovery. State regulations are set to influence specialty fuel additives demand over the coming years. To respect Renewable Fuel Standard 2 (RFS2) requirements, the EPA will boost biodiesel and ethanol usage in fuel supply, driving demand for specialty fuel additives in the manufacture of biofuels.

Regional Market Share

In the US, the specialty chemicals sector generated almost $185 billion in 2010, having recorded almost 5% yearly growth over the four preceding years, reports MarketLine. Paints, coatings and surface treatments represented the leading market segment in terms of revenue, reaching almost $51 billion in 2010 and representing almost 28% of the overall industry in terms of value. Market growth is expected to slow to a yearly rate of just over 4% between 2010 and 2015, bringing the market to $230 billion.

MarketLine predicts the Asia-Pacific specialty chemicals industry will exceed revenue of $361 billion before the end of 2015. Industry performance is set to hit 7% yearly expansion for the five-year period ending 2015, fuelled in part by sales of fine chemicals. This segment represented 27% of the region’s specialty chemicals industry in 2010, at which point is was worth almost $72 billion. Specialty chemicals represented a $262 billion industry in Asia-Pacific in 2010, and witnessed more than 3% growth each year between 2006 and 2010.

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