Growing super absorbent polymer demand particularly in emerging countries is expected to boost the global acrylic acid market over the next five years. Acrylic acid is the primary feedstock for the super absorbent polymers production which has series of applications in hygiene and healthcare industry such as underwear, diapers and sanitary napkins. Super absorbent polymers demand is increasing due to growing economic conditions, purchasing power of consumers, better living standard and growing population. Acrylic acid is a simplest form of carboxylic acid comprises pungent smell, exists in polymerized form and possesses corrosive properties. The product and its derivatives are applicable in several industries such as synthetic rubber, textiles and fibers, coating and paints, adhesives, super absorbent polymers, cleaners and detergents, construction materials, plastics and clothing and leather. Acrylic acid is also used in various chemical manufacturing processes as an intermediate. The product and its derivatives are majorly manufactured from propylene and oxides of molybdenum, niobium and arsenic. Propylene is mostly manufactured in petroleum refineries. Naphtha is produced from crude oil distillation which is further cracked in oxygen absent condition to produce propylene and ethylene. Acrylic acid is derived in a range of products include super absorbent polymers, polyacrylic acid, ethyl acrylate, 2-ethylhexly acrylate, butyl acrylate, methyl acrylate and other monomers.
Growing acrylic acid adhesives demand in applications where higher physical strength is required such as tensile strength, shock absorption and high shear is expected to bolster the global acrylic acid market growth over the next five years. Acrylic acid adhesives are majorly used to join metals, glass and composites. Volatile raw material prices are anticipated to hinder the market growth over the forecast period. Stringent regulations such as Clean Air Act, 1990 and Air Exposure Limits and Acute Toxicity have been imposed on industries in the Europe, U.S. and other nations for safe production and usage of acrylic acid.
Acrylate esters dominated the product segment market in 2013 accounting for over 51% of the total acrylic acid products consumption. Acrylic acid product types include 2-methyl hexyl acrylate, ethyl acrylate, methyl acrylate and butyl acrylate. Major acrylate esters applications include sealant and adhesives, textiles, surface coatings, plastic additives and printing inks. Glacial acrylic acid, another acrylic acid derivative followed acrylate esters in 2013 accounting for over 44% of the total derivatives consumption. Glacial acrylic acid is majorly used to manufacture poly acrylic acid and super absorbent polymers. Cyano poly acrylate and ammonium poly acrylate together accounted for over 4% of the total derivatives consumption in 2013. But they are anticipated to be the fastest growing segment over the next five years due to increasing demand in construction industry.
Asia Pacific was the largest regional acrylic acid market accounting for over 46% of the total demand in 2013. It is also expected to be the fastest growing regional market over the forecast period owing to increasing derivatives demand in end-use industries such as sealants, adhesives, construction and others. Increasing applications in end-use industries and growing demand in emerging countries such as South Korea, China and India is anticipated to the market in the near future. Rapid industrialization in these countries is also projected to foster the market growth. North America followed Asia Pacific and contributed to second major regional market on account of growing residential renovations but is anticipated to witness low growth rate owing to high labor cost in the region which led industries to shift to the Asia Pacific region.
Global acrylic acid market is completely fragmented due to five major players contributed to less than 45% of the market in 2013. The major players in the global market include Dow Chemicals, Rohm and Haas, BASF, Arkema SA and StoHaas Monomer.
Research Support Specialist, USA