Paraffin wax is a soft colorless solid derived from petroleum, coal, or oil shale. It is a byproduct of the oil purification process. Paraffin wax is derived from the dewaxing process that crude oil undergoes. It is then processed further for usage in products. Paraffin wax consists of the mixture of hydrocarbon molecules that contains 20 to 40 carbon atoms. Undyed and unscented paraffin candles are odorless and bluish-white in color. Paraffin wax is insoluble in water, but soluble in ether, benzene, and certain ethers. Slack wax, which is the mixture of oil and wax, is the feedstock for paraffin wax.

The global paraffin wax market is driven by the increase in demand for aromatherapy and rise in consciousness about home ambiances. The paraffin wax market is also expanding due to the increase in demand for skin care products, as the wax plays a major role in the beauty industry. However, paraffin wax carries certain adverse health effects; it emits toxic fumes when burned. It also can lead to asthma and lung cancer. This is negatively affecting the global paraffin wax market. Fluctuation in prices of crude oil is also hampering the paraffin wax market.

Based on application, the paraffin wax market can be segregated into candles, packaging, board sizing, rubber, hot melts, cosmetics, and others. Paraffin wax is primarily used in candles and cosmetics. Candles are mostly used in aromatherapy in hotels, spa, and other commercial businesses. In cosmetics, paraffin wax is used for skin softening in salon and spa treatment on the hands and cuticles and feet. The packaging application segment is expected to expand at a rapid pace due to the increase in demand for packaged food. Paraffin wax provides excellent barrier against odor and gas transmission.

Based on type, the paraffin wax market can be segmented into fully refined wax, semi-refined wax, and others. Fully refined paraffin wax contains less than 0.5% of oil. The highest grade of refinement is fully refined wax. It is hydro-treated or clay treated to remove impurities and discoloration. Thus, waxes are water clear and odor free. Semi-refined paraffin wax contains 0.5% to 1.5% of oil. Other paraffin waxes consist of food grade wax and ceresin wax.

In terms of region, the global paraffin wax market can be divided into North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East & Africa, and Latin America. The paraffin wax market is primarily concentrated in Asia Pacific. The market in the region is estimated to expand at a rapid pace in the near future due to the presence of emerging countries such as China, India, and South Korea. Increase in demand for hot melt adhesives and packaging is anticipated to augment the market. The paraffin wax market in North America is anticipated to expand owing to the high demand for fragrance candles and rapid growth in the packaging industry. High demand for cosmetics and fragrance products, and expansion in the food packaging industry are projected to boost the paraffin wax market in Middle East & Africa. Due to the rise in oil and gas exploration in this region, it is likely to have abundance of availability of the raw material which ultimately increases the paraffin wax market.

Key players operating in paraffin wax market include Sinopec, ExxonMobil, Sasol, PetroChina Company Limited, The International Group, Inc., Honeywell, Petrobras, Nippon Seiro Co., Ltd., Petro-Canada, Numaligarh Refinery Limited, Repsol, H&R Group, Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited (CPCL), and Indian Oil Corp Ltd (IOCL).

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