PMR forecasts sluggish growth for the global super absorbent polymer market during the next four years. The global SAP market will witness passive expansion at a CAGR of 3.9% during the forecast period 2016-2020.
Super absorbent polymer is widely consumed for disposable diapers manufacturing, coupled with adult incontinence products and feminine hygiene products. Growing birth rate and rising elderly population remain key to the prospects of this market. Demand will also remain steady in the medical and agriculture sector. Emerging applications in agriculture and large-scale farming, in addition to aboriculture, are likely to present lucrative growth opportunities in market.
Moreover, manufacturers of absorbent pads, sand bags, and artificial snow will also support the market growth through the next few years. Uplifting adoption of super absorbent polymer by landscaping companies for spacious golf courses and garden grass will propel the demand for SAP, eventually fueling the market for super absorbent polymer globally. Introduction of biodegradable SAP is estimated to be a major factor promoting the usage of super absorbent polymer over the forecast period.
However, fluctuating pricing and availability of raw materials will remain a long-term challenge to the SAP market growth over the next few years. Frequently changing healthcare regulations may also hamper the global super absorbent polymer market growth.
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By application, the global market for super absorbent polymer is largely concentrated in three key end-use industries viz. disposable diapers, adult incontinence products, and female hygiene products. Disposable diapers segment will remain the largest consumer of super absorbent polymer with a value of around US$ 5.81 Bn in 2016 and over 74% revenue share by 2020 end.
Based on product type, sodium polyacrylate co-polymers and poly acrylamide co-polymer segments will account for major market value shares. Poly acrylamide co-polymers are however predicted to gain higher traction over the forecast period, attributed to their higher water-retention capacity and non-toxic properties. This segment will possibly grab over 11% revenue share of the overall market by 2020.
Geographically, Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) is identified to remain the most lucrative region, followed by Europe and North America. Demand for super absorbent polymers in North America will be led by the U.S. The macroeconomic drivers, such as rising awareness about the usage of SAP-based products for maintaining personal care and hygiene, and increased purchasing power of consumers in developing countries, will strongly favor the consumption of super absorbent polymer in APEJ. This region is likely to account for over 36% market share, whereas Europe will contribute over 28% share to the market by 2020 end. Overall growth rate of all regional markets is expected to be stable. The market in Asian countries will especially witness remarkable growth, as a number of leading personal care product providers are expanding in Asia Pacific.
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BASF SE, Nippon Shokubai Co. Ltd., and Evonik Industries are the most prominent market players. Nippon Shokubai Co. Ltd. continues to be a leading company in the super absorbent polymer market. Leading manufacturers are focusing more on amplifying SAP production capacities, and R&D of innovative products.
Long-term Outlook: Global SAP market is set to surpass US$ 9 Bn in terms of value and 2.9 Mn Tons in terms of shipment by 2020.