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US Waxes Market, Freedonia

  • May 2015
  • 265 pages
  • Freedonia
Report ID: 3007688


Table of Contents

US demand to rise 4% annually through 2019

Overall demand for wax in the US market is forecast to grow nearly four percent annually in value terms through 2019, supported by continued growth in manufacturing activity and rising residential construction expenditures. However, advances will be limited by a challenging environment for waxes in the packaging industry, as well as weak growth in most consumer and commercial applications. The supply and market share of wax types will remain dynamic as changes in the global petroleum refining industry impact the supply and pricing of petroleum derived waxes, and crude oil and agricultural commodity prices impact investment in new capacity for synthetic and natural waxes.

Industrial wax demand to outpace other markets

Ongoing strengthening of the economy will support advances in the US manufacturing sector, which in turn will continue to drive industrial wax demand, particularly in coatings and inks, adhesives, and plastic and rubber processing. While these applications typically employ the most cost-effective waxes, greater demand is expected for waxes that raise production efficiency and lower inputs costs. The most rapid increases in wax demand will be in the manufacture of building boards, stimulated by robust gains in residential construction activity. In contrast, rising interest in sustainability and demand for recyclable alternatives will cause the consumption of waxes in paper and paperboard packaging to continue to decline in volume. Though growth in industrial wax demand will be quite healthy, increases in consumer and commercial wax consumption will be much weaker, held back by the general maturity of wax use in most consumer and commercial applications. Long term trends away from candle and polish use will further limit growth.

Petroleum waxes to be affected by refining industry

Developments in the worldwide refining industry will have a significant impact on the composition of the wax market. Supply issues are expected for petroleum waxes, as major refiners move forward with plans to shift away from the lower quality base oils from which petroleum waxes are derived. Additionally, refiners are increasingly turning to catalytic dewaxing technology that does not produce wax as a byproduct. The limited supply will continue to support above average growth in petroleum wax prices, and increase the competitiveness of synthetic and natural wax alternatives. The usage of synthetic waxes as additives to create high-performance, low-cost wax blends is expected to be a major area of focus for product development. While synthetic waxes will generally benefit from the shift toward higher quality base oils by refiners, synthetic Fisher-Tropsch waxes will face their own supply shortages due to the delay or cancellation of new gasto-liquids (GTL) projects in the US following the collapse of crude oil prices in 2014. Natural waxes will remain the smallest segment of the market, with growth expected for some consumer applications. Consumer preference for environmentally friendly brands will be the main reason for this growth, as the price of natural waxes is expected to remain flat through 2019. Soy wax, while remaining the least costly type of natural wax, will account for most of this growth. Volatility in the supply and cost of natural waxes will remain the most significant difficulty for these products.

Study coverage

This upcoming industry study, Waxes, presents historical demand data (2004, 2009 and 2014) plus forecasts (2019 and 2024) by wax product and market. The study also assesses key market environment factors, examines the industry structure, evaluates company market share and profiles 39 US industry participants.

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