Alcohol Market - Snapshot

Alcohol refers to the ingredient that is found in spirits, wine, and beer and its absorption leads to drunkenness. Alcohol is produced as a result of fermentation of sugars in various food done by yeasts. For instance, wine is produced from sugar found in grapes, cider is extracted out of the sugar found in apples, beer made from the sugar founded in malted barley and vodka from the sugar found in beets and potatoes.

Alcohol is classified as a ‘sedative hypnotic’ drug. It means that alcohol acts to slow down the central nervous system (CVS) at substantially high doses. At lower doses of alcohol, it induces feelings of talkativeness and euphoria and it acts like a stimulant. However, drinking of too much of alcohol at one go often leads to respiratory problems, drowsiness, or even death.

Use of Ethanol as a Fuel Bolsters its Demand in the Market

Some of the uses of alcohol are mentioned as below

  • Used as a fuel
  • Used as an ingredient in various alcoholic beverages such as beer and wine
  • Used as a solvent
  • Used to produce methylated spirit (meth)

Two of the best-known alcohols are methanol or methyl alcohol and ethanol. Ethanol is considered one of the most popular type of alcohol in the world. The burgeoning demand for ethanol has exceeded 100 billion liters, out of which over 80% of the total ethanol are utilized as fuel. Ethanol is regarded as a renewable source of fuel. It is also considered as a potential replacement for gasoline. The wide acceptance of ethanol as a fuel acts a stimulant for the increased demand for ethanol, which is likely to drive the global alcohol market. The demand for ethanol fuel is especially high in countries like Brazil, Europe, and the US. The global alcohol market is expected that pick up in pace in Asia Pacific also.

Ethanol also finds use in many applications such as cosmetics, alcoholic beverages, pharmaceuticals, and in various industrial applications, which is likely to support growth of the global alcohol market in the years to come.

Compounds having at least one hydroxyl (-OH) group attached to a single bonded alkane is referred to as alcohol. There are numerous types of alcohol being used in varied applications across industries. Some of the popular types of alcohol are ethanol, methanol, butanol, pentanol, ethylene glycol, sorbitol and xylitol among many others. The market for alcohol is vast and it is used in many applications, the most common being in alcoholic beverages, as solvents, fuel, preservatives, antifreeze and antiseptics. Alcohol can be produced by a variety of methods including oxo processes, hydration reactions and through biological fermentation.

Ethanol is one of the most used alcohol type in the world. The global demand for ethanol exceeds 100 billion liters of which more than 80% are used as fuel. Ethanol is considered as renewable fuel and a potential substitute for gasoline. The wide acceptance of ethanol fuel is the driver for this market. The demand for ethanol as fuel is particularly high in the U.S, Europe and Brazil. The demand is expected to pick up in Asia Pacific as well. Ethanol is also used in alcoholic beverages, in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and other industrial applications. Ethanol is used as an antiseptic to disinfect the skin before injections and other invasive procedures. It is also commonly used as soaps and hand sanitizers due to its volatile nature.
Methanol is another important type of alcohol, which has witnessed extraordinary demand growth from several sectors. It is commonly used as an intermediate to produce formaldehyde used in automotive, pharmaceutical, resins and wood industry. It is also the intermediate chemical for other chemicals such as methyl methacrylate, methyl chloride, dimethyl terepthalate, and acetic acid among others. Methyl methacrylate is used to manufacture LED and LCD of electronic devices and as cement in total hip replacements and total knee replacements. Methyl chloride is primarily used to manufacture silicone which is used widely to produce adhesives, sealants, lubricants and in certain medical applications. Dimethyl terephthalate is used to manufacture recyclable plastic bottles and acetic acid is used in a wide array of industries such as paints and coatings, adhesives and fleece. The methanol market is driven by the expanding horizons of its application and high growth in the end use industries. Most of the other alcohols are used in different industries as feed stocks. Ethylene glycol finds application as antifreeze in low temperature regions and applications.
The overall alcohol market is expected to grow at a fast pace, due to its application in so many industries in different forms. The main opportunity lies with ethanol due to its application as automotive fuel which is expected to grow exponentially with growing automotive industry. Alcoholic drinks are another favorable market for ethanol, as it is the main psychoactive constituent in the beverages. The global alcoholic beverage demand has increased substantially over the past few years and is expected to rise especially in Asia Pacific region.
North America is the largest producer of alcohol, followed by South America, Europe and Asia Pacific. The U.S. and Brazil are the largest producers of ethanol, which constitute the bulk of alcohol demand. Asia Pacific region however is growing rapidly both in terms of demand and production.
Some of the key players operating in the alcohol market are Methanex Corporation, Aventine Renewable Energy-Pekin, Absolute Energy LLC, and Glacial Lakes Energy LLC among many others.

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The study strives to evaluate the current and future growth prospects, untapped avenues, factors shaping their revenue potential, and demand and consumption patterns in the global market by breaking it into region-wise assessment.

The following regional segments are covered comprehensively:

  • North America
  • Asia Pacific
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • The Middle East and Africa

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Below is a snapshot of these quadrants.

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3. Which regulations will be most helpful for stakeholders to boost their supply chain network?

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Alcohol Market