Superabsorbent Polymer Market - Snapshot

Superabsorbent polymer is a water absorbent polymer that absorbs up to several hundred times its own weight of aqueous solution and retains substantial volume of water and aqueous solutions. It is available either in granule or fiber form. Superabsorbent polymer is manufactured through the polymerization of acrylic acid blended with caustic soda (sodium hydroxide). This process is carried out in the presence of a cross-linker to form sodium salt of polyacrylic acid (sodium polyacrylate). Sodium polyacrylate is a common type of superabsorbent polymer. Potassium polyacrylate is another type of superabsorbent polymer commonly available in the market. It is manufactured using potassium hydroxide. Other materials used to produce superabsorbent polymer include ethylene maleic anhydride copolymer, polyacrylamide copolymer, polyvinyl alcohol copolymers, cross-linked carboxymethylcellulose, cross-linked polyethylene oxide, and starch grafted copolymer of polyacrylonitrile (PAN).

superabsorbent polymer market

The global superabsorbent polymer market has been segmented based on resin and application. In terms of resin, sodium polyacrylate is the leading segment of the superabsorbent polymer market. Key factors boosting the demand for sodium polyacrylate based superabsorbent polymer include rise in need of reliable and high-performance products; increase in number of surgeries; growth in awareness about health among people; and surge in demand for female hygiene products, adult incontinence pads, and baby diapers. Potassium acrylate is also expected to be one of the key segments of the superabsorbent polymer market due to its excellent water absorbing and retaining capacity. It provides improved environment for seeds to grow. Potassium polyacrylate is used as soil water retaining agent in agriculture, forestry, and gardening applications. It improves seed germination and increases yield. In terms of application, hygiene is a dominant segment of the market. Various awareness programs regarding hygiene products are organized by non-profit organizations in rural areas in developing countries. This is driving the demand for superabsorbent polymers in hygienic applications. Additionally, increase in demand for quality hygienic products such as sanitary napkins and disposable diapers, which provide protection against skin rashes, is augmenting the demand for superabsorbent polymers. Under the non-hygienic segment, agriculture is anticipated to be one of the major segments of the market in the near future. The year-on-year decrease in arable land per capita coupled with increasing population is expected to positively impact the demand for superabsorbent polymer in the next few years. The water retention property of superabsorbent polymer aids in good farming practices even in adverse conditions. In recent years, environmental change and global warming have resulted in irregular monsoons. This, in turn, has adversely affected the harvest. Superabsorbent polymers assist plant growth during drought and enable plants to survive through reduction of water requirement (up to 50%) in mountainous lands, dry lands, and desert areas.

Besides construction and agriculture, superabsorbent polymer is largely used in solidification of medical waste. This is anticipated to increase the consumption of superabsorbent polymer in the near future. Demand for superabsorbent polymer in medical applications is estimated to increase significantly, due to the rise in demand for non-woven and woven fabrics such as surgical tapes, wound dressings, and bandages. Superabsorbent polymers prevent infections and help in the healing of injuries. They can be used in several medical applications such as drug delivery systems (DDSs), surgical implant devices, and removal of body water during surgeries (treatment of edema). Superabsorbent polymers are also employed in the health care field to manufacture efficient heating pads to help patients with rheumatism. These factors are projected to propel the demand for superabsorbent polymers during the forecast period.

