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Surfactants Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2023-2028)

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  • 120 Pages
  • April 2023
  • Region: Global
  • Mordor Intelligence
  • ID: 4771655
The global surfactants market is projected to register a CAGR of over 3% during the forecast period.

The market was adversely impacted by COVID-19 in 2020 and the first half of 2021. Several countries were forced to go into lockdown, which forced people to minimize the use of personal vehicles, creating a decline in the demand for lubricant and fuel, thus decreasing the demand for fuel additives and surfactants. However, the consciousness regarding personal hygiene and clean surroundings increased during the pandemic, and it remains a major priority despite its retraction. This has stimulated the demand for personal and household cleaning products, thus enhancing the market growth of surfactants.

Key Highlights

  • Over the short term, the growing personal care industry and the growing demand for biosurfactants to serve the growing oleochemical market are driving the growth of the surfactants market.
  • Increasing environmental awareness against the use of surfactants is expected to hinder the growth of the market.
  • New inventions in the field of surfactants and the introduction of bio-based surfactants will act as a market opportunity.
  • The Asia-Pacific region is expected to dominate the market, and it is likely to witness the highest CAGR during the forecast period.

Surfactants Market Trends

Anionic Surfactants are Expected to Dominate the Market

  • Anionic surfactants belong to the class of surface-active reagents, in which the head of the surfactant macromolecule remains negatively charged. This allows it to bind to impurities and particles suspended in the liquid.
  • Anionic surfactants account for approximately half of the total share of the surfactants market. A growing focus on environmental regulations is expected to increase the demand for anionic surfactants.
  • Anionic surfactants are widely used for industrial and household cleaning and for pesticide formulations. Of the anionic surfactants, biodegradable linear alkylbenzenesulfonates (LAS) are the most common and can be found in wastewater systems and river water.
  • Anionic surfactants work best to remove dirt, clay, and some oily stains. They work through ionization. When added to water, the anionic surfactants ionize and take a negative charge. The negatively charged surfactants bind to positively charged particles like clay. Anionic surfactants are effective in removing particulate soils.
  • Some of the most-used anionic surfactants are sulfonic acid salts, alcohol sulfates, phosphoric acid esters, alkylbenzene sulfonates, and carboxylic acid salts.
  • the increasing demand for anionic surfactants in cosmetic products, such as skincare and hair care products in personal care applications, owing to their superior characteristics, such as foaming, cleansing, thickening, solubilizing, emulsifying, antimicrobial effects, penetration enhancement, and other special effects, is expected to boost the market demand.
  • The current market demand for environment-friendly alternatives has led to a boost in demand for bio-based anionic surfactants.

Asia-Pacific is Expected to Dominate the Market

  • In Asia-Pacific, China is likely to dominate the market studied. In China, cosmetics and personal care is one of the fastest-growing sectors. Continuous growth in population is another factor fuelling the demand for personal care, soaps, and detergents in the country, which augments the surfactants market. ​
  • The output from the Chinese chemical industry is essential in various products, including soaps, detergents, cosmetics, etc. There are more than 60 manufacturers of washing, care, and cleaning agents in the country. However, the market studied is dominated by global players like BASF SE and Evonik Industries AG. China is also one of the largest exporters of soaps and detergent products.
  • Moreover, India is one of the largest producers of soaps in the world. The per capita consumption of toilet/bathing soaps in the country is around 800 grams. Around 65% of the Indian population resides in rural areas, and the increasing disposable incomes and growth in rural markets make consumers shift to premium products. This shift is expected to drive the market for surfactants in the country.
  • According to India Brand Equity Foundation, the beauty, cosmetic, and grooming market is is expected to reach USD 20 billion by 2025.​
  • Thus, the market for surfactants in the region is expected to witness steady growth during the forecast period.

Surfactants Market Competitor Analysis

The surfactants market is highly fragmented, with the top five companies accounting for a minimal share of the market. Some major players in the market (in no particular order) include Nouryon, Evonik Industries AG, Kao Corporation, BASF SE, and Stepan Company, among others.

