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US Surfactants Market

  • January 2015
  • 246 pages
  • Freedonia
Report ID: 2657201


Table of Contents

US demand to increase 2.9% yearly through 2018

US demand for surfactants is expected to grow 2.9 percent per year to 10.2 billion pounds in 2018, representing $14.5 billion in value terms. Growth will be supported by rising construction expenditures and oil and gas production, and by rebounds in consumer spending on personal care products. A shift toward higher value specialty surfactants for performance reasons will also promote growth in dollar terms.

Industrial markets to post fastest gains in demand

Industrial markets are expected to post the most significant gains in surfactant demand in both volume and value terms through 2018, supported by healthy economic growth, a surge in construction activity, and ongoing development of the US oil and gas industry. Demand for surfactants used as cement and asphalt additives, particularly lignosulfonates and other anionics, will gain from a rebound in nonresidential building construction, while favorable growth opportunities in paint and coatings and plastics will benefit from a combination of expanding residential construction and increased manufacturing activity. Despite a decline in oil prices in late 2014 and early 2015, demand for surfactants used in oil and natural gas production is projected to rise at an above-average pace, though growth will moderate from the average annual double-digit advances experienced from 2008 to 2013. Specialty surfactants will account for a greater share of spending on surfactants in industrial applications through 2018, as users prefer their improved efficiency, multifunctionality, and greater safety and sustainability.

Amphoterics, silicone, fluorosurfactants, block copolymers, quaternary ammonium compounds, and fatty amine oxides are among the surfactants that will show healthy growth going forward in industrial applications. US demand for surfactants in cleaning products is expected to rise at a modest pace in volume terms, as cleaning products are the most established end use for surfactants and as shipments of cleaning products are projected to rise at a modest pace. In the larger household cleaning products segment, an increasing share of cleaning products are concentrated, and contain higher levels of surfactants, including specialty surfactants that are more efficient and are gentler on the skin. Demand for surfactants in the cleaning products market will also be supported by greater emphasis on sustainability, and multifunctionality. This will favor specialty surfactants such as sugarderived types at the expense of inexpensive commodity products such as linear alkylbenzene sulfonate.

“Natural” surfactants to do well in personal care uses

In the personal care product market for surfactants, those that are gentle on skin and hair and are also environmentally sustainable will register the best growth prospects in dollar terms. Surfactants such as amphoterics, silicone, and certain types of nonionics will benefit the most from this trend. Additionally, a greater share of personal soaps will be liquid soaps, rather than bar soaps; liquid soaps tend to use more expensive surfactants, which will further support demand growth in dollar terms. Naturally-derived biosurfactants, which tend to see limited use in industrial and cleaning product markets, will expand their share of the personal care product market in dollar terms as many consumers are increasingly favoring products that are marketed as “natural.”

Study coverage

This upcoming industry study, Surfactant presents historical demand data (2003, 2008 and 2013) plus forecasts (2018 and 2023) by market and product. The study also considers key market environment factors, examines the industry structure, evaluates company market share and profiles 35 participants in the US surfactants industry

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