Acrylic Acid Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)
The acrylic acid market is projected to register a CAGR of over 5% during the forecast period (2021-2026).
The market was negatively impacted by COVID-19 in 2020. Considering the pandemic scenario, construction activities were temporarily stopped during the lockdown, reducing the demand for acrylic acid-based sealants, adhesives, paints and coatings, and others. However, owing to the increased awareness and consciousness regarding personal hygiene and clean surroundings, the demand for laundry care products has increased during the current situation, where acrylic acid is used in the production of liquid laundry detergent, thereby stimulating the demand in the market studied.
Over the short term, the rising applications of acrylic acid-based super absorbent polymers and the increasing demand for architectural coatings in the Asia-Pacific region are expected to drive the market's growth.
The rising demand for bio-based polymers in healthcare applications is likely to act as an opportunity for market growth in the future. However, the increasing cost of propylene raw materials may hinder the growth of the market studied.
Asia-Pacific accounted for the largest market share, and it is likely to dominate the market during the forecast period.
Superabsorbent polymers (SAP) account for approximately 30% of the total acrylic acid demand in the global scenario. Superabsorbent polymers are prepared using acrylic acid as raw material, along with sodium hydroxide, to form polyacrylic acid.
SAPs are materials that possess the ability to absorb and retain large volumes of liquid or aqueous solutions. This makes them ideal for use in water-absorbing applications, such as baby nappies, adult incontinence pads, absorbent medical dressings, and controlled release drugs.
The baby diaper segment consumes nearly 72% of the total superabsorbent polymer demand.
In addition, adult incontinence products are used in nursing homes and hospitals to provide considerable advantages to both patients and nursing staff. The market for incontinence products has grown significantly due to the increasing popularity of in-home care environments in developed regions.
For instance, around USD 21.6 billion worth of sanitary napkins were sold in 2019 globally, with a growth rate of about 5.5% compared to the previous year.
Furthermore, several initiatives by governments in different countries involve continuously collaborating with various NGOs and media centers to educate people about personal hygiene management and promote the use of sanitary napkins among women.
Rising hygiene awareness, coupled with growing infant and aging populations in emerging economies, and continuous demand for feminine hygiene products are expected to drive the SAP market in the hygiene industry.
According to the Statista market forecast, the market for feminine hygiene and baby diapers reached USD 80.71 billion in 2019, witnessing a growth of around 3.88% compared to the previous year. Also, the market value is estimated to reach USD 92.21 billion in 2023.
Overall, the increasing awareness about hygiene among all population groups is expected to promote the usage of superabsorbent polymers (diapers, pads, and sanitary napkins), which may augment the consumption of acrylic acid during the forecast period.
Asia-Pacific dominated the market, owing to the high demand from countries like China, India, and Japan.
China is the largest consumer of acrylic acid in the Asia-Pacific region, and its demand is expected to grow further in the coming years due to several factors.
The demand for adhesives, paints, and coatings in China is also increasing at a strong rate due to the growing investments in the construction and infrastructure sectors.
For instance, the Chinese construction industry was valued at about USD 1,049.2 billion in 2020, and it is estimated to reach about USD 1,117.4 billion by 2021, with a growth rate of about 6.5%. Additionally, China is one of the major consumers of personal hygiene products in the world. The demand for personal hygiene products in the country is attributed to a large infant population and an increase in disposable income, which leads to an increase in personal and hygiene care spending.
The Chinese feminine hygiene market was valued at about USD 8,953 million in 2020, and it is estimated to reach about USD 10,904 million by 2025, with a CAGR of about 4%.
China is the largest producer and consumer of engineering plastics in the region. In China, the consumption of engineering plastics increased drastically in the recent past due to increasing urbanization and the substitution of many metals by suitable engineering plastics in various applications.
Engineering plastics are also used in the automotive industry to reduce the mass of the parts, and it also offers more design freedom compared to metal. For instance, according to OICA, around 25.23 million vehicles were produced in China during 2020 compared to 25.75 million vehicles produced in 2019, witnessing a decreasing growth rate of about 2%, leading to decreased demand for engineering plastics.
Acrylic acid also finds its application in the laundry care segment. Acrylic acid is used in the preparation of detergent builders. It acts as a copolymer and can be used in zeolites and phosphates in washing powder solutions. The Chinese laundry care market was valued at about USD 10,805 million in 2020, and it is estimated to reach about USD 11,758 million by 2025, with a CAGR of about 2%.
Hence, owing to the aforementioned factors, China is likely to dominate the market during the forecast period.
The acrylic acid market is partially consolidated in nature, as the market share is divided among a few key companies. Some of the key players of the market include BASF SE, China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (SINOPEC), Arkema, Dow, and Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, among others.