Due to the existence of a large number of companies, the natural polymers market in the U.S. is highly fragmented, reports Transparency Market Research (TMR) in a new study. The market for natural polymers in the U.S. is price sensitive and to gain a competitive advantage, players in the market are compelled to engage in frequent price wars. To maintain a stable position in the U.S. natural polymers market, companies are focusing on entering into joint ventures, strategic alliances, and mergers and acquisitions. The three leading companies, Ashland Inc., Dow Chemical Company, and CP Kelco accounted for over 37.6% of the U.S natural polymers market in 2012.
The natural polymers market in the U.S. is expected to rise at a 6.2% CAGR between 2012 and 2018. In 2015, the market stood at a value of US$5.96 bn and is projected to reach US$7.12 bn by the end of 2018. On the basis of application, the medical segment dominated the U.S. natural polymers market with a share of 25.2% in terms of volume in 2012. It is anticipated to maintain a lead until 2018 with a projected share of 24.3%. The application of natural polymers in the medical segment is expected to be driven by the growing geriatric population in the U.S. Natural polymers are used in pharmaceuticals and for treating arthritis afflicted joints. The demand for natural polymers for dressing wounds is also expected to drive their adoption in the medical segment.
Cellulose Ether to Emerge Dominant among Product Types
Based on product type, cellulose ethers led the U.S. natural polymers market in 2011 with a share of 37.2% and the segment is expected to account for 32.5% in the U.S natural polymers market in 2018. According to a TMR analyst, “The demand for cellulose ether has extensively increased over the last couple of years owing to its increasing use in the food and beverages and construction industries.” Cellulose ether has application in various sectors such as cosmetics, toiletries, pharmaceuticals, and food and beverages. The growth of these sectors is further anticipated to augment the demand for cellulose ether. However, the starch and fermentation products segment witnessed strong growth owing to the mounting demand for eco-friendly starch and fermentation products for packaging materials.
Rising Pharmaceutical Sales in the United States to Aid in Adoption of Natural Polymers
The medical industry has been dominating the U.S natural polymers market in terms of consumption. Natural polymers such as microbial polysaccharides, collagen, seaweed gums, pectin, hemi cellulose, and cellulose have a wide application range in the medical industry. In the medical segment, pharmaceutical is the leading consumer of natural polymer. The gradual rise in pharmaceutical sales has significantly increased the demand for natural polymers in the U.S. Natural polymers are also used in dental and ophthalmic treatments, artificial skin treatments, wound dressings, and in orthopedic injections.
Moreover, the growth in the United States food and beverages industry and rise in the demand for nondurable goods and shipments is further expected to increase the sales of natural polymers in the U.S. in the coming years.
Scarcity and High Cost of Raw Material to Impede Growth of U.S. Natural Polymers Market
The availability of raw materials used in the manufacturing of natural polymers is considerably low. This scarcity has consequently pushed up prices of raw materials. As a result of this, the manufacturing cost of natural polymers significantly rises. These factors are expected to highly affect the adoption of natural polymers by small and medium scale industries in the U.S. Moreover, the inevitable use of synthetic polymers in various industries is further expected to inhibit the demand for natural polymers.
However, the development of innovative products and advanced technologies accompanied by the recovery of the U.S. economy is likely to provide manufacturers of natural polymers with profitable growth opportunities in the future.
The review is based on a report titled, “Natural Polymers Market - U.S. Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2012 - 2018.”
Product Segmentation of U.S. Natural Polymers Market
- Cellulose Ether
- Starch and Fermentation Products
- Protein Based Polymers
Application Segmentation of U.S. Natural Polymers Market
- Food & Beverages
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