Super Absorbent Polymer (SAP) Market is valued at $8.4 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach $11.8 billion by 2024, after growing at a CAGR of 5.9% during the forecast period from 2019-2024. Growing population along rising disposable income, increasing demand for fluff-less personal hygiene products, focus on effective irrigation management, and adoption of eco-friendly products; are the major driving factors boosting the demand of super absorbent polymers. Furthermore, rising innovations in medical, pharmaceutical, agriculture, and horticulture industry to manage the availability of water is boosting the growth of the SAP market.
- Asia-Pacific dominates the super absorbent polymer market owing to increasing demand from applications such as personal hygiene due to growing population and increasing awareness in the region.
- Rising health awareness in regards to usage of sanitary pads and baby diapers have a major influence on the global SAP market. Moreover, SAPs are used in the agriculture sector as soil conditioners due to its water absorption capacity of upto 1,000 times more than its size.
- SAP supports the root growth of plants, seed germination, and aids plants to bear prolonged moisture stress, reduce the labor cost as it holds water around 500% more than its weight and also increases the age of plants.
- Increasing adoption of sustainable and environment friendly products, will increase the market demand for super absorbent polymer in the near future.
- Additionally, growing trend of responsiveness towards rising environmental degradation and pollution has induced the consumers and industries for eco-friendly bio-products consumption creating a huge opportunity for the global SAP market to grow steadily.
Type – Segment Analysis
Sodium polyacrylate segment held the largest share in the super absorbent polymer market in 2018 due to its properties such as absorption rate of 400-800 times water than its mass and non-toxicity. Further, high adoption rate of sodium polyacrylate in applications such as baby diapers, adult diapers, sanitary pads, and agricultural applications is creating the good growth potential for this segment. Sodium polyacrylate SAP act as an effective agent in increasing the biomass productivity in grasslands, and also in enhancing the organic matter content and soil fertility in forestry.
Sodium polyacrylate SAP is mostly preferred due to its high absorption control and accessibility in manufacturing hygiene products such as disposable diapers to reduce infection and unpleasant smell of chemicals.
End User Industry – Segment Analysis
Personal Care & Hygiene segment has been the primary market for super absorbent polymer for many years. Super absorbent polymers have wide applications in personal hygiene product including baby diapers, adult diapers, and sanitary pads. Growing population and increased awareness of personal hygiene lead to increased demand for sanitary pads. Also, rise in birth rate is fueling the demand of baby diapers. In addition to baby diapers and sanitary pads, the demand for adult diapers is also rising at a higher rate due to the growing aging population and the increasing number of adult incontinence cases.
SAP is establishing stronger footprints in the agriculture industry, as it absorbs the excess amount of water in the soil and protects crops during the rainy season. In addition to this, it improves the physical properties of soil associated with each crop variety.
Geography – Segment Analysis
APAC dominated the super absorbent polymer market with a share of more than 35%, followed by Europe and North America. The rising population coupled with rising disposable income of middle class in this region is increasing the consumption of personal hygiene care products. Additionally, growing awareness about hygiene products is escalating the demand for feminine hygiene products. These factors are influencing the growth of super absorbent polymers market in this region. There is relatively low penetration in this region of personal hygiene products such as baby diapers, adult diapers, and sanitary pads. Therefore, there is enormous potential for this market to grow in APAC.
Drivers – Super Absorbent Polymer Market
- Growing world population along disposable income of middle class
Population and disposable income of middle class are the major factors contributing in the adoption of personal hygiene products. Increasing birth rate across the globe is expected to fuel the demand of baby diapers. Also, rising aging population is driving the demand of adult diapers. All these factors are expected to enhance the overall demand of super absorbent polymer.
- Increasing awareness regarding personal hygiene products in developing nations
Rising health awareness in regards to usage of sanitary pads and baby diapers have a major influence on the global SAP market. Additionally, growing trend of responsiveness towards rising environmental degradation and pollution has induced the consumers and industries for eco-friendly bio-products consumption creating a huge opportunity for the global SAP market to grow steadily. Many governments and personal hygiene products manufacturers are taking initiatives not only to raise awareness of personal hygiene products, but also to make them accessible to everyone.
Challenges – Super Absorbent Polymer Market
- Stagnant growth of personal hygiene products in developed economies
A slow growth of personal hygiene products such as baby diapers, adult diapers, and sanitary pads in developed economies is creating a hurdle for the overall growth of super absorbent polymer market. US baby diapers market is growing with around 1% of CAGR which far less than the global average. Personal hygiene products are the major application of SAP and below average growth of these products in developed economies can slow the growth of SAP demand.
Technology launches, acquisitions and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in the super absorbent polymer market. In 2018, the market of super absorbent polymer has been consolidated by the top five players accounting for xx% of the share. Major players in the Super Absorbent Polymer Market are BASF, Nippon Shokubai Co. Ltd., Formosa Plastics Corporation, LG Chemcial, Sumitomo Seika Chemcials Co. Ltd., SDP Global Ltd, Songwon Industrial Co. Ltd., KAO Corporation, Evonik Industries AG, and Yixing Danson, among others.
In May 2019, Nippon Shokubai and Sanyo Chemical Industries announced that considering merging into a single company with annual sales of approximately $4.7 billion and being the 11th largest chemical company in Japan. Shokubai is one of the largest superabsorbent polymer producers in the world, used in disposable diapers. Sanyo also produces superabsorbent polymers and over 3,000 quality chemicals, some of which rely on Shokubai’s raw materials.
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