Fatty acids are saturated or unsaturated carboxylic acid with the long aliphatic chain. Natural fatty acids are naturally occurring esters of glycerol found in fats and fatty oils having even number of carbon atoms in chain ranging from 4 to 28 and is obtained by hydrolysis of natural fats and oils. Natural fatty acids get converted into products based on oleo-chemicals after getting consumed which are bio- degradable and renewable. Majorly natural fatty acids are synthesized from animal fats, vegetable oil or from the fractional distillation of crude oil. The sources from which natural fatty acids are obtained are crude oil, palm, coconut oil, palm kernel oil and soybean oils. Other oils with smaller amounts (e.g., rapeseed and fish oils) are also used. Natural fatty acids are used in number of end-user industries such as personal care, rubber, plastics, detergents, and others. Fatty acids serve important functionality in personal health care and is responsible for human nutrition.
Natural fatty acids has vast areas of application in the end use industry. The growth of natural fatty acids market is due to the growing end use applications industries like rubber and plastics especially in the developing countries. Natural fatty acids also have applications in household industries, personal care industries, detergent and many more. The consumption growth in natural fatty acids can eventually sum up to the better GDP performance of the respective countries.
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The saturation of market (developed countries), pricing pressures and fluctuating raw material prices (palm oil) are some of the reasons which are making it hard for the natural fatty acids manufacturers to maintain the profit margin. The types of fatty acid which are majorly used across the globe are stearic acids (18 Carbon Chain), fractionated fatty acids, polyunsaturated acids (including tall oil fatty acids), distilled fatty acids and oleic acids.
The global natural fatty acids market can be segmented into three categories
Based on the application group natural fatty acids are segmented in three categories – Derivatives; (PCSHIIPV) personal care, soap, homecare and i&i, polymerization, vulcanization (Rubber industry) and all other applications. Based on the application natural fatty acids are segmented as homecare, personal care products and cosmetics, soaps & detergents, oil field, lubricants and others. Region wise the market for natural fatty acids is segmented into seven key geographical regions which include North America, Latin America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, APEJ, Japan and Middle East & Africa.
Natural fatty acids has high market demand owing to its application in different end use industries. These industries are well governing factors to determine the economic growth of the respective region. Thus consumption of fatty acid ultimately points out the growth rate of the region and can approximate the GDP growth in the particular region.
Among the seven regions Asia pacific is the region with highest production and consumption of natural fatty acids with China, India and Malaysia covering most of the market share of fatty acid production in Asia Specific. Consumption wise China covers more than half of the Asia’s natural fatty acids market share with soap and detergent being the application wise leader in Asia’s natural fatty acids consumption market share. Western Europe with second highest position in market share of natural fatty acids consumption is expected to show moderate growth rate due to market saturation, price fluctuation and change in market trends. North America shows moderate consumption of natural fatty acids, the market share for same is expected to grow with slow rate in near future due to presence of variety of industries and their natural fatty acids requirement. Apart from these major regions, small regions like Centre and South America (Brazil), Central and Eastern Europe, Mid-east (Turkey) and Africa (South Africa and Nigeria) are more likely to show the considerable growth in natural fatty acids market share. Emerging economies like China, India, Brazil and Indonesia are expected to show major market share in natural fatty acids consumption. The major reasons being raw material availability, shift of natural fatty acid consumption trend from European market and huge consumer pool.
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The major players in natural fatty acids production market are facing some deviation in market due to raw material price uncertainty, new emerging markets, home market saturation (Specifically Western Europe) and pricing competition. Many American and European natural fatty acids big players are shifting the manufacturing base in search of the emerging market demand in different geographic regions. Some of the major natural fatty acids global market players are BASF SE, Akzo Nobel N.V., Ashland Inc., Arizona Chemical Company, LLC; Chemithon Corporation, Colgate-Palmolive Company, Croda International Plc., LG Chem, Jiaxing Hudong Household Auxiliaries Company Limited, Oleochem India Pvt. Ltd., Eastman Chemical Company and Others.