Specialty chemical industry is one of the innovative, entrepreneurial, and consumer-driven industries. These specialty chemicals comprise low-volume, high-value chemicals with specific applications and constitute a significant part of the Indian chemical industry.
Specialty chemicals are high value-added products that are used as catalysts, intervenes, constituents, protectants, or preservatives in various products and applications. Specialty chemicals are sometimes referred to as “performance” chemicals, or “effect” chemicals, or “formulation” chemicals. Specialty chemicals are chemicals that are used in low quantities (not in bulk) and are targeted towards specific end-use applications. The physical and chemical characteristics of these chemicals influence the performance of end products.
Specialty chemicals are broadly segmented into agrichemicals such as insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides; adhesives; food additives such as salt, sugar, and vinegar; cleaning materials; cosmetic additives; construction chemicals; elastomers; flavors; industrial gases; polymers; surfactants (emulsifiers, foaming agents and dispersants); textile auxiliaries; and lubricants. The abovementioned types can be further sub-segmented on the basis of technology, function, applications, type, and plastic type. Specialty chemicals can be sub-segmented based on end-user industries. The major end-users of specialty chemicals are the automobile, food, aerospace, cosmetics, manufacturing, agriculture, and textile industries.
Growing need for these chemicals in the end-user industries due to their physical and chemical characteristics positively impacts the global market growth. Rising population, decreasing arable land, increasing the need for improvement in crop yields, and growing construction sector are some of the factors influencing the growth of specialty chemicals such as pesticides, Specialty coatings and surfactants, and construction chemicals. Moreover, these chemicals are increasingly used in water treatments. The introduction of more sophisticated water treatment technologies such as ion-exchange includes use of specialty chemicals in industrial water treatment. In addition, rising R&D activities for the development of innovative products to meet environmental regulations will offer ample opportunities for the growth of global specialty chemicals market.
Asia Pacific leads the global specialty chemicals market is forecasted to witness the highest growth in the near future. Increasing demand in the major end-user industries including construction, automotive, agriculture, packaging, textiles, personal care, and electronics along with rising infrastructure investments; and development of environment-friendly products offer ample revenue generation opportunities to the manufacturers of specialty chemicals. Increasing industrial activities in developing countries such as India and China will increase the demand for specialty chemicals in these countries.
On the other hand, few government regulations on the utilization of certain chemicals in food processing industry and other manufacturing industries may hinder the growth of global specialty chemicals market.
Key players in the global specialty chemicals market include Albemarle Corporation, Akzo Nobel N.V., Ashland, BASF SE, Clariant AG, Evonik Industries, and E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company. Other major players dominating the market with their products and services are Eastman Chemical Company, Huntsman Corporation, INEOS Group, and The Dow Chemical Company.
Specialty Chemicals Market: Regional Segment Analysis
- North America
- Asia Pacific
- Latin America
- Middle East & Africa