Solvents Market size is forecast to reach $41.43 billion by 2025, after growing at a CAGR of 3.5% during 2020-2025. Solvent is a material that dissolves a solute thus, resulting in a solution. Solvents are usually in liquid state but can also be in solid or gaseous forms. Solvents are used for varied applications in domestic, commercial and research purposes. With the infrastructure industry growing with a moderate growth rate in recent years, the demand for solvents is also growing simultaneously. The increase in the use of bio-based solvents is another factor that is driving the market growth.
Solvents Market Segment Analysis – By Source
Derived Sources segment held the largest share of 84% in solvents market in 2019. Solvents are mostly derived from petroleum and synthetic chemicals. For extending the solvent applications into newer areas these derived sources are formulated accordingly.
Hydrocarbon fractions obtained from petroleum for use in industrial processes and commercial formulation to dissolve, suspend, or transport the other ingredients of the process or formulation.
In recent years, the variety of petroleum solvents has increased considerably due to the development of refinery processes designed primarily for the transformation of low-octane feedstocks to high-octane fuels, as well as due to environmental regulations and concerns.
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Solvents Market Segment Analysis – By Type
Organic segment dominated the solvents market in 2019 with a revenue share of 87%. Conventional solvents consist of glycol ethers, hydrocarbons, acetate esters, alcohols, chlorinated, and ketones. Organic ones are majorly used in traditional applications, such as dry cleaning, as well as in manufacturing industries. Ketone solvents such as acetone, methyl ethyl ketone, and methyl isobutyl ketone are used across a wide range of applications including paints and coatings, adhesives, chemical processing, cleaning products, and printing inks. Ketones such as MEK are widely used in paints and coatings due to their ability to obtain low viscosity solutions and high solid content. Ester solvents are largely used in paints as an activator or hardener and they find moderate usage as an industrial cleaner.
Solvents Market Segment Analysis – By Application
Paints & Coatings segment held the largest share in solvents market in 2019 growing at a CAGR of 3.1% during the forecast period. This is due to the demand for construction chemicals which is expected to lead their increasing usage in the paints & coatings application. In addition, rapid growth in population, accompanied by the growing Automotive industry in the region, is expected to boost the growth of petrochemical-based solvents segment in the paints & coatings application. Also, growth of the automotive, OEM, machinery, and appliances markets globally are expected to drive demand for this application segment during the forecast period globally. Bio-based solvents are used in paints and coatings to dissolve binders and colors and provide consistency.
However, the spread of the novel coronavirus has started impacting ongoing construction projects in APAC, especially in India, with workers increasingly not reporting at the sites. More than 30% construction workers are staying away from work sites due to fear over coronavirus infection and many of them may have returned to their villages or are planning to do so.
Solvents Market Segment Analysis – Geography
Asia Pacific dominated the solvents market with a share of more than 54%, followed by Europe and North America. The Asia Pacific region is expected to lead the solvents market during the forecast period, owing to the increasing demand from emerging economies, such as China and India. In addition, rapid industrialization and urbanization accompanied by the rising demand for automobiles are expected to contribute to the growth of the solvents market in the region. Middle East & Africa is estimated to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The region accounts for half of the world’s oil reserves and 40% of the world’s gas reserves. This is driving the production of petrochemicals, which in turn, is expected to fuel the growth of the solvents market. Additionally, rapid growth in building & construction activities and rising demand for automobiles are expected to drive the demand for solvents in the paints & coatings application. Also, the personal care market is growing in the region, and, in turn, fueling the growth of the solvents market.
Solvents Market Drivers
Increasing demand from end use industries
Urban population is steadily increasing in most of the developing regions. According to the World Bank, most of the countries in APAC such as India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Afghanistan have less than 35% of their population living in urban areas. These economies are expected to grow at a promising rate in the future. In the developing countries, there is an increasing shift of population to Tier 1 and metro locations of the countries, which is creating a demand for residential construction. The growth of the construction industry is driving the demand for paints and coatings, which, in turn, is boosting the solvents market. Moreover, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the rapid growth rate of several developing economies is expected to provide opportunities to the petrochemical-based solvents manufacturers and suppliers, especially those catering to the construction and infrastructure sectors in the emerging economies.
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Solvents Market Challenges
Exposure to petrochemical-based solvents causes both short-term and long-term effects. Short-term effects include hallucinations, blackouts, sickness, severe headaches, prolonged sniffing, and dizziness among others. Long-term effects include damage to the brain, heart, liver, neurons, and kidneys. Some solvents can cause the lungs to freeze and cause suffocation. The examples of these types of solvents include polyethylene glycols (PEGs), which cause both health and environmental hazards. During the manufacturing process, PEGs can be contaminated with a measurable amount of ethylene oxide and 1, 4- dioxane, which are known to be a human carcinogen and affects central nervous systems. Thus, the harmful effects of petrochemical-based solvents are a challenge for the solvents market.
Technology launches, acquisitions and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in the solvents market. In 2019, the market of solvents has been consolidated by the top five players accounting for xx% of the share. Major players in the solvents market are BASF SE, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Dow Chemicals, Maruzen Petrochemical, Shell Chemicals, Celanese Corporation, Solvay Chemicals and others. Maruzen Petrochemical Co., Ltd among others.
Product Launch/ Acquisition
In May 2018, Royal Dutch Shell Plc (The Netherlands) started the production of the second ethylene cracker at Nanhai petrochemicals complex in Huizhou, Guangdong Province, China. The expansion helped the company manufacture ethylene oxide, ethylene glycol, propylene oxide, polyols, polyolefins, phenol and oxo-alcohols through OMEGA, SMPO, and polyols technologies. This is the first time that Shell has used OMEGA and advanced polyols technologies in China.
In May 2018, BASF SE (Germany) and ExxonMobil (US) signed an agreement to jointly develop new gas treating solvents and process technologies to be used for natural gas processing and petroleum refining.
In August 2017, ExxonMobil Corporation’s Singapore affiliate completed the acquisition of one of the world’s largest aromatics facilities on Jurong Island in Singapore, owned by Jurong Aromatics Corporation (Singapore). The acquisition helped the company increase hydrocarbon production to over 3.5 million tons per year, including 1.8 million tons of paraxylene, which is used as a solvent.
New product developments and increasing investments in research and development of solvents are expected to drive the growth of this market.
Among application, paints & coatings segment is projected to lead the solvents market during the forecast period.
Asia Pacific dominated the solvents market.
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