Going Natural the Polymer Way: Upcoming Trends.

Published By: IndustryARC Published On : 24-May-2016

Natural polymer demand is expected to grow 5.9% annually, while Methyl cellulose will account for 31% of the cellulose ether market due to its entrenched position in construction uses, such as its use in mortar and grouts. The overall market for cellulose ethers in the next five years will be stimulated by increased levels of food production, and opportunities in packaging, medical, and other areas. On an average the natural polymer prices are expected to stabilize, which implies a declining price trend for starch and fermentation products.

Cellulose ethers which accounted for more than 30% of the natural polymer market, is projected to increase 4.2% annually due to widespread food, construction and oilfield applications. Some of the most commonly used types of cellulose ethers include: Methyl Cellulose (MC), Carboxymethyl Cellulose (CMC), Hydroxyethyl Cellulose (HEC), and Microcrystalline Cellulose (MCC). Methyl cellulose will account for major share of the revenues generated due to its entrenched position in construction uses, such as plaster, mortar, grouts, stucco and wallpaper pastes. Carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) demand will expand at the fastest pace, with best opportunities expected in drilling, work over and completion fluids for the oilfield   industry, where it functions as a thickening and suspension agent.

Starch and fermentation product demand will grow exponentially in the next five years. According to recent industry trends, the demand for starch and fermentation products will likely exhibit a CAGR of 12% between 2016 and 2021. Declining prices, attributable to improved production efficiencies and expanded capacity will stimulate demand for polylactic-acid and starch-blend polymers in packaging and textile fiber uses. Hyaluronic-acid demand will expand rapidly in medical and cosmetic/toiletry applications, with strong gains anticipated in dermal filler injections and orthopedic treatments. Robust growth is anticipated for protein-based polymers such as collagen, with further advances threatened by mature wheat gluten uses.

Food and beverages will remain the leading market for natural polymers, which are used as thickeners, stabilizers, and emulsifiers. Pockets of growth exist in areas such as low-fat and reduced-carbohydrate food formulations. Products such as CMC and Xanthan gum will increasingly be used to improve mouth feel and texture as fats and sugars are removed. Medical markets will present good opportunities for cellulose ethers and collagen in pharmaceuticals, dermal implants, and injections. Oilfield advances will be fueled by increased drilling of new oil and natural gas wells, and the continued maturation of domestic crude oil and gas fields, all of which will increase the need for natural polymers used in well stimulation, exploration, and other areas.

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