Asia to drive glycerin market out to 2015

By Phil Taylor

- Last updated on GMT

Demand for glycerin as an ingredient in pharmaceuticals, personal care and other products is expected to show brisk growth out 2015, when demand around the world is expected to reach 3.39 billion pounds, according to market research firm Global Industry Analysts.

Europe and Asia-Pacific account for a over 55 per cent of the global glycerin market. At the moment Europe is the largest market for glycerin in the world, according to the just-published report, entitled Glycerin: A Global Strategic Business Report​.

Current glycerin consumption in Europe is estimated at 871 million pounds but is growing fairly slowly, an average compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 1.7 per cent over the 2001-2010.

GIA notes that the Asia-Pacific is the engine room for growth in the market at present, with a CAGR of nearly 4.2 per cent over the same period.

Consumption of glycerin will be strong due to “consistent demand from the pharmaceuticals, personal care, food and beverage segments​,” according the report.

A wide range of applications and eco-friendly nature of products are the key factors driving market expansion, said GIA. Pharmaceuticals and personal care account for more than a third of the total market, with consumption for these applications estimated at around 1.09 billion pounds every year.

That growth in glycerin volumes does not give the whole picture, however. A flood of glycerine products created as a by-product of the emerging biofuels industry has caused a dramatic commoditisation of the sector in recent years, driving prices down. Pharmaceutical grades of glycerine have also seen pricing pressure as a result of market oversupply.

The report notes that leading global and regional players operating in the market include Cognis, Croda, Dial Corp and Dow Chemical.

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