Asia accounts for nearly 50% of the global demand for primary surfactants and is the growth leader. Primary surfactants are a set of large volume chemicals produced on an economic scale that delivers cost effectiveness that competing surfactants have found difficult to challenge. These materials dominate consumer product use and maintain utility across a range of industrial applications as well. The 9.7 million ton market is gradually evolving as per capita consumption increases and as product styles evolve. According to CAHA, household usage is declining from 68% of consumption to 66% over the 2015-2025 period due to faster growth in personal care.
“The supply of primary surfactants is adjusting to the entry of new detergent alcohol integrated suppliers in Europe over the last few years. This regional market is in a period of slow growth and the increased competition is favoring producers with higher degrees of supply chain efficiency and raw material integration,” according to Joel H. Houston, president, CAHA.
The new 650-page report, Primary Surfactant Opportunities—Regional Markets to 2025, analyzes the most important topics and challenges that face the industry today: environmental developments, sustainability, new technologies, value chains, capacity changes, the downstream integration trend and demographic and economic drivers. The report profiles eight global surfactant producers: BASF, Clariant, Huntsman, Kao, Sasol, Shell, Solvay and Stepan, and 14 more regionally positioned suppliers: Air Products, CEPSA, Dow, Ecogreen, Galaxy, Kuala Lumpur Kepong, Lion, Lubrizol, Musim Mas (ICOF), Oxiteno, Pilot Chemical, Saudi Kayan, Tayca and Wilmar.
According to CAHA, recent mergers, acquisitions and capacity developments are reviewed, including the trend for Southeast Asia plantation holders, like Wilmar and Musim Mas (ICOF) to enter Europe through new conversion positions. Stepan has acquired additional sulfonation assets in South America and has established a toll position to make surfactants for the Sun Products brands of detergents, which have recently been acquired by Henkel. As opportunities to acquire primary surfactant assets become rarer, companies actively developing their positions are open to considering new plant construction projects.
Discussions of surfactant market structures provide insight on a regional level for linear alkylbenzene sulfonates (LABS), alcohol sulfates (AS), alcohol ethoxysulfates (AES), alcohol ethoxylates (AE), alkylphenol ethoxylates (APE) and methyl ester sulfonates (MES). The sections on each primary surfactant include data on producers and capacities, estimates of captive versus merchant use, producer merchant market shares in each region, and a forecast of consumption by major end use: household, personal care and industrial (including I&I). Also surveyed are the key primary surfactant intermediates: linear alkylbenzene (LAB), detergent alcohol and ethylene oxide (EO).
More info: CAHA_Research@colinhouston.com or +1-803-226-0350.