Rise in consumer awareness about personal care & hygiene products across the globe is a key driver of the superabsorbent polymer market. Superabsorbent polymers possess the ability to absorb and retain large volume of water and aqueous solutions. Therefore, they are used in baby diapers, sanitary napkins, and adult incontinence pads. Increase in demand for these products, growth in per capita income, and rise in hygiene awareness in developing economies in Asia Pacific such as India, China, and Indonesia are expected to drive the market in the region during the forecast period. Additionally, escalating birth rate in Asia Pacific and Africa and shift in demand from conventional hygiene-related products to eco-friendly ones are other factors boosting the market. Fluctuation in prices of raw materials such as acrylic acid due to its tight supply is estimated to restrain the market during the forecast period. However, product improvisation, brand promotion, and competitive pricing are projected to enable companies to strengthen their position in the market in the next few years. Increase in consumer focus on sustainability and rise in environmental awareness have augmented the demand for alternatives to petroleum-based polymers. Bio-based superabsorbent polymer limits harmful emission of gases in the atmosphere and ensures pollution-free environment. Large number of manufacturers of superabsorbent polymers are expected to enter the bio-based superabsorbent polymer market, due to the increase in environmental concerns about petroleum-based products and growth in regulatory support for bio-based alternatives such as cellulose, chitin, starch, and natural gums. This is likely to provide lucrative opportunities to manufacturers of superabsorbent polymers in the near future.

In terms of region, the global superabsorbent polymer market has been segregated into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. Growth in economies of Asia Pacific and Middle East & Africa presents immense opportunities to manufacturers of superabsorbent polymers. Economies of developing countries are witnessing strong growth due to the significant expansion in chemical and pharmaceutical industries in these countries. Thus, manufacturers are gradually shifting their focus away from developed economies. Advancement in health care and personal hygiene sectors, especially in India, Brazil, and China, is projected to boost the demand for superabsorbent polymers in the near future. North America and Europe have wide consumer base for wound dressings owing to the rise in geriatric population, increase in incidences of chronic wounds, and high preference for high-quality health care products in these regions. Asia Pacific, especially India and China, is another lucrative region for wound dressings. This can be ascribed to the large population, increase in patient awareness levels, and surge in incidence of diabetes ulcer in the region. These factors are likely to boost the superabsorbent polymer market in Asia Pacific during the forecast period.

Nippon Shokubai Co., Ltd, BASF SE, Evonik Industries, Songwon Industrial Co., Ltd, and KAO Corporation are some of the key players operating in the global superabsorbent polymer market. These companies are focusing on capacity expansion and mergers. This is estimated to propel the market during the forecast period. For instance, in 2018, Sumitomo Seika Chemicals Co. Ltd. decided to expand its superabsorbent polymer production facilities in South Korea. The company invested around US$ 728.5 Mn to increase its production capacity from 59,000 tons per annum to 118,000 tons per annum.

Superabsorbent Polymer Market - Overview

Superabsorbent polymer is a material that absorbs and retains substantial volumes of water and aqueous solutions. Superabsorbent polymer is available in granular, solid, or powder forms. This polymer can absorb up to several hundred times its own weight in aqueous solution and can resist release of the absorbed fluid under pressure. Superabsorbent polymer is widely used due to its excellent water-absorbing and retaining capacities in baby diapers, adult incontinence products, feminine hygiene products, and in the agriculture sector. In the agriculture sector, it provides suitable environment for seeds to grow. Superabsorbent polymer is used in agriculture, forestry, and gardening as an agent for retaining water in the soil. It improves seed germination and increases yield.

Based on resin, the superabsorbent polymer market is divided into sodium polyacrylate, potassium polyacrylate, polyacrylate copolymers, ethylene maleic anhydride copolymers, polysaccharides, and others. Sodium polyacrylate is a leading segment of the global superabsorbent polymer market. In terms of application, the global superabsorbent polymer market is bifurcated into hygiene and non-hygiene application. The hygiene segmented is further segregated into diapers, adult incontinence, and sanitary products, whereas the non-hygiene segment is further split into packaging, medical & health care, agriculture, and industrial. Rise in demand for disposable diapers and female hygiene products with high absorption fuels demand for superabsorbent polymers in hygiene applications. Increase in efforts toward enhancing the quality of crops and soil boosts demand for superabsorbent polymer in the agriculture sub-segment. Rise in standards of living and increase in disposable income fuels demand for processed foods around the world. This, in turn, increases use of superabsorbent polymer for packaging material to improve the shelf life of products.

