Impact of Covid-19
Covid-19 pandemic created disruptions in the growth of the stearic acid market in the year 2020 due to the halt in several manufacturing industries. Huge declination was seen in the production of automotive which reflected the demand for tyres and henceforth devasted the growth of stearic acids. For instance, according to Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d’Automobiles (OICA), the production of motor vehicles in Europe, America, Asia, and Africa declined by -21.6%, -22.1%, -10.2%, and -35.3% respectively from the year 2019 to 2020. Also, due to the pandemic the import and export trade disruptions affected the demand of the stearic acids which overall affected the growth of the market in the year 2020.
Stearic Acids Market Segment Analysis- By Material Type
Plant-Based segment held the largest share in the stearic acids market in 2020. Stearic acids derived from plants are part of the fatty acid category, which includes products derived mainly from natural fats and oils. Stearic acids contain triglycerides which are glycerin molecules attached to long hydrocarbon chains. Cotton, coconut, palm kernel, castor beans, rapeseed, soybeans, and sunflowers are common sources of plant oils. In various countries, almost all stearic acid is made from tallow and coconut oil, although lesser amounts are made from palm oil. Furthermore, various other plants based raw materials such as sunflower oil and soyabean oil is used in the production of stearic acids. Thus, the growing production of plant based stearic acids is estimated to rise in the forecast period.
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Stearic Acids Market Segment Analysis- By Application
Personal care sector held the largest share in the stearic acids market in 2020 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 4.1% during the forecast period 2021-2026. While inexpensive commodity products will continue to account for the majority of demand in terms of volume, consumer demand for stearic acids in personal care products would increase. As well as manufacturers’ efforts to increase the use of multifunctional, environmental friendly products, will drive the demand for stearic acids over the forecast period. With the rising growth in the personal care sector the market for stearic acids is also anticipated to upsurge in recent years. For instance, According to Assocham, India’s beauty, cosmetics, and grooming market will expand from US$ 6.5 billion to US$ 20 billion by 2025, owing to the middle-class disposable income and the aspirations of people to live a good life and look nice. The upsurge in the personal care industry is thus driving the demand for stearic acids, which is estimated to drive the market growth.
Stearic Acids Market Segment Analysis- Geography
Asia-Pacific region held the largest share of more than 39% in the stearic acids market in 2020. The rising usage and demand of personal care products and cleaning detergents in the Asia-Pacific countries are driving up the demand for stearic acids. These end use industries account for the majority of the demand for stearic acids products. Furthermore, increasing demand for stearic acids in the Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and others, in applications such as rubber processing, soap and detergents, and personal care, has raised the market growth. According to the International Trade Administration, from 2019 to 2022, Thailand’s beauty and personal care market is expected to expand at a steady rate by 7.3% per year. With the rising personal care sector the market for stearic acids is estimated to increase. Thus, the demand for stearic acids is therefore anticipated to increase in the Asia-Pacific region over the forecast period.
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Stearic Acids Market Drivers
Rising Usage of Stearic Acids in Rubber
Stearic acid in rubber applications provides lubrication, increased viscosity, and a smoother finished product texture. The final thickness of the rubber is determined by the amount of stearic acid used. Increasing usage of rubber for the production of tyres has uplifted the market growth. Furthermore, the majority of car tyre manufacturers use stearic acid as an additive to help make the rubber strong enough to retain its shape even under constant pressure while being flexible enough to provide road grip. Furthermore, the rising production of automotive is estimated to uplift the demand for tyres which will further raise the growth of the stearic acid market. For instance, according to Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d’Automobiles (OICA), in France, the passenger car production increased by 0.5% in the year 2018 whereas the percentage change in the production of light commercial vehicles was increased by 6.5% in the year 2019. Thus, increasing automotive industry would further raise the growth of the market.
Increasing Usage of Stearic Acids in the Pharmaceutical Industry
In the pharmaceutical industry stearic acids are commonly used in the production of pharmaceutical tablets and capsules. In the oral pharmaceutical formulations, stearic acid is commonly used. Increasing use of stearic acid as a tablet lubricant in oral formulations has raised the demand for the market. Furthermore, stearic acid has been used as a dispersion medium for drugs in the form of microspheres made of fats and waxes for managed release. Rising investments in the pharmaceutical industry would also raise the demand for stearic acids in the upcoming years. Therefore, the increasing usage of stearic acids in the pharmaceutical industry is driving the stearic acids market growth.
Stearic Acids Market Challenges
Rising Health Effects will Hamper the Growth of the Market
Excessive concentrated product intake can lead to health problems including liver toxicity, human and animal skin disease, and cancer, all of which can stifle demand for stearic acid. In addition, the possibility of neurotoxicity and organ damage is likely to limit use of cosmetic products in the future. Also, stearic acid can cause potential health effects such as chemical conjunctives, skin irritation, and ingestion problems such as gastrointestinal irritation with vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea. Thus, these rising health effects are one of the biggest roadblocks to the stearic acids market expansion.
Stearic Acids Market Landscape
Technology launches, acquisitions, and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in the stearic acids market. Major players in the stearic acids market are BASF SE, The U.S. Chemicals LLC., Emery Oleochemicals, AkzoNobel, Godrej Industries, Wilmar International, Pacific Oleo Chemicals Sdn Bhd, Oleon, Kuala Lumpur Kepong (KLK), and Kao Chemicals, among others.
Asia-Pacific region dominates the stearic acids market owing to the rising usage of stearic acids in the personal care as well as in the automotive sector in emerging economies such as India, China, South Korea, and Japan.
The rising consumer awareness about the use of dietary supplements to keep them safe and hygienic in their everyday lives would boost the demand for stearic acids over the forecast period.
Increasing adoption of stearic acids in lead-acid batteries, rubber processing, and as a lubricant in injection moulding applications, in the end use sector has drived the market growth.
Moreover, increasing health affects during the production of stearic acids is anticipated to create hurdles in the growth of the market.
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