Squalane is an oil-free, high end moisturizing agent used in various personal care products, especially cosmetics. It is also employed in the manufacture of vaccines. Squalane has been traditionally extracted from the liver of deep-water sharks. About a ton of squalane is produced from the livers of approximately 3,000 sharks. In line with this requirement, approximately 6 million deep-water sharks are killed a year in order to fulfil the global demand for nearly 2,500 tons of squalane per annum.

Squalane market: Drivers and Restraints

Changing lifestyles of people, adoption of personal care products, and increasing penetration of FMCG products are some of the factors driving the demand for personal care products, especially in Asia Pacific. Squalane is an important ingredient of most personal care products. Therefore, growth in the personal care industry is expected to be the primary factor boosting the squalane market. However, sea shark harvesting is now forbidden in most parts of the world due to some civil society campaigns. This is anticipated to hamper the manufacture of squalane, since shark liver is the second largest source of squalane (after olive oil). Furthermore, consumer awareness about the use of shark liver squalane has adversely affected the demand for squalane. Additionally, commercial application of squalane is restrained by price volatility owing to the inconsistent supply. These factors are projected to hamper the squalane market during the forecast period. Refining of squalane from olive oil has proved to be a commercially viable alternative to shark liver squalane. Companies such as Unilever and L’Oreal have declared the removal of shark liver squalane from their cosmetic products in approval of plant-based sources.

Squalane Market: Segmentation

Based on source, the squalane market can be segmented into:

  • Olive Oil
  • Shark Liver
  • Sugarcane (Sugar-based)

Olive oil based squalane was the dominant segment of the squalane market in 2015. It was followed by the shark liver segment in the same year. Companies such as Amyris have developed sugar based squalane. This is likely to create lucrative opportunities in the squalane market in the near future. Considering the composition, olive oil from the first extraction holds approximately 400mg to 450mg of squalane per 100g, while refined olive oil holds about 25% less squalane. The finest quality olive oil may contain concentrations of nearly 700 mg of squalane per 100g.

Squalane Market: Segmentation

Based on application, the squalane market can be segmented into:

  • Personal Care
  • Food
  • Pharmaceutical

Squalane acts as a lubricating agent in the manufacture of skin care products; it helps provide smooth and soft appearance to the skin. Squalane is also used in hair conditioning products.   

Squalane Market: Region-wise outlook

Based on geography, the global squalane market can be segregated into North America, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Europe, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific is anticipated to be a highly attractive region for the squalane market during the forecast period. The region accounts for major share of the global personal care industry, due to rapid urbanization, increasing awareness about health and hygiene among consumers, population growth, and improved per capita expenditure. Consumers of personal care products in South Korea follow their multiple step daily skin care routine, while consumers in China opt for single step products supplemented by sheet masks, twice a day. Usage of scalp freshener products such as live in shampoos and conditioners is prevalent in countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia.

Squalane Market: Key Players

Key players operating in the squalane market include:

  • Amyris
  • Kishimoto Special Liver Oil
  • Sophim
  • SeaDragon Marine Oil Ltd.
  • Nucelis
  • Maruha Nichiro Corp.

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