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Global Water Soluble Polymers Market: Snapshot

Water soluble polymers consists a wide variety of mineral polymers that are either of natural or synthetic origin, and are mainly used for facilitating the separation process of materials in suspension in an aqueous medium. They have wide applications in chemical processes such as thickening, dispersion, gelling, flocculation, coagulation, and rheology modification. The growing number of wastewater treatment processes in various industrial activities world over is a key factor propelling the application of water soluble polymers in various industries.

A burgeoning shale oil production to address a growing demand for natural gas in various parts of the world has spurred the demand for these polymers in a variety of applications in the petroleum industry. In addition, a number of emerging specialized applications of water soluble polymers, such as in the pharmaceutical industry, is further likely to accentuate the market. The global water soluble polymers market is projected to rise at a CAGR of 5.9% from 2013 to 2019. Expanding at this pace, the market is projected to reach US$29.63 billion by the end of the forecast period.

Application of Synthetic Water Soluble Polymers to Reign Supreme 

On the basis of the raw material used in making water soluble polymers, the market is segmented into synthetic, natural, and semi-synthetic materials. Of these, the synthetic segment is projected to be the dominant segment and accounts for more than 50% of the market in 2012. Synthetic polymers coagulants and flocculants have gained traction across various effluent water treatment processes. They are extensively used to dewater sludge in treating various types of wastewater.

On the other hand, natural-based water soluble proteins, particularly casein and gelatin, is expected to provide lucrative avenues for market players. This is attributed to the high cost of the materials and hence are suitable for high-value markets. The advent of lower-priced synthetic substitutes may hinder their industrial uses to an extent.

Polyacrylamide to Witness Widespread Demand in Coming Years

Based on product type, the water soluble polymers market is segmented into guar gum, polyacrylamide, polyvinyl alcohol, gelatin, casein, polyacrylic acid, PEG, polysaccharides, PVP, polyamines, and quaternary ammonium compounds. Among these, polyacrylamides has emerged as the leading segment in terms of consumption and is projected to rise at the major CAGR of 7.4% from 2013 to 2019. The growth is expected to be driven by their extensive application in wastewater treatment plants and in the petroleum industry. Guar gum is a prominent segment which is anticipated to rise at a CAGR of 5.5%, from 2013 to 2019. A large chunk of production of guar gum is expected to come from several economies of Asia Pacific, notably China and India. Other product types are predicted to lose some share in the coming years.

Wastewater Treatment Poised to be Leading Application Segment

The major application segments of the water soluble polymers market comprise water treatment, detergent and household products, petroleum, paper making, agriculture, food, and pharmaceuticals. Of these, the water treatment segment led the overall market in 2012 and is projected to witness wide application of water soluble polymers. Meanwhile, the detergents and household products segment is projected to rise at a healthy 5.6% CAGR during 2013 - 2019. The substantial application is attributed to rapid advances made in the FMCG sector. Furthermore, the vastly rising demand for water soluble polymers in numerous petroleum applications, including in enhanced oil recoveries and drag reduction, is fueled by increasing shale gas drilling activities. Water soluble polymers also find wide applications in paper making.

Asia Pacific to Provide Abundant Growth Avenues

Based on geography, the market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Rest of the World. Of these, Asia Pacific led the global market in 2012 accounting for 40% of the total volume. The regional market is poised to lead throughout the forecast period and is projected to rise at the leading CAGR during the forecast period. This regional market is trailed by the Europe market and is forecast to remain so until 2019. Both, Europe and North America are considered mature markets for water soluble polymers.

On the other hand, North America and the Rest of the World segment combined accounted for a substantial share of the global market.

Growing demand from water treatment application supported by increasing pressure from regulatory bodies for wastewater treatment is expected to fuel the global demand for water soluble polymers. Additionally increasing demand from petroleum applications attributed to rising shale oil drilling activities is expected to further fuel the demand for water soluble polymers. However, volatile feedstock prices for synthetic water soluble polymers and competing uses for feedstock of natural water soluble polymers are expected to hinder market growth of water soluble polymers. 
Research methodology includes secondary as well as primary inquisition related to the water soluble polymers market. Analysis of the water soluble polymers market was done on the basis of our review on key players’ product literature, annual reports, press releases and relevant documents for competitive analysis and market understanding. Secondary research also includes a search of recent trade, technical writing, internet sources financial reports, broker reports, investor presentations, SEC filings, and statistical data from government websites, relevant patent and regulatory databases, trade associations and agencies related to the water soluble polymers market. Secondary sources referred for the water soluble polymers market study include, but are not limited to; ChemGuide, National Chemical Inventories (NCI), National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS), European Plastics News, European Polymer Dispersion and Latex Association (EPDLA) and British Association for Chemical Specialties (BACS) among others.
This report gives a detailed description of the global water soluble polymers market based on volume share (kilo tons) and revenue (USD million) for the period 2013 to 2019. All volumes are expressed as kilo tons of dry polymers. The report highlights the factors contributing towards the growth of the market and the restraints that impede the market. Detailed forecasts for the years 2013-2019 for water soluble polymers have been given separately, for better understanding of the market scenario. The water soluble polymers market is described with respect to their various segments along with the opportunities that are expected in the coming six years.
For geographic analysis, the global water soluble polymers market has been segmented into regions such as North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Rest of the World. The water soluble polymers market has been segmented based on the following raw material types used in the formulation of water soluble polymers – Synthetic, Natural and semi-synthetic. The study further segments the water soluble polymers market based on the product types into polyacrylamide & copolymers, guar gum & derivatives, polyvinyl alcohol, casein & caseinates, gelatin, polyacrylic acid and others including polysaccharides, polyethylene glycol, polyvinyl pyrrolidone, quaternary ammonium compounds, etc. Water absorbent polymers are not considered as water soluble polymers. The water soluble polymer study also analyses market attractiveness for all product segments of water soluble polymers with the help of the market attractiveness tool.
The water soluble polymers study segments the market on an application basis into water treatment, detergents & household products, petroleum, paper making and others including food, pharmaceuticals, agriculture mining, etc. The others application segment of water soluble polymers includes relatively small end-users such as food, pharmaceuticals, agriculture and mining. These cannot be quantified individually. The water soluble polymers study provides forecasts and estimates for each application segment in terms of revenue and volume over the forecast period from 2013 to 2019. 
For a more comprehensive view of the market, a value chain analysis and Porter’s five forces model is provided to throw light on the specifics of the industry structure besides giving an overview of the degree of competitiveness. The water soluble polymers report also includes detailed profiles of key players such as SNF, BASF SE, Kemira, Kuraray, and Ashland, Inc among others. The detailed description of players includes parameters such as company overview, financial overview, business strategies and SWOT analysis and recent developments of the company.
The report segments the global water soluble polymers market as:
  • Water Soluble Polymers Market – Raw Material Type Analysis
    • Synthetic
    • Natural
    • Semi-synthetic
  • Water Soluble Polymers Market – Product Segment Analysis
    • Polyacrylamide & copolymers
    • Guar gum & derivatives
    • Polyvinyl alcohol
    • Casein & caseinates
    • Gelatin
    • Polyacrylic acid
    • Others (Polysaccharides, PEG, PVP, polyamines, quaternary ammonium compounds, etc.)
  • Water Soluble Polymers Market - Application Segment Analysis
    • Water treatment
    • Detergents & household products
    • Petroleum
    • Paper making
    • Others (Agriculture, food, pharmaceuticals, etc.)
  • Water Soluble Polymers Market: Regional Analysis,
    • North America
    • Europe
    • Asia Pacific
    • Rest of the World

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Water Soluble Polymers

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