The global superabsorbent polymers (SAP) market is witnessing a transformative shift towards sustainability, with sodium polyacrylate leading the industry as the dominant player. These cross-linked hydrophilic polymers, renowned for their exceptional liquid absorption capabilities, have become indispensable in various applications. The market, estimated to reach a demand of 3.0 million tons in 2019, is experiencing a growing interest in sustainable SAP production methods.
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The manufacturing of superabsorbent polymers involves acrylic acid (Na or K salts), sodium hydroxide, and acrylamide as key raw materials. Through processes like gel polymerization, inverse-suspension polymerization, and solution polymerization, polyacrylic acid salt (sodium polyacrylate) is formed, accounting for over 80% of the total SAP production worldwide in 2019.
The demand for SAP is categorized into synthetic (petrochemical-based) and natural (polysaccharide or polypeptide-based) types. Among them, sodium polyacrylate stands out as the most prevalent, finding extensive use in agriculture, industrial waterproofing materials, cooling materials, cable wrapping tapes, and notably, disposable hygiene products.
Disposable and personal care hygiene products are the primary consumers of SAP, driving nearly 90% of the total global consumption. Diapers hold a prominent position, accounting for over 75% of the demand in 2019. Superabsorbent polymers have revolutionized the hygiene industry, replacing conventional materials like cloth, cellulose fiber, and cotton. Their ability to keep the skin dry and protect against irritation has transformed the diaper market.
The SAP market is experiencing a surge in sustainable solutions, with companies like LG and Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) leading the charge. Through a joint development agreement (JDA), these companies are actively working on creating 100% biobased acrylic acid production, aiming to build sustainable technologies for SAP and address environmental concerns associated with traditional production methods.
Geographically, North America currently leads the global SAP market, accounting for nearly one-third of the total consumption. However, Asia Pacific is emerging as the fastest-growing region, driven by factors such as rising disposable incomes, changing consumer preferences, and growing hygiene awareness in countries like India, China, and Southeast Asia. The region’s high birth rates and increased penetration of baby diapers, except in Japan, significantly contribute to its market expansion.
Major players in the superabsorbent polymer industry, including Nippon Shokubai, Evonik Industries, BASF SE, SAP Global, and Sumitomo Seika Chemicals, are focusing on capacity expansion and product innovation to meet the escalating demand from various sectors. As sustainable practices gain momentum, superabsorbent polymers, led by sodium polyacrylate, will continue to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of liquid absorption and hygiene products worldwide.
Key Elements Covered in the Study: Global Superabsorbent Polymers Market
The comprehensive study on the global superabsorbent polymers market includes a wide range of key elements that provide valuable insights into the industry. These elements have been carefully analyzed to present a holistic view of the market dynamics and growth prospects. The key elements covered in the study are as follows:
1. Superabsorbent Polymers Market by Product/Technology/Grade, Application/End-user, and Region: This section provides a detailed analysis of the superabsorbent polymers market based on various product types, technologies, grades, applications, end-users, and geographic regions.
2. Executive Summary (Opportunity Analysis and Key Trends): The executive summary highlights the major opportunities in the superabsorbent polymers market and presents key trends observed during the study period.
3. Historical Market Size and Estimates, Value and Volume, 2018 – 2022: This segment presents historical market data, including market size estimates in terms of value and volume for the period from 2018 to 2022.
4. Volume Consumption at Regional and Country Level, 2023 – 2030: The study projects the volume consumption of superabsorbent polymers at both regional and country levels for the forecast period from 2023 to 2030.
5. Market Dynamics and Economic Overview: This element examines the market dynamics, including drivers, restraints, challenges, and opportunities influencing the growth of the superabsorbent polymers market. It also provides an overview of the economic factors impacting the industry.
6. Market Size in Value and Volume, Growth Rates, and Forecast Figures, 2023 – 2030: The study forecasts the market size in terms of value and volume, along with growth rates, for the superabsorbent polymers market during the forecast period from 2023 to 2030.
7. Competitive Intelligence with Financials, Key Developments, and Portfolio of Leading Companies: This section offers insights into the competitive landscape of the superabsorbent polymers market. It includes detailed profiles of leading companies, their financial performance, key developments, and product portfolios.
8. Regional and Product/Grade/Application/End-user Price Trends Analysis: Here, the study analyzes the price trends of superabsorbent polymers across different regions, product types, grades, applications, and end-user industries.
9. Production Output Analysis (Major Producing Regions): This element assesses the production output of superabsorbent polymers in major producing regions, providing an understanding of the supply-side dynamics.
10. Key Trade Statistics (Import and Export): The study evaluates the key trade statistics of superabsorbent polymers, including import and export volumes, to identify global market trends and regional trade dynamics.
11. Value Chain and Five Forces Analysis: This section examines the value chain of the superabsorbent polymers market and includes a Five Forces analysis to understand the industry’s competitive landscape and market attractiveness.
12. Regional/Sub-region/Country Market Size and Trend Analysis: The study delves into regional, sub-regional, and country-level market size and trend analysis to identify growth patterns and opportunities in specific geographical areas.
13. Company Market Share Analysis and Key Player Profiles: This element presents a comprehensive analysis of the market share of key players in the superabsorbent polymers market and offers detailed profiles of these companies, highlighting their strategies, strengths, and market presence.
The study on the global superabsorbent polymers market is designed to provide industry stakeholders, investors, and decision-makers with valuable insights and data to make informed business decisions and capitalize on the evolving market opportunities.