The global cellulose acetate market size was estimated at 614.03 kilo tons in 2016 and is expected to grow due to the development in global cigarette production. Cellulose acetate tow is used to make cigarette filters, which reduces overall tar and nicotine intake during cigarette consumption. Growing use of the tow in the cigarette is anticipated to boost the market as it is comparatively efficient than paper, cotton, and polypropylene.
Global Cellulose Acetate Market Volume, By Product, 2014 - 2024 (Kilo Tons)
Availability of cellulose acetate in a wide range of colors and its unique properties such as good resistance to chemicals, high dielectric constant, and high mechanical strength makes it suitable for manufacturing a wide range of consumer products such as plastic films, textiles, and separation membrane. Among all the various applications, cigarette filters command around 80% of the market share and is the key revenue contributor to the market. However, with the implementation of government regulations to ban public smoking in countries such as Russia and China and presence of alternatives such as electronic cigarettes in the market, is expected to affect the growth potential of the market.
Segmentation by Product Type
• Cellulose Acetate Tow
• Cellulose Acetate Filament
Cellulose acetate tow accounted for the largest product type segment commanding a share of 81.69% in 2016. It is a primary component used for the manufacturing of cigarette filters and extruded plastics.
Cellulose acetate filament is used for the production of fabrics, which is mostly used in textile industry. The filament’s use in the textile & apparel industry is expected to grow owing to its properties such as good textile processing performance. Other applications for the filament include its usage in medical gauze, ribbons, home furnishings, tricot knits, circular knits, men’s linings, and coffin linings.
Segmentation by Application
• Cigarette Filters
• Photographic Films
• Textile & Apparel
• Extrusion & Molding
• Tapes & Labels
Cigarette filters and textile & apparel applications together command the majority of the cellulose acetate market. The two segments are expected to continue to dominate the market over the forecast period as well. The rise in cigarette consumption in developing countries is expected to add to the growth of the market over the forecast period.
The market is expected to have increasing usage in textile & apparel industry owing to its softness, comfort, and heat- resistance characteristics. Cellulose acetate is obtained from wood pulp and cotton and is used in the production of man-made fibre. The production volume of the world textile industry in 2014 rose by 3.4%, in which man-made fibre segment grew 4.9%, which added to the growth of the market.
Cellulose acetate application segment in photographic films is expected to decline owing to the availability of substitutes in the market such as polyesters which offer effective performance with low cost.
Segmentation by Region
• North America
• Asia Pacific
• Central & South America
Asia Pacific was the largest market accounting for 51.79% of the market in 2016. The region is expected to continue to dominate during the forecast period as well. Rising number of cigarette consumers, preference for low tar cigarettes, and growing textile industry is expected to add to the growth of the market. Europe and North America is anticipated to witness slow growth over the forecast period owing to the rising awareness about the ill effect of smoking in these regions.
The global cellulose acetate industry consists of companies such as Eastman, Mitsubishi Rayon Company Limited, Daicel Chemical Industries, SK Chemicals Co. Ltd., Rayonier, Sappi, Solvay, Borregaard, and Tembec. These players have formulated strategic alliances, partnerships, and collaborations with other industry players to stay afloat in the competitive market. In addition, active companies in the market are adopting the strategy of merger & acquisition. For instance, in 2016, Solvay signed a definitive agreement to acquire Eastman’s stake in their joint venture, Primester, and becoming its sole owner.
Research Support Specialist, USA