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Closure of Group I Base Oil Refineries to Force Wax Producers to Restructure Pricing Framework, says TMR

Posted on Aug 11, 2016

The global wax market is dominated by companies such as China National Petroleum Corporation, ExxonMobil Corporation, and Sinopec. According to Transparency Market Research, these three industry giants collectively accounted for a whopping 64.4% of the revenue of the global wax market in 2013. The competition in the consolidated global wax market is likely to be driven by the increasing number of end users across the world, which will lead to better prospects for established industry players. Other leading companies in the global wax market include Sasol Wax, Royal Dutch Shell plc, Lukoil, and The International Group Inc. 

Diversification of End Use Drives Wax Industry

The prime driver for the global wax market is its growing use in novel applications and emerging end-use sectors. While candles have traditionally been a leading end-use segment of the wax market, their demand has been rejuvenated by the development of scented candles and other luxury candles. Despite the widespread availability of electric light across the world, candles still remain popular in large parts due to such technological advances and are likely to remain a key factor in the growing demand for wax in the coming years.

The demand for wax is also exhibiting a notable increase in the packaging and cosmetics industries. The hydrophobic nature of wax is a key reason for its use in both these applications. Cosmetic formulations containing a wax base are more helpful in reducing dehydration, thus helping maintain a healthy skin, while impermeability to water is a crucial characteristic for paper-based packaging, which is one of the most popular packaging materials across the world.

Closure of Group I Base Oil Refineries Hurts Production of Wax

On the other hand, the shift from Group I to Group II base oils in the industrial sector has hampered the global wax market. Group I base oils, which contain petroleum products at their initial stage of refinement, are a key source of wax. However, their unfavorable environmental impact due to the high amount of impurities, such as sulfur, has led to many industries opting for Group II base oils. This steady shift has also been supported by several government bodies. This is a key restraint on the global wax market and could result in a restructured cost structure.

The steady rise in the popularity of gas-to-liquid conversion processes in the petroleum industry has thus emerged as a key opportunity. Gas-to-liquid processes are used to convert natural gas and its gaseous derivatives into liquid hydrocarbon fuels; the intermittent stage between the two can be converted into wax. Despite the drawback of reducing the total production of liquid fuels, this process is likely to become a key advance in the global wax market in the coming years.

Asia Pacific to Remain Dominant in Wax Production, Global Market Value to Reach US$8.9 bn by 2020

Asia Pacific is the leading contributor to the global wax market due to the growing industrial sector in the region. Refineries in Asia Pacific are dominant producers of petroleum wax and are also key exporters to North America and Europe. China is likely to remain the leading producer of petroleum wax in the coming years, while Malaysia is a leading player in natural wax production.

Of the leading product types in the global wax market, synthetic waxes are expected to exhibit the highest growth rate in the 2014-2020 forecast period, while petroleum and mineral waxes are likely to remain the leading contributor to the market.

The global wax market is expected to exhibit a steady 2.60% CAGR from 2014 to 2020, with the market’s valuation expected to reach US$8.9 bn by the end of the forecast period. The information in this preview is based on a Transparency Market Research report, titled ‘Wax Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2014 - 2020.’

The global wax market is segmented as follows:

Wax Market - Product Segment Analysis

  • Petroleum and mineral wax
    • Paraffin wax
    • Microcrystalline wax
    • Others (Including semi-crystalline wax, petroleum jelly, etc.)
  • Synthetic wax
    • Gas-to-liquids (GTL) wax
    • Polymer wax
    • Others (Including Montan wax, etc.)
  • Natural wax
    • Beeswax
    • Vegetable wax
    • Others (Including animal wax, Japan wax, rice bran wax, etc.)

Wax Market - End-user Industry Analysis

  • Candles
  • Packaging
  • Wood & fire-logs
  • Rubber
  • Adhesive
  • Cosmetics
  • Others

Wax Market - Regional Analysis

  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia Pacific
  • Central & South America
  • Middle East & Africa

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