Based on region, the global superabsorbent polymer market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific dominates the global superabsorbent polymer market due to increase in disposable income, growth in population, and expansion of end-use industries. Asia Pacific is followed by Europe and North America. Increase in agricultural activities and rise in research activities in the medical and pharmaceutical industries in Europe and North America drive demand for superabsorbent polymer in these regions.

The report analyzes and forecasts the market for superabsorbent polymer at the global and regional levels. The market has been projected in terms of volume (kilo tons) and revenue (US$ Mn) from 2017 to 2026. The study includes drivers and restraints for the global superabsorbent polymer market. It also covers the impact of these drivers and restraints on the demand for superabsorbent polymer during the forecast period. The report also highlights opportunities for the superabsorbent polymer market at the global and regional levels.

The report comprises a detailed value chain analysis, which provides a comprehensive view of the global superabsorbent polymer market. Porter’s five forces model for the superabsorbent polymer market has also been included to help understand the competition landscape. The study encompasses market attractiveness analysis, wherein the application and resin segments have been benchmarked based on their market size, growth rate, and general attractiveness.

The study provides a decisive view of the global superabsorbent polymer market by segmenting it in terms of resin, application, and region. These segments have been analyzed based on present and future trends. Regional segmentation includes current and future demand for superabsorbent polymer in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. The report also covers individual resin and application segments of the market in all regions.

The study includes profiles of major companies operating in the global superabsorbent polymer market. Key players profiled in the report are Nippon Shokubai Co., Ltd, BASF SE, Evonik Industries, Songwon Industrial Co., Ltd, KAO Corporation, Sanyo Chemical Industries, Sumitomo Seika Chemicals Co. Ltd, LG Chem Ltd., Emerging Technologies Inc., Water-sorb, Tramfloc Inc., Yixing Danson Technology, Technical Absorbents, Hosokawa Micron B.V, and SOCO Chemical. Market players have been profiled in terms of company overview, business strategies, recent developments, and SWOT analysis.

The report provides the estimated market size of the global superabsorbent polymer market for 2017 and forecast for the next nine years. The size of the global superabsorbent polymer market has been provided in terms of revenue. Market numbers have been estimated based on resin, application, and region. Market size and forecast for each resin and application segment has been provided for global and regional markets.

Global Superabsorbent Polymer Market, by Resin

  • Sodium Polyacrylate
  • Potassium Polyacrylate
  • Polyacrylate Copolymers
  • Ethylene Maleic Anhydride Copolymers
  • Polysaccharides
  • Others

Global Superabsorbent Polymer Market, by Application

  • Hygienic
  • Diapers
  • Adult Incontinence Products
  • Sanitary Products
  • Non-hygienic
  • Packaging
  • Medical & Health Care
  • Agriculture
  • Industrial

 Global Superabsorbent Polymer Market, by Region

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Mexico
    • Argentina
    • Chile
    • Peru
    • Colombia
    • Rest of Latin America
  • Europe
    • Germany
    • France
    • U.K.
    • Italy
    • Spain
    • Russia & CIS
    • Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • Japan
    • India
    • ASEAN
    • Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Middle East & Africa
    • GCC
    • South Africa
    • Rest of Middle East & Africa

Key Takeaways

  • The report provides extensive analysis of market trends from 2017 to 2026 to identify opportunities and market developments
  • It provides analysis of various resins and applications, wherein superabsorbent polymer is used
  • It identifies key factors responsible to build a roadmap for upcoming opportunities for the superabsorbent polymer market at the global, regional, and country levels
  • The report offers comprehensive analysis with respect to investments and regulatory scenario that would subsequently impact the outlook and forecast for the global superabsorbent polymer market between 2017 and 2026
  • The report provides detailed competition landscape for key players operating in the market to understand competition level
  • Porters’ five forces analysis and SWOT analysis to highlight the power of buyers and suppliers

 

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