The fragmented global stearates market was dominated by Baerlocher GmbH, FACL S.p.A., and Norac Additives Inc. According to Transparency Market Research, these three collectively accounted for 24.7% of the global stearates market in 2013. Other key market players include Dover Chemical Corporation, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, PMC Biogenix Inc., Peter Graven GmbH & Co. KG, and Ferro Corporation.
The high degree of fragmentation of the stearates market is expected to result in a pressing need for technological innovations in order to differentiate between two product lines. However, the established price differentiation in the stearates industry has decreased the profit margins, leading to dominant manufacturers with a global presence getting a competitive advantage due to their diverse revenue generation channels. The global stearates market is thus expected to become increasingly consolidated in the coming years.
Growing Demand for Rubber and Plastic Products Leads to Improved Prospects for Stearates Industry
Stearates are a key additive in plastics and various types of rubber, as they help in the stabilization and gelling of such molded products. Popular types of plastics such as polyvinyl chloride and polyethylene contain stearates, which has been a crucial factor in the stearates industry’s growth in the last few years. Stearates help in the smoothening of the final product in both rubber and plastics industries, which is a crucial quality for many applications of the same.
Stearates are also witnessing flourishing prospects in the construction industry due to their hydrophobicity. Water seepage can cause significant damage in constructions, including weakening the structural components and encouraging microbial growth. While concrete itself provides some degree of protection against water, stearates are required to ensure complete safety, as stearates form gels when they come in contact with water. This is highly effective in blocking the conductance of water. The booming global construction industry is thus a crucial driver for the stearates industry.
High Prices of Raw Materials Restricting Stearates Market
Stearic acid, the key raw material in the production of stearates, is sourced primarily from animal fats, with plant fats acting as a secondary source. The rising prices of animal as well as plant fats in recent years have thus had a key impact on the price structure of the stearates industry.
“The environmental impact of some stearates, notably lead stearate and zinc stearate, has also led to limitations on the use of stearates across the industrial sector,” TMR’s lead analyst commented. Both lead and zinc stearates are toxic to a number of non-pathogenic microbes, while the adverse health effects of magnesium stearate are starting to come to light due to detailed research and studies conducted specifically to find out the health effects of industrial additives. Developing alternatives to these stearates is thus a key opportunity for stearates manufacturers in the coming years.
Asia Pacific to Extend Lead in Stearates Market
By product type, calcium stearate and sodium stearate are expected to consistently account for close to 50% of the market through the forecast period. “Despite a slight drop in demand over the forecast period, sodium stearate will remain the leading revenue generator in the global stearates market, with the segment expected to account for 25.9% of the global market by the end of 2020,” the analyst predicted.
Geographically, Asia Pacific is likely to remain the leading contributor to the global stearates market. The regional market is home to booming construction and automotive industries, which has driven the stearates market in the region in the recent past. The regional market is expected to account for 47.3% of the global stearates market by the end of 2020.
The global stearates market is expected to be valued at close to US$5 bn by the end of 2020. The information presented in this review is based on a Transparency Market Research report, titled, ‘Stearates Market -Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2014-2020.’
The global stearates market is segmented as follows:
Stearates Market - Product Segment Analysis
- Calcium stearate
- Sodium stearate
- Zinc stearate
- Magnesium stearate
- Aluminum monostearate
- Others (Including lithium stearate, etc.)
Stearates Market - End-user Analysis
- Plastic & rubber processing
- Building & construction
- Paints & coatings
- Others (Including paper & pulp, etc.)
Stearates Market - Regional Analysis
- North America
- Asia Pacific
- Rest of the World
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