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Table of Contents

1.1 Study Assumptions
1.2 Scope of the Study



4.1 Drivers
4.1.1 Increasing Demand from the Personal Care Industry in Asia-Pacific
4.1.2 Growth of the Oleo Chemicals Market
4.2 Restraints
4.2.1 Increasing Focus on Environmental Regulations​
4.2.2 Other Restraints
4.3 Industry Value Chain Analysis
4.4 Porter's Five Forces Analysis
4.4.1 Bargaining Power of Suppliers
4.4.2 Bargaining Power of Consumers
4.4.3 Threat of New Entrants
4.4.4 Threat of Substitute Products and Services
4.4.5 Degree of Competition
4.5 Price Analysis

5 MARKET SEGMENTATION (Market Size in Volume)
5.1 Type
5.1.1 Anionic Surfactants Linear Alkylbenzene Sulfolane (LAS or LABS) Alcohol Ethoxy Sulfates (AES) Alpha Olefin Sulfonates (AOS) Secondary Alkane Sulfonate (SAS) Methyl Ester Sulfonates (MES) Sulfosuccinates Other Types of Anionic Surfactants
5.1.2 Cationic Surfactants Quaternary Ammonium Compounds Other Types of Cationic Surfactants
5.1.3 Non-ionic Surfactants Alcohol Ethoxylates Ethoxylated Alkyl-phenols Fatty Acid Esters Other Non-ionic Surfactants
5.1.4 Amphoteric Surfactants
5.1.5 Silicone Surfactants
5.1.6 Other Types
5.2 Application
5.2.1 Household Soaps and Detergents
5.2.2 Personal Care
5.2.3 Lubricants and Fuel Additives
5.2.4 Industry and Institutional Cleaning
5.2.5 Food Processing
5.2.6 Oilfield Chemicals
5.2.7 Agricultural Chemicals
5.2.8 Textile Processing
5.2.9 Emulsion Polymerization
5.2.10 Other Applications
5.3 Geography
5.3.1 Asia-Pacific China India Japan South Korea Rest of Asia-Pacific
5.3.2 North America United States Canada Mexico
5.3.3 Europe Germany United Kingdom Italy France Rest of Europe
5.3.4 South America Brazil Argentina Rest of South America
5.3.5 Middle East and Africa Saudi Arabia South Africa Rest of Middle East and Africa

6.1 Mergers and Acquisitions, Joint Ventures, Collaborations, and Agreements
6.2 Market Share (%) Analysis**
6.3 Strategies Adopted by Leading Players
6.4 Company Profiles
6.4.1 Arkema
6.4.2 Ashland
6.4.3 BASF SE
6.4.4 Bayer AG
6.4.5 Cepsa
6.4.6 Clariant
6.4.7 Croda International PLC
6.4.8 DETEN Quimica SA
6.4.9 Dow Inc.
6.4.10 Emery Oleochemicals
6.4.11 Evonik Industries AG
6.4.12 Galaxy Surfactants
6.4.13 Geo Speciality Chemicals
6.4.14 Godrej Industries Limited
6.4.15 Huntsman International LLC
6.4.16 Innospec
6.4.17 Kao Corporation
6.4.18 KLK Oleo
6.4.19 Lankem
6.4.20 Lonza
6.4.21 Nouryon
6.4.22 Oxiteno
6.4.23 P&G Chemicals
6.4.24 Reliance Industries Ltd
6.4.25 Sanyo Chemical Industries Ltd​
6.4.26 Sasol
6.4.27 Sinopec Jinling Petrochemical Co. Ltd (China Petrochemical Corporation)
6.4.28 Solvay
6.4.29 Stepan Company
6.4.30 Sulfatrade SA
6.4.31 Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd
6.4.32 Taiwan NJC Corporation Ltd
6.4.33 TENSAC
6.4.34 YPF SA

7.1 Possible Innovations in the Applications of Specialty Surfactants
7.2 Expansion of Application Base for Bio-based Surfactants

Companies Mentioned (Partial List)

A selection of companies mentioned in this report includes, but is not limited to:

  • Arkema
  • Ashland
  • Bayer AG
  • Cepsa
  • Clariant
  • Croda International PLC
  • DETEN Quimica SA
  • Dow Inc.
  • Emery Oleochemicals
  • Evonik Industries AG
  • Galaxy Surfactants
  • Geo Speciality Chemicals
  • Godrej Industries Limited
  • Huntsman International LLC
  • Innospec
  • Kao Corporation
  • KLK Oleo
  • Lankem
  • Lonza
  • Nouryon
  • Oxiteno
  • P&G Chemicals
  • Reliance Industries Ltd
  • Sanyo Chemical Industries Ltd​
  • Sasol
  • Sinopec Jinling Petrochemical Co. Ltd (China Petrochemical Corporation)
  • Solvay
  • Stepan Company
  • Sulfatrade SA
  • Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd
  • Taiwan NJC Corporation Ltd
  • YPF SA