Rising demand from the consumer goods market for high-value products is stimulating the growth of the global specialty surfactants market to a great extent. In 2011, the global market for specialty surfactants stood at US$22.6 billion. Propelled by the ample availability of low-cost synthetic surfactants, the market is likely to reach a value of US$29.2 billion by 2017.
Lack of awareness among people pertaining to bio-based surfactants and their benefits is another factor fueling the global specialty surfactants market. However, the strict regulations associated with environmental preservation, price instability of specialty surfactants, soaring demand for crude oil, and tough competition from the market for vegetable oil surfactants is expected to hamper the development of the global specialty surfactants market in the near future.
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Anionic Specialty Surfactants: Leading Product Segment
The global specialty surfactants market is analyzed on three fronts: product type, application, and the regional distribution of the global market. Based on product type, the market for anionic, nonionic, amphoteric, cationic, and others specialty surfactants such as fluorosurfactants and silicone are the major segments of the global specialty surfactants market. Anionic, cationic, and amphoteric specialty surfactants are extensively utilized in several end-use industries.
The anionic specialty surfactants market dominates the global industry on account of the widespread utilization of linear alkyl benzene sulfonate in the production of detergents. Additionally, the market for nonionic specialty surfactants is likely to report healthy growth in the coming years.
Based on application, the global market for specialty surfactants is classified into the markets for home care, personal care, industrial and institutional cleaners, food processing, agricultural chemicals, textiles, emulsion polymerization, paints and coatings, and construction, among which the home care specialty surfactants market is leading demand from the global specialty surfactants industry at present.
Asia Pacific: Leading Regional Market
North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Rest of the World are the major regional markets for specialty surfactants, wherein the market in Asia Pacific leads the global specialty surfactants market in terms of consumption and North America follows it. Analysts expect that the market in Asia Pacific will maintain its dominance in the coming years. The soaring demand for specialty surfactants in Asia Pacific is mainly due to the expansion of the markets for household detergents and personal cleaning in this region. These industries are the biggest consumers of specialty surfactants. By 2017, the market in Asia Pacific is expected to hold around 34% of the overall specialty surfactants market in terms of revenue.
Global Specialty Surfactants Market: Leading Players
The major players in the global specialty surfactants market are Akzo-Nobel, BASF, and Clariant, wherein BASF has achieved the leading position in the overall market. The company has recently acquired Cognis and, with this acquisition, has created a robust base to expand its business in the global specialty surfactants market in the near future. The players in this market are highly focused on research and innovation and achieving a high quality of finished products. Additionally, rise in the application of synthetic surfactants to treat the neonatal respiratory distress syndrome is likely to present ample growth opportunities to the market participants in the years to come